Western Overland Routes


13 August 2018 Update - The sale is over. Any unsold items have been moved to regular inventory on the census site. Page is here.

Postal History of the Western Overland Routes

Section 11. The Idaho & Montana Routes

For background information, see my one page summary PDF file here

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Ordering Information - Items that have grayed-out stock numbers and prices have been sold but prices will remain online as a value guide and reference. Please email me to confirm availability and order by stock number.

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price $25,000


[Rockfellow & Co's Express Paid 50c to France] printed premium service frank on Wells Fargo franked 3c pink entire used to Paris, France, carried by Rockfellow's Express to Wells Fargo at Walla Walla, Washington and with their Jul 30 blue oval datestamp, overland by Wells Fargo and entered the mails at New York with their unpaid Sep 1 exchange office debit datestamp, red French entry and "8" decimes due handstamp, arrival backstamp, an outstanding conjunctive express use from a short-lived express used to a foreign destination, a highlight of the collection

ex Walske

Rockfellow & Co's Express (May 1863 - Oct 1863)

This express ran from Walla Walla to John Day Country in Oregon and to Boise Basin in Idaho following Wells, Fargo's withdrawal from the route on May 17, 1863. Later when Indian troubles lessened and production of bullion greatly increased, Wells, Fargo purchased the Rockfellow Express on Oct 17, 1863.

sold $27,500


[Overland Mail, via Boise City], printed directive on cover to New York City, free frank of Oregon Member of Congress, at-large district, John B. McBride,  manuscript “Ruby City, I.T. Oct 19, 1865” Idaho Territory postmark, carried “free” in the U.S. Mails by Joseph Leach to Boise City, thence by Holladay’s Overland Mail to the Missouri River via Salt Lake City, printed corner card of the New York & Owyhee Gold & Silver Mining Co., the only reported example

ex Knapp, Jessup, Haas, Risvold and Walske



[Helena, Montana Territory, 1865] Helena M.T. double circle Montana Territory postmark with manuscript "Nov 19" date and "Paid 3" on cover to Massachusetts, Dike type 1 postmark is only reported in 1865, cover long tear from bottom left corner to first line of address that is hardly visible

ex Kramer

sold $2,000

[Holladay Overland Mail and Express Company, 1865] printed frank on 3c pink entire, a rare in-period use with their "Holladay OM & E Co, Helena Mon Oct 9 '65" double circle datestamp, Montana Territory period, I fewer than five examples with this datestamp as most examples of this frank were used later in post office mails

ex Kramer


[Helena, Montana, 1868] Wells Fargo Express franked 3c pink entire with their blue Helena, Montana Territory period datestamp of 27 January 1868, used to New York City where turned over to Boyd's for delivery with "Boyd's Dispatch" 15 February datestamp and encircled "PAID" handstamp, cover minor corner discoloration at top left, very fine use

ex Kramer

Richard Frajola (July 29, 2018)