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Development grants easement for Pony Express

by Susie Vasquez

A portion of the historic Pony Express route which passes through Dayton’s new Riverpark development will be dedicated to the National Pony Express Association.

The 3.5-mile route winds along the north side of the Carson River. The easement should be in place by early June, when the Pony Express stages this years’ annual re-enactment, said Bob Becker, superintendent for Reynen & Bards Development.

The easement will transfer to the Pony Express in perpetuity, no matter who purchases the property, Becker said.

“Our company is both pleased and proud to do this,” he said. “Lots of history is disappearing in the name of development in Dayton. At some point, that has to stop.”

Larry McPherson, president of the National Pony Express Association, said the Pony Express re-enactment has been using a route along River Ranch Road and the historic Cardelli Ditch since 1978.

That route has been lost to development, but the new route through Riverpark more accurately reflects the original.

The easement will also save the Pony Express a four-mile detour to the north, he said.

The company purchased Dayton’s historic Rolling A Ranch several years ago, but the ranch house and outbuildings, including barn and corrals are still standing. No decision has been made concerning their fate, Becker said.

Established in 1978, the Pony Express Association is a nonprofit group of more than 700 members dedicated to creating a deeper appreciation of the Pony Express. The Association is best know for its annual re-ride.

Members dress in historic garb and furnish their own horses to ride the historic trail.

The Association also carries commemorative mail to communities holding celebrations and raises funds through the delivery of Christmas cards by Pony Express.

Designed to provide the fastest mail delivery between St. Joseph, Mo. and Sacramento, Calif., the Pony Express departed once a week from April 3 to June of 1860 and twice a week from June 1860 to October 1861.

Riders covered between 75 and 100 miles per trip, changing horses every 10-15 miles and the trip took 10 days in the summer. In the winter, it took 12-16 days.

Contact Susie Vasquez at svasquez@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.