W.W. built a second log cabin about 10 feet north of the residential cabin. This would be the place of business. The empty space between the two buildings is called a dogtrot. It had a functional purpose. It allowed air to move throughit, thus cooling the adjacent cabins. It also provided a cooler place to sit. McDonald enclosed this space sometime before the Civil War with weatherboard, making a third room.

An old meaning of the word "Tavern" denoted a place where travelers could stop to rest, obtain a meal and drink, and maybe rent a room for the night. Such was McDonald's waystation on the South-Western Stage Company's route from St. Louis to Springfield, Missouri. The passengers disembarked for some refreshment while W.W. and his hired man, Isaac Warren, changed the team of horses.

The stage route through Pulaski County in the 1850s and 1860s was located on a trail used by Ice Age mastodons and Native Americans. The trail followed what geographers termed the great interior ridge, an upland land form that separated the drainage basins of Missouri and Arkansas rivers, stretching from St. Louis to northwest Arkansas. In the antebellum period, it had several names: Osage Trace, Kickapoo Trace, Southwest Trail, and St. Louis to Springfield Road. During and after the Civil War, this major thoroughfare through the Ozarks was known as the Wire Road, State Highway 14, Route 66, and Interstate 44.

This room also features a fireplace. It is slightlly smaller than the fireplace in the McDonald Cabin.


While the passengers sat at the long table in the center of the room, Mary Jane McDonald may have opened the doors of the piece of furniture at right to bring out a freshly baked pie. Called a pie safe, the cabinet was designed to keep pastries and other edibles safe from flying insects. Although not visible in the picture, the sides of the top section have tin panels with holes punched in them. The holes are big enough to let some air circulate but small enough to keep flies out. W.W. McDonald not only operated a stagecoach stop but he was also the village's postmaster. This made sense since the mail came to towns by stagecoach. Waystations often became post offices. Mail was not delivered to homes. If a person wanted his or her mail, it required a trip to the post office to pick it up. This made McDonald's building the busiest place in town. In addition to operating a stagecoach stop and postmaster duties, W.W. was also the Pulaski County Clerk. As clerk, he opened up the courthouse across the street each morning and conducted the day-to-day county business.


Next to the window by the pie safe are two chairs flanking a wooden nail keg with a checker board and checkers on top. To help pass the time before the next leg of the stagecoach trip, passengers might have played the game. Unearthed in the archaeological dig under the building was a domino. Dominoes has been a popular game for centuries. A wooden box containing dominoes is on the long table. Early hand-made tight-fitting boots were difficult to remove unaided after a long day of work. A bootjack was a handy tool for such a task. Putting the heel of a boot in the slot on one end and stepping on the other end while pulling slipped off the boot.


Concord stagecoach model presented to the Old Stagecoach Stop by Master Modeler Jim Mathews.


Long distance travel was made by stagecoach until the railroad came to Pulaski County and southwestern Missouri in 1869. The words comfortable and stagecoach were not usually found in the same sentence. The finest stagecoach was that manufactured by the Abbott-Downing Company of New Hampshire. It seated six in the front and back seats and could seat nine when a bench was in place between the two. The Concord coach difffered from others by supporting the cabin with leather straps instead of metal leaf springs. This gave the coach a swaying motion. Mark Twain described it as "a cradle on wheels." The stage line advertised that the trip from Springfield to Rolla could be made in 30 hours. The rough and rutted part of the trip from Arlington to Waynesville, a distance of 20 miles, had a registered run time of six hours.