Today you stand where the Pony Express ran in 1860-61, when daring riders on swift horses carried the mail between St. Joe, MO and Sacramento, CA. Wanted
A January 30, 1860 news release read: "Have determined to establish a Pony Express to Sacramento, California, commencing 3rd of April. Time ten days." Horses had never crossed half the American continent in ten days. Stage stations, such as Platte Bridge Station, became a Pony Express Station, each averaging 12.5 miles apart. At these stations, tired horses were exchanged for fresh ones. Riders stayed at home stations, some 40 to 70 miles apart.
Young riders signed on the ride because of this San Francisco advertisement:
Wanted skinny wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. WAGES $25 per week. Apply, Central Overland Express....
Despite death defying rigors of summer heat, winter blizzards and Indian attacks, riders anxiously awaited the Pony's first run on April 3rd. Mail pouches, relayed from pony to pony at each relay station, were shuttled across the 1900 mile expanse on schedule, with letters and telegrams delivered on April 13th. Although it lasted a mere 19 months, it shall forever remain one of the truly remarkable feats of the old west.