Butterfield Stage Stop

Butterfield Overland Mail company delivering goods
During the mid-1800s, the Butterfield Overland Mail company contracted with the federal government to deliver mail and goods. Temecula was one of the stops along the Butterfield Stage route which followed the Southern Emigrant Trail.

The Butterfield Stage Trail Through Temecula
From Tom Hudson, “A Thousand Years in Temecula Valley:”

The first stage, eastbound from San Francisco, stopped for a change of horses at Temecula probably during the night of September 18, 1858. On board, in addition to the drivers, was G. Bailey, special agent for the Post Office Department. During the next three weeks two stages each week from San Francisco paused at the Magee Store long enough for horses to be changed and drivers, with an occasional passenger, to refresh themselves and satisfy their hunger. The food may have been served by Magee or his helpers, or it may have been served at the nearby Apis home.

The Butterfield stages followed the old Southern Emigrant Trail with stops at Carrizo, Vallecito, San Felipe, Warner Springs, Oak Grove, Aguanga, Temecula and Lake Elsinore. The Butterfield stages lasted for less than three years. The Butterfield stage never stopped at the Wolf Store, although the Wolf store was a later stage stop. Other stages and other routes served Southern California beyond the Butterfield era.