In 1958, Dr. Evan and Lois Kackley donated the Yellowstone Coach to the City of Soda Springs. According to Dr. Kackley's written letters to the city council he stated, "This particular coach was used to carry Pres. Theodore Roosevelt and the great naturalists John Muir and John Burroughs on this well publicized park tour (in) 1903. These three gentlemen were fathers of conservation in the United States. The presidential entourage traveled with a U.S. Army Calvary escort, stationed at the time in the Yellowstone area."
The construction of stagecoaches began to form around 1824. Abbott-Downing Company of Concord, New Hampshire manufactured forty types of carriages, but is remembered primarily for their western coaches, one of which is the Tally-Ho. Stagecoaches were used for public transportation until the early 1900's. There was a large variation of coaches due to their intended uses. Concord coaches, mud wagon, and the Tally-Ho were all built with varied construction, with the same undercarriage of leather and of different sizes and weight.
The Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. The Yellowstone Tally-Ho is one of the early coaches used in the Park and is swung on leather, the same as the famous Concord coach; however the Yellowstone coach was built open sided with leather seats for passengers looking
forward. There is black fringe around the top and no baggage compartment on the back. Four horses pulled the park coaches over short distances. Tour luggage was transported by light open wagons or buckboards. Unlike the Tally-Ho, the Concord was heavier and required six horse to pull. The Concord came with an enclosed baggage boot and could travel ten to fifteen miles between stops.
For Eastern visitors, the park was reached by two routes. The more common route was by Union Pacific Railroad to Corinne, Utah, where they would go by stagecoach north to Bozeman or Virginia City, Montana. The Wells Fargo & Company was one company that ran daily stages 438 miles to Virginia City. The less popular route was the Missouri River to Fort Benton. These routes became shorter as the railroad expanded north to Eagle Rock (Idaho Falls) and over Monida Pass to the Red Rock Station. Park coaches were used to shuttle passengers from these over-land stage stops to the Mammoth Hotel at the north entrance to Yellowstone Park. By 1909 the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Company with yellow coaches was one of three major transportation companies operating in the park.
Regular tours of the park took five days at a cost of $40.00, which included your meals and room. Those who wished to, could stop over at other principal points and there join surrey or wagon parties to explore
local features for an additional fee. The era of the park coaches lasted for 36 years, ending with the 1916 season after which the coaches went into storage and were later sold to private individuals.
In the summer of 2004, the City of Soda Springs Council hired Dar Weaver to restore the coach. During that fall the Soda Springs Bingo Committee provided funds and hired Lott Builders to construct an enclosed shelter in the city park for displaying the coach. The north wall is covered with Yellowstone Park scenes painted by Neva Harrison. The Tally-Ho Coach House and History signage were made by Daphne Allen of Rock Mountain Signworks.
A Special thanks goes out to all the Bingo players that made this project become reality.