Colonel Alvaren Allen began stagecoach service from St. Paul to Crow Wing with his four-horse Concord coach line in 1854. As the need to travel west and south of St. Paul grew, so did the coach line. Within a few years Allen had eight coaches departing from St. Paul each day; three to Minneapolis, one each to Crow Wing, Stillwater, Mankato, and Hudson, WI. The last coach would follow a route through New Ulm, Faribault, and Owatonna. The coaches carried freight as well as passengers — which mean the latter were forced to hold on as best they could as the stagecoach bumped over well rutted, but poorly maintained, wagon trails. In this photo from 1898, several gentlemen from Mankato are about to board the Concord coach for St. Paul. Photo courtesy of the Blue Earth Historical Society.