Transportation, communication at speed of River Mail, horses

Turnpike vs. railroad

Since the scheme to macadamize the North Western Turnpike was first agitated, in the Legislature, various discussions have arisen as to the relative advantages of that kind of communication, compared with rail-roads. Public preference and opinion seem pretty well poised on the subject: old time folks advocate the pike and dilate upon the beauties of broad-treads and fat horses: innovators warmly espouse the cause of rails and abound in encomiums upon snake-heads and fast locomotives. No doubt exists that we shall have the one improvement or the other and the matter has been referred to us for adjudication and decision. As an impartial umpire and duly impressed with the interests of the parties in dispute, we calmly, cautiously and coolly decide in favor of-both! Give us the pike, and we will remain quiet on the subject of rail-roads, for at least twelve months; but both works must eventually be carried out and have their termini here–no where else!

From the Parkersburg (Va.) Gazette

January 26, 1848

Note: The Northwestern Railroad of Virginia reached Parkersburg in 1857.


Staunton mail

The Staunton and Parkersburg Mail Coaches commenced running last week. The teams are in fine order, and appear as though they could take their passengers through in the shortest possible time. Thus far full compliments of passengers have been brought to and taken from our place by this line. We hope the travel on this road may increase and richly repay Proprietor Hieskill for his enterprise. The days of departure are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

From the Parkersburg (Va.) Gazette

July 8, 1847


River mails; change of time

As will be seen, on reference to the Clipper’s card, that boat will hereafter make three trips per week between Wheeling and Parkersburg, carrying the mail each trip. This schedule was always required to complete the River Mail arrangements and we congratulate the community upon the tri-weekly mail which it will secure. It proves quite refreshing to read the Baltimore American, when only three days out!-as can now be done. That this great facility will be maintained, in all its parts, we have assurance in the enterprise and perseverance of the gentlemanly owners and officers of the Allegheny Clipper, who seem bent upon doing their utmost to please and accommodate the business community.

From the Parkersburg Gazette/Courier

November 16, 1850


The Wood County Historical Society works to preserve yesterday for tomorrow. For more information, contact P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102