Dennis Cassinelli: Eastern Nevada Pony Express stations part 3
In Part 2 of my series on Eastern Nevada Pony Express Stations, I described Schell Creek Station (4), Egan Canyon Station (5) and Butte Station (6). The numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of stations from the Utah State line. There will be one Pony Express Station article each month.
Mountain Springs Station (7)
The Mountain Springs Station is mentioned in the 1861 mail contract and most sources generally agree on the identity of Mountain Springs as a Pony Express Station site. This station, probably built in July 1861, served the Pony Express during its last few months of the year and the Overland Mail Co., line until 1869. There are no longer any original buildings on the site.
Ruby Valley Station (8)
Most sources acknowledge Ruby Valley as a Pony Express Station. The station began in 1859 as part of George Chorpenning’s mail route and later served the Pony Express and Overland Mail Co., line. William “Uncle Billy” Rogers and Frederick William Hurst managed station operations at Ruby Valley. Rogers served as stationkeeper when Richard Burton visited the site on October 7, 1860. When Burton visited the station, it was considered a half-way point between Salt Lake City and the Carson Valley.
The area’s rich soil provided excellent opportunities to raise food and hay for the other stations along the route. A band of Shoshone Indians and the U.S. Army also established a camp near the station at various times. Camp Floyd’s Company B of the 4th Artillery Regiment arrived at Ruby Valley in May 1860 to protect the mail route during the Pyramid Lake Wars and remained there until October 1860. Thereafter, the station’s name appeared on the 1861 mail contract list. As of 1979, a brass marker provided by the Northeastern Nevada Historical Society identified the station site.
Jacob’s Well Station (9)
Jacob’s Well is noted by many sources as a Pony Express station. The station did not exist when Richard Burton passed through the area on Oct. 8, 1860, but it was probably built a short time thereafter, or as part of the Overland Mail Co., contract. Gen. Frederick Jacobs and a crew of men dug a well and erected a small stone structure that served as a stop for both Pony Express riders and the Overland Mail Co., line. Very little, if any evidence of the station remains at the site today.
Dennis Cassinelli is a Dayton author and historian. You can order his books at a discount on his blog at denniscassinelli.com.