Built in 1858 by John Carson as a family home and Inn.
Used as a Pony Express and Overland Stage stop during the 1860’s.
Built on the site oh John Carson’s original fort.
Because of its proximity to Camp Floyd r the old “Stage Coach Inn” served as a stopping place for visitors to/the camp and travelers enroute to California. The station served as one of the Overland Stage Stops until the coming of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. It was also used as a pony express stop between 1860-1861.
The Stagecoach Inn is located in Camp Floyd / Stagecoach Inn State Park at 18035 West 1540 North in Fairfield, Utah and was added to the National Historic Register (#71000857) on May 14, 1971.
John Carson had settled in Cedar Valley with four brothers as early as 1855. Their first protection from the Indians was a stone fort four rods square, within which they built their log and adobe living quarters. The north wall of the old fort was about where the south wall of the inn now stands.
With the “Mormon War” an influx of military personnel arrived in Utah. Colonel Albert Sidney Johns ton located his command of 3,500 men, 586 horses, 3,000 mules and 500 wagons, near Fairfield in Cedar Valley and where he established Camp Floyd. As a result, the population of Cedar Valley burgeoned in 1858, to more than 7,000 souls.
The old stone fort was torn down and John Carson built a two- story adobe and f rams hotel and inn. Mr. Carson, an “Elder” in the Mormon Church, would permit no liquor to be served in his inn, nor would he permit “round dancing,” then frowned upon by the more pious in his church. Thus the inn became an oasis of decency for prominent visitors and dignitaries, including Louis Greeley, a nephew of Horace Greeley, who occupied it for some time.
Both passengers and freight moved along this central route to California in the late 1850’s. Captain J. H. Simpson surveyed and mapped a route through the region in 1859. During the era of the pony express, the inn became a mail stop between Salt Lake City and Faust, further west. In addition, the “Carson House” served as the first Overland Stage Station west from Salt Lake City.
With the coming of the Civil War troops from Camp Floyd were recalled. Colonel Philip St. George Cooke replaced General Johns ton and renamed the post Fort Crittendon. However, on May 17, 1861 he was ordered east with his command. Camp Floyd was gone. By September of 1861 only 18 families remained Jn the little community of Fairfield.
John Carson remained and raised his family in the inn. After his death Carson’s widow and children continued to operate it as a hostelry, it finally closed in 194?. In 1959 John Carson, a son, turned the property over to the Utah State Parks and Recreation Department who have restored it and opened it in 1964 as a museum.
It sets today in an historic setting little changed from 1858.
The Stage Coach Inn was originally a large family residence built for the Carson family before conversion to an Inn. It had 14 rooms, seven of them bedrooms. The building is “L” shaped with two stories 52’*’ 8″ x 59′ 6″. It is made of brick and plaster except for the two-story addition at the west which is frame with ship lap cove siding. Some of original pine flooring and glass windows remain. The fireplaces have been restored, although they are no longer used for heat.
The first floor, behind the front gallery, has two square rooms, each with outside doors. The single story wing extends to the rear with two square rooms, each with a door to the east porch. Four small square rooms in a line adjoin the rear room and occupy the lean-to. The frame addition has a single large room on the west front but does not open to the rest of the inn. The second floor has two square rooms in the masonry portion and one front and two rear bedrooms in the rear addition.
Heating was done originally with four fire places. Two stairways in the northeast and west portions allow ascent from the first to second floors.
The restoration has attempted to return the structure to as near its original condition as possible. The furnishings are consistent with the period.
Across to the south the old commissary building of Camp Floyd has also been restored; however, it will be treated later as a part of the historic site of Camp Floyd.