Many aspects of modern highway travel we take for granted. Rest areas along solitary stretches of the road, fast food places serving a quick bite for the road-weary, and even mail that reaches destinations across country in a day or two. None of that was available or known until 1858 when John Butterfield created the first stage/mail route across the southern part of the country. His roads connected St. Louis, Missouri with San Francisco allowing parcels and passengers to make the trip in 25 days or less. Before Butterfield took charge, the trip could take four months with innumerable perils: navigating the Atlantic, the Gulf and the Pacific, and crossing the Isthmus of Panama (which took 2 weeks at best). Butterfield’s stage line became so successful the British Parliament used it to send official documents up to Canada. While Butterfield’s route did not take them through Albuquerque, one of their seven headquarters was located in Mesilla, in southern New Mexico. Butterfield’s story is an important part of American history, and New Mexico history as well, plus many of his “inventions” are still in use today.