Mountain Stage Lines
Kirk Phillips, probably the first man to visualize the possibilities of a mountain stage line, formed a partnership with Max and Perry Green in 1912. Theirs was the Mountain Auto Line; and for forty years this stage line, in good weather and bad, continued to serve the whole mountain area.
The automobile stages of the early days played an important part in the development of the San Bernardino Mountain resorts. A great many people who went to the mountains in those days left their own cars at home and took the stage, -it was actually more economical and saved wear and tear on the nerves. No matter what happened, those old White trucks, converted into stages, always reached their destination.
It was Jack Weber who pioneered the way for the first stage line and proved the practicality of trucks on mountain roads. In 1910 he drove a two-cylinder “Little Giant” truck over the “switch-backs” and on to Little Bear Valley. Dr. Baylis often told how he and James E. Mooney stood on the crest and watched the truck pass with its one and a half tons of cement for the dam. Mr. Mooney turned to the doctor and said, “Never was it more evident that coming events do cast their shadow.”
In 1910 the Cooley Hardware Company took over the agency for the White trucks, and one of their first sales was to the San Bernardino Water Department. In order to make the sale, they first had to prove that the truck could climb the Waterman Canyon grade with a cargo of one and a half tons of pig iron. A year later, when the big thirty-day forest fire burned everything from Arrowhead to Green Valley, this same truck was kept running day and night hauling supplies.
For years the old White trucks continued to be the very backbone of the San Bernardino Mountain stage lines.