The Pony Express

The Pony Express (HM19OX)

Location: Ely, NV 89301 White Pine County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 47.84', W 114° 44.462'

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A Journey Across the American West

Mail From Coast to Coast: During the mid-1800s, American settlers were on the move, relocating from crowded Eastern cities to the untamed wilderness of the West. Many made their way to California. With the surge of settlers, California began to thrive and emerge as a new center of commerce. Businesses and settlers in the West needed a fast way to correspond with their Eastern contemporaries. Recognizing a business opportunity, William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell established the Pony Express. The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2,000-mile trail between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860.

A Dangerous Ride: 120 young riders carried correspondence through dire conditions, bravely speeding across the prairies, mountains, and deserts with only the whip of the wind at their backs. The brave few faced freezing temperatures, limited supply lines, hostile Native Americans, and dangerous raiders. Many riders were killed while making the journey.

Exchanging Mail at Schell Creek Station: An individual rider did not typically carry the mail for more than 75 miles (or longer than a 24-hour journey). Swing stations and home stations were established to help the riders make their way across the West. Swing stations were located 10-15 miles apart. At the swing station, a rider dismounted from his tired horse and quickly mounted a fresh horse ready to restart the journey. The exchanges were quick—never lasting more than two minutes—just long enough for the rider to take a quick drink and swing the mochila over the saddle of his new horse. This spot marks the swing station at Schell Creek (Pony Express Station 128). Westbound riders would have reached the station on the seventh or eighth day of the mail's ten-day journey.

The Pony is Replaced: As telegraph lines moved across the West, the Pony Express became obsolete. Schell Creek Station outgrew its purpose. The area was renamed Schellbourne and instead of welcoming dusty, trail-worn Pony Express riders, a small mining community of 400 persons occupied the area.
HM NumberHM19OX
Series This marker is part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail series
Placed ByNevada Department of Transportation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 3:27am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 693402 N 4407704
Decimal Degrees39.79733333, -114.74103333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 47.84', W 114° 44.462'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 47' 50.40" N, 114° 44' 27.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)775
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 White Pine County Rd 18, Ely NV 89301, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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