Land of Legends
— Coronado National Forest —
Coronado National Forest
Land of Legends
The Dragon Springs Stage Stop
The San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line began service across Arizona to the Pacific coast in July, 1857. Its route included a stop here near the Dragoon spring. The San Antonio Line was commonly known as the "Jackass Mail" because mules were used to pull the coaches, and passengers were packed on mule-back across the Colorado Desert.
The Overland Mail Bill was passed by Congress in 1857 to begin twice weekly mail service between St. Louis and San Francisco. Construction of this station, one of 200 along the 2700 mile route, began in August, 1858. It was marred by the massacre of September 8, 1858 when three of the Overland Company employees were killed by their workers.
The Dragoon Springs Station was a "swing" station used only for changing horses or mules. "Home" stations included a station master, cooks, and maintenance men. Mail service ended in March, 1861. The termination was brought about by the onset of the Civil War, increased Indian hostilities, and the faster Pony Express service which had begun in 1860. The route was moved north where it crossed Denver and Salt Lake City. During its two years of existence the Overland Mail Company had a great economic impact. It employed a large number of people and drew new settlers to Arizona.
This place continued to be a brief stopping point during and after the Civil War. The graves north of the Station are the result of a battle between Confederate Troops and Apaches in 1862.
The Stage Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.