Santa fe trail

Mahaffie Farmstead

Mahaffie Farmstead -- Olathe, KS

Mahaffie Farmstead -- The farm was a vertically integrated operation. The owners cared for draft animals used by the stagecoach line. Feed and forage were raised onsite. They provided meals for stagecoach passengers and crew and grew, slaughtered, and preserved that food themselves. (Thu 03 Sep 2015 11:49AM, Fullsize 393KB, Map)

"... there was quite a mixture of society who needed, or wanted, to travel. Public houses, inns, taverns, hotels, wayside rests, stagecoach stops -- any of these offered similar services, but ranging greatly in quality and scope. Newly settled frontier regions were always in need of public houses."

From the diary of Emma Morley -- Autumn of 1864 [before the Mahaffie Farmstead was in operation]: "A Kansas country tavern is a great institution; do not think we shall ever forget our night at Paola.... It makes me shudder to think of it. Not only bed bugs but rats were our roommates that night. Such a hornpipe as these rats danced on the floor, around our heads, everywhere! Long tedious night -- we thought morning would never come....

"Oct 19th. Left Paola before daybreak, rode six miles, and stopped for breakfast. Asked one of the passengers ... he told us we would get the best meal here of any place in Kansas.... Found we had been rightly informed. Everything was clean and palatable. Enjoyed our breakfast (Olathe Parks and Recreation, Diary)."


Stagecoach -- "The Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach Line contracted with the Mahaffie family to provide one of the stops needed for their coaches, running between Fort Scott and Fort Leavenworth, and carrying passengers and the U.S. Mail from Independence, Missouri, all the way to Santa Fe. By 1865 and until 1869, hungry passengers took their meals in the basement of the stone farmhouse, built to serve as a kitchen and dining hall. In 1867, Lucinda, her daughters, and hired helpers might have served as many as 50 to 100 meals a day. While the passengers ate, the incoming teams of horses were switched for fresh animals (Olathe Parks and Recreation, About)."

It's doubtful that the stagecoach was originally equipped with drum brakes. (Thu 03 Sep 2015 11:39AM, Fullsize 444KB, Map)