Some Region 8 Students Really Know How to Stage an Event

March 11, 2004 -- Posted at 5:30 p.m. CST

Jonesboro -- Some Hillcrest Elementary students got a hands on history lesson from Missouri native Ricky Hamby. A few years ago, Hamby purchased an authentic1858 stagecoach because of his love of the Old West.

"When we purchased it we thought we needed to continue its legacy and so we decided to take the first cross country stage coach trip since 1861," said Hamby.

And that's how the journey began.

The group started carrying mail from kids in the Midwest to those on the West Coast. The first trip from Missouri to Arizona took a total of 63 days. And not only does this stage coach carry mail, it's becoming an educational tool.

"We prayed about it a lot and thought, hey let's do something historic with it, and now it's amazing. We're over 130,000 kids that we got to put through this coach," said Hamby.

"It's really cool, because most of us haven't seen stagecoaches," said 5th Grader Paige Mason. "We look at it in the book, but now we get to see it in real life."

"They're going to write letters to help him throughout his journey, so once his journey starts in a few weeks, he's going to come back or send us letters and we're going to send them letters to help him along his journey," said Hillcrest Principal Ricky Greer.

The Old Butterfield Stagecoach is about to embark on its third journey on May 1st, from Dodge City, Kansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico.