Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Strapped

Butterfield Trail

Recommended Posts

I went out metal detecting on the Butterfield Overland Trail near the Mormon Battalion Camp in Arizona. Found this old tool right on the trail about 6 inches below the surface. Anybody have an idea of what this may have been used for? The one end is hammered flat with a little slit cut in the middle.

 

20171231_130241.jpg

20171231_130323.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could have been used for pulling most anything nailed or stapled in.  The slit is like a claw hammer and is beveled also but what puzzles me is that the ends are not flat enough to slip under tight spaces.  Maybe a homemade tool for picking Cholla out of ones butt.  :brows: 

Old Tom

  • Like 4
  • Haha 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

darn OT...You might be right. That little notch would be perfect for grabbing cactus quills out of humans and animals. I think the Americans started using the the trail in the 1840s but the Spanish/Mexicans/Indians may have used this route even earlier.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn, this thing has got me puzzled,  You can tell it's not a piece of scrap and had a use at one time.  If cleaned it might give another clue?  

The center part looks like it is hammered square and might have ridden in a slot to keep from twisting when pressed down by the bent part.  It might have come off of a musical instrument that lifted a valve when pressed by one's finger, like a Sax, or Clarinet.  :89: 

   Old Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like if you had another one they would make a handle for a bucket.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was the only piece my detector picked up. Near where I found this there was an old and really worn broken horse shoe on the surface. I wonder if a farrier would have used it to clean up a hoof?

20180101_184312.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strapped, I think a little too sharp to be poking in soft tissue on horses hooves.  The furriers knife doesn't have a point and only cuts pulling sideways, can't puncture.  

Don't hang that horse shoe up the good luck it brings will leak out that crack.  :25r30wi:

   Old Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a mule shoe. A mule used for riding probably rather than driving depending on it's size, I have no reference for scale but doesn't look draft size and it's flat and no cleats, clips or caulks.

Edited by Edge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had read that the Butterfield Company used mules to pull their coaches. When the Mormon Battalion marched through there in the 1840s they too used mules for their supplies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Edge said:

That is a mule shoe. A mule used for riding probably rather than driving depending on it's size, I have no reference for scale but doesn't look draft size and it's flat and no cleats, clips or caulks.

Yeah, I'd say a mule shoe Edge.  I've worked horses hooves but never a mule but I know that they are longer and more pointed than most horses.  He was very well balanced on that foot but looks like he was dragging it a little as the toe is worn more than the rest of the shoe.  Maybe that's why he lost it, got caught on a rock or something.  :knight-horse: 

Old Tom

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wire looks familiar and is bugging me. I believe it's a clip and not a tool, perhaps to hold a lens or cap in place. I also think it's more recent item than to be from the mid19th century.

I just have trouble thinking a thin piece of iron wire would not have melted away over 160 years unless it was under cover from the weather.

 

My grandparents lived on a Butterfield stage stop at Cow Springs, NM. It was the next stop west of the Hatch River stop.

I've done as much research as I could years ago on the subject and though I'm no expert, never heard of mules being used on the stage runs. And runs they were, the mail was given only 25 days to travel the 2800 miles from St Louis to San Francisco.

From memory I believe teams of six draft horses were used and were run the entire distance from stop to stop where fresh horses were hitched up and the previous team given a day off. 

These days I drive horses and mules for recreation and can't imagine running the mules more than a short distance.

Mules just aren't built for running, they have straighter shoulders and walk on a shorter appendix than do horses.

Mules along the route pulled freight wagons to supply the stops with everything from hay to hash browns. One of these may have lost that shoe?

Working the animals every other day also fits and keeps them in good shape without breaking them down.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25444

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can look at some pictures of stagecoach horses here:  https://www.wellsfargohistory.com/history/ponies/

 

From what I find, they were a cross between draft horses and quarter horses.

Edited by LipCa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Edge said:

The wire looks familiar and is bugging me. I believe it's a clip and not a tool, perhaps to hold a lens or cap in place. I also think it's more recent item than to be from the mid19th century.

Boy that is a good deduction Edge, looks perfect for the job.  I've seen lots of clips like that pivoting on a flat spot with a pin in it.  

   Old Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found several references that indicate that between Los Angeles and and Fort Smith, Arkansas they used Celebrity wagons  instead of the Concord Stage coaches. Through the same area the used wild mustangs and mules to pull the wagons.

https://butterfieldoverlandstage.com/2015/06/23/the-first-running-of-the-stage/

Found a bunch of old nails too...

20171231_144354.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it’s worth.

The Butterfield started out with horses but the Indians liked them too . That’s why they switch to mules . That stop the Indians from stealing because they didn’t like the mules .

What you may not know is the Indians like to ride the horses but they like to eat them too . They didn’t like the taste of the mules.

One old Chief went to one of Butterfield station and told them if they didn’t get some horses he was going to kill them all .

Chuck

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a Indian had someone after him he’d run that horse until it fell out from under him . Then take time to eat some of it and that could have been raw . After that he’d take off running on foot.

That’s the reason the Indian got away a good percentage of the time. The white man put a value on his horse but the Indian put a value on nothing. That was because he got it free.

Chuck

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 9:14 PM, Ridge Runner said:

That was because he got it free.

Chuck

Chuck, old buddy; it is more likely the Indian valued his life more than the horse....the horse cost him something, just not money...

 

fred

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you ever need a hunting buddy let me know I am quite often up for adventure live in North phoenix currently but travel the valley often

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a cousin that has three hundred acres east of San Antonio off I-10. If you go take a look from a satellite view over their place you can still see the old wagon road that was used years ago. On the ground you don’t know it’s there but from above you can’t miss it.

Chuck

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Fred

I guess if I had someone biting at my butt I’d run too. Nobody likes me better than I do.

White man comes over here and he’s going to make things better, Before the Indian man done the hunting and fishing . The Indian woman done all the work and they didn’t pay any tax .

We were going to improve things. What is wrong with this picture ?

Chuck

Edited by Ridge Runner
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ItThe wire looks familiar and is bugging me. I believe it's a clip and not a tool, perhaps to hold a lens or cap in place. I also think it's more recent item than to be from the mid19th century.

I just have trouble thinking a thin piece of iron wire would not have melted away over 160 years unless it was under cover from the weather.

 

My grandparents lived on a Butterfield stage stop at Cow Springs, NM. It was the next stop west of the Hatch River stop.

I've done as much research as I could years ago on the subject and though I'm no expert, never heard of mules being used on the stage runs. And runs they were, the mail was given only 25 days to travel the 2800 miles from St Louis to San Francisco.

From memory I believe teams of six draft horses were used and were run the entire distance from stop to stop where fresh horses were hitched up and the previous team given a day off. 

These days I drive horses and mules for recreation and can't imagine running the mules more than a short distance.

Mules just aren't built for running, they have straighter shoulders and walk on a shorter appendix than do horses.

Mules along the route pulled freight wagons to supply the stops with everything from hay to hash browns. One of these may have lost that shoe?

Working the animals every other day also fits and keeps them in good shape without breaking them down.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25444

 

IMG_20180505_101924261.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was cleaning off the work bench and look what I found...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the slotted wire object in the first post was a little stouter, I'd venture that it was part of an old coping saw frame, the kind that had a blade with a pin in each end and used the spring tension of the metal frame to keep the blade taut.  I don't think the rod is quite heavy enough, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×