Wells Fargo stagecoach in the Natioanl Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.
The Wells Fargo stagecoach at the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on May 29, 2017.
Photo Credit: Bob Rives for Wells Fargo

Celebrate summer with the Wells Fargo stagecoach

The Wells Fargo stagecoach is on the road again this summer — bringing smiles to parades, festivals, and other events in 31 states.

June 12, 2017

With several hundred thousand people watching, David Helmuth drove the Wells Fargo stagecoach down the streets of Washington, D.C. to honor the military and represent Wells Fargo in the National Memorial Day Parade on May 29.

“Whenever people see the Wells Fargo stagecoach, you can tell they’re excited about the experience,” said Helmuth, one of 13 drivers in Wells Fargo’s Stagecoach Appearance Program. “Everywhere we go, everyone wants to be a part of it. I love the opportunity I get to share Wells Fargo’s history, and part of our nation’s history, and keep that tradition alive.”

The drivers and their horses travel from 13 ranches nationwide to participate in the hundreds of stagecoach appearances commemorating holidays and community events each year. In 2016, the Wells Fargo stagecoach appeared in more than 700 events across the country.

Get a glimpse of life at home and on the road for the Wells Fargo stagecoach horses. (4 minutes)

Nearly 60 years of appearances

The Stagecoach Appearance Program began on June 14, 1958, when local rancher Sport Fellingham drove a Wells Fargo stagecoach during a bank grand opening event in Hayward, California.

Also on the stagecoach that day were Dale Robertson, star of the television show “Tales of Wells Fargo,” and Fellingham’s son Paul, who grew up to continue the family tradition and has been a Wells Fargo stagecoach driver for 46 years.

Wells Fargo stagecoach driver Paul Fellingham at the first stagecoach appearance as a child and as a driver today
A stagecoach legacy: Paul Fellingham as a child in 1958 with dad, Sport, and actor Dale Robertson at the first official stagecoach appearance; Paul Fellingham as a Wells Fargo stagecoach driver today.

Lovester Law, manager of the Stagecoach Appearance Program, calls it “a live, visual reminder of our company’s legacy of innovation, the American spirit, and our shared history with our communities.”

The program “represents teamwork and uniquely symbolizes our desire to come through for the customers and communities we serve,” said Law. “Our drivers proudly accept this responsibility at every event and during every interaction with the public. Our team, our drivers, and the company’s team members are equally proud to share the Wells Fargo stagecoach as a representation of our past, present, and future.”

This summer, Helmuth and the 12 other drivers in the Stagecoach Appearance Program will take their stagecoaches and horse teams to more than 75 events in 31 states. Check the schedule to find the stagecoach appearance nearest you.

“I’ve got a great job,” Helmuth said, “but it’s the Wells Fargo stagecoach and horses who are the stars.”

Answers to common stagecoach questions

Who owns the horses? The stagecoach drivers own the horses that pull their stagecoach.

Where are the stagecoaches kept? They are kept on 13 ranches coast to coast — located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Texas.

How fast do the stagecoaches go? They travel approximately five miles per hour.

How many people can ride in a stagecoach? Six can ride inside and one can ride on top. As a major mode of transportation in the 1800s, as many as 18 people would ride — nine inside and nine on top.

How big is the stagecoach? It’s 14.5 feet long, 9 feet high, 7 feet wide, and weighs 2,500 pounds.

Why is the stagecoach part of community events? Wells Fargo stagecoaches appear at events and celebrations around the country to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the communities it serves.

Contributors: Kathleen Llewellyn