Pikes Peak Express

Founded in the late 1800's Tuttle was a US Post Office, and a stop for the Pikes Peak Express - from Kansas City to Denver - this was called Station 21.. At its peak, it had about 70-80 residents, mostly of German descent. As the stage lines fell out of use, the last few residents either moved, or passed away. In a 1900 census of Kit Carson County, Tuttle had a population of about 15, including a blacksmith, postmaster, a photographer, and a novelist. All that remains are some foundations , the ruins of the local Lutheran Church, and the all but collapsed remains of the Post Office. Tuttle is north-east of Stratton, about half way north to Kirk, and about four miles east of Hwy. 57.(Thank you Josh Schlichenmayer)

Horace Greeley's companion Richardson left Leavenworth on the stage of May 25, 1859, and wrote an interesting account of the Concord coach which, like the "wonderful one-hoss Shay," was made so that it "don't break down, but only wears out."

It is covered with duck or canvas, the driver sitting in front, at a slight elevation above the passengers. Bearing no weight upon the roof, it is less topheavy than the old-fashioned stage-coach for mud holes and mountain-sides, where to preserve the center of gravity becomes, with Falstaff's instinct, `a great matter.' Like human travelers on life's highway, it goes best under a heavy load. Empty, it jolts and pitches like a ship in a raging sea; filled with passengers and balanced by a proper distribution of baggage in the `boot' behind, and under the driver's feet before, its motion is easy and elastic. Excelling every other in durability and strength, this hack is used all over our continent and throughout South America.


Horace Greeley was a passenger on one stage in 1859, and notes of Station 21:

The bottom of the river is perhaps half a mile in average width. Water is obtained from the apology for a river, or by digging in the sand by its side; in default of wood, corrals (cattle-pens) are formed at, the stations by laying up a heavy wall of clayey earth flanked by sods, and thus excavating a deep ditch on the inner side, except at the portal, which is closed at night by running a wagon into it. The tents are sodded at their bases; houses of sods are to be constructed so soon as may be. Such are the shifts of human ingenuity in a country which has probably not a cord of growing wood to each township of land. [188]

Six miles farther up, the stream disappears in the deep, thirsty sands of its wide bed, and is not seen again for twenty-five miles. [189]

At the head of this "sink," the stream disappears in like manner to that of its emergence. Here is Station 22,  (northwest of present-day Seibert) and here are a so-called spring, and one or two considerable pools, not visibly connected with the sinking river, but doubtless sustained by it. And here the thirsty men and teams which have been twenty-five miles without water on the Express Company's road, are met by those which have come up the longer and more southerly route by the Smoky Hill, and which have traveled sixty miles since they last found water or shade. . . . The Pike's Peakers from the Smoky Hill whom I met here, had driven their ox-teams through the sixty miles at one stretch, the time required being two days and the intervening night. From this point westward, the original Smoky Hill route is abandoned for that we had been traveling, which follows the Republican some twenty-five miles further.

The bluffs are usually low, and the dry creeks which separate them are often wide reaches of heavy sand. . . . There is little grass on the rolling prairie above the bluffs. . . . Some of the dry-creek valleys have a little that is green but thin, while the river bottom-often half a mile wide-is sometimes tolerably grassed, and sometimes sandy and sterile. Of wood, there is none for stretches of forty or fifty miles: the corrals are made of earth, and consist of a trench and a mud or turf wall; one or two stationhouses are to be built of turf if ever built at all; and at one station the fuel is brought sixty miles from the pineries further west.

In 1870 a Confederate Army surgeon named Herman B. Tuttle settled on the Republican River in eastern Colorado. His ranch grew into an important outpost settlement, housing the first school in the county, a blacksmith shop, post office and eventually even a dance hall.





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