Foresthill, California: Roadside Grave of Old Joe - Murdered Stagecoach Horse

Old Joe was gunned down during a stagecoach robbery. A stone monument with a plaque and half-embedded wagon wheel marks the fatal spot, and an older monument marks the grave.
19298 Foresthill Rd, Foresthill, CA
I-80 exit 121. Drive northeast on Foresthill Rd for 10.5 miles. Monument on right shoulder.
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Old Joe monument.

Roadside Grave of Old Joe - Murdered Stagecoach Horse

The grave of Old Joe, murdered horse.

[Jolene, 10/26/2015]

Gunned down by Henry Wise on July 3, 1901. Just before the fatal shot by the stagecoach robber, driver Henry Crockett told him: "You are only foolin'." Old Joe was buried where he fell, and a rock monument marks the grave. A century later, a second monument was erected by the Native Sons of the Golden West.

Old Joe marker.

Roadside Grave of Old Joe - Murdered Stagecoach Horse

I grew up on the Auburn-Foresthill Rd. At the end of our driveway where we caught the bus was the grave of "Old Joe." He was a stagecoach horse shot during a robbery. It's never been officially put on the marker, but the town always said that it was because of his devotion to his route, and he would have raced to his next stop with his driver alerting the authorities before the bandits had a chance to make their getaway.

My family still lives there, and a couple of years ago the road was widened considerably. When his headstone was removed, the community threw such a fit that now there is a much larger traditional "Gold Country"-looking stone marker with his story and a large coach wheel embedded in the top of the stones. I was glad to see this -- mostly because some of my first memories are pulling the weeds away from his marker so that it could be read while waiting for the bus to go to school.

[Shanti Warlick, 04/26/2002]

October 2015: Photo added.

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