Pony Express
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Chapter Six:
DIVISION THREE: STATIONS BETWEEN HORSESHOE CREEK AND SALT LAKE CITY (continued)

WYOMING (Continued)

60. ELK HORN STATION

L.C. Bishop and Paul Henderson on their "Map of California-Oregon-Mormon Emigrant Roads Featuring the Pony Express 1860-1861, as well as the Overland Mail Company contract of 1861, list Elk Horn as the first station west of Horseshoe Creek. However, neither resource provides an exact location for this station. On the other hand, Gregory Franzwa in his Maps of the Oregon Trail identified Elk Horn Station, but he did not specifically designate it as a Pony Express Station. [1]

61. LA BONTE STATION

The next station after Elk Horn was probably La Bonte Station, which several sources agree was a Pony Express station. [2] In August 1860, for an unknown reason, the route apparently changed to include La Bonte as a station. Little existed at the site before that, except for a stock corral. [3] Stagecoaches also stopped at La Bonte but used a separate site from the Pony Express station. [4] The station's exact location has not been identified yet.

62. BED TICK STATION

The 1861 Overland Mail Company contract listed Bed Tick as a passenger/mail station stop, and Bishop and Henderson placed Bed Tick as a station on their map between Fort Fetterman and Lapierelle (La Prele). The only other resource that identifies Bed Tick as a potential Pony Express station is Gregory Franzwa who noted Bed Tick Station in his Oregon Trail maps. However, Franzwa did not specifically identify it as a Pony Express stop. [5]

63. LAPIERELLE/LA PRELE STATION

The 1861 Overland Mail Company contract also listed Lapierelle as a passenger/mail station stop, which Bishop and Henderson listed as Lapierelle (La Prele)—a station between Bed Tick and Box Elder. Franzwa also identifies a La Prele Station on his maps, but he does not specifically cite it as a Pony Express site. [6]

64. BOX ELDER (CREEK) STATION

Little is known about the history of Box Elder Creek Station other than several sources agree that it served as a Pony Express station. [7] A man named Wheeler managed station operations at Box Elder, which probably also served as a passenger/mail stage stop under the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. Franzwa does not indicate that Box Elder Station served specifically as a Pony Express station, but he plotted a station with this name on his maps. [8]

65. DEER CREEK STATION

Several sources agree on the identity of Deer Creek as a station for the Pony Express, largely because it appeared on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. Stagecoaches and other travelers stopped here as well. [9] Structures at Deer Creek included Indian Agent Major Twiss' headquarters, a post office, a store, and a saloon operated by an Indian trader named Bisonette. [10] The station's exact location has not fully been identified yet.

66. LITTLE MUDDY STATION

Raymond and Mary Settle, noted historians and experts on the Pony Express, and one other source identify Little Muddy as the next station west of Deer Creek Station. [11] The stone station, erected without mortar, reportedly stood ten miles west of Deer Creek. [12] However, its exact location has not been identified.

67. BRIDGER STATION

The Overland Mail Company contract of 1861, as well as Bishop and Henderson, identify Bridger as the station between Deer Creek and North Platte/Fort Casper. Franzwa also specifically mentions the site as a Pony Express station and locates it on his maps. [13]

68. PLATTE BRIDGE/NORTH PLATTE STATION

According to Raymond and Mary Settle, in 1859, Louis Guenot built Platte Bridge Station at a cost of $40,000 and then served as its manager. [14] Several additional sources name North Platte or (Fort) Casper as a station, largely because this name appears on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [15] Other sources mention Platte Bridge Station, on the North Platte River, as the site of this station. Franzwa locates Platte Bridge near Fort Caspar on his maps, but he does not identify either site specifically as a Pony Express station. [16]

69. RED BUTTE(S) STATION

Sources generally agree on the identity of Red Butte(s) as a C.O.C. & P.P. Express Co. or Pony Express station, also largely because this name appears on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [17] Franzwa specifically lists Red Buttes as a Pony Express stop on his maps. [18]

70. WILLOW SPRINGS STATION

Many sources identify Willow Springs as a station, including the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [19] The Hendersons located this station approximately twenty-eight miles southwest of current-day Casper, Wyoming. [20] According to the Settles, the site at one time consisted of a crude structure without a corral, and it served as a home station for stage lines and a relay station for riders. [21] Franzwa notes Willow Springs in his Oregon Trail maps but does not specifically identify it as a Pony or stage station. [22] Records for the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell document the Pony Express station entitled "Willow Springs." In 1862, the stage line route via Fort Laramie and the Great South Pass was abandoned for a more southern trail through Bridger's Pass. Thus, within several years, the building at Willow Springs became obsolete and began to collapse from decay. [23]

71. HORSE/GREESEWOOD CREEK STATION

Several sources list Horse Creek as a station, including the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [24] Gregory Franzwa specifically identifies Horse Creek as a Pony Express station in his Oregon Trail maps. [25] Little more is known about this station site.

72. SWEETWATER STATION

Several sources identify Sweetwater as a station. [26] Sweetwater existed as a Pony Express station until the summer of 1860, when officials abandoned the site in favor of Split Rock. [27] Nevertheless, for some unknown reason, it still appeared on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [28] Franzwa does not specifically identify the site as a Pony Express station. [29]

73. DEVIL'S GATE STATION*

A couple of sources identify Devil's Gate as a station, [30] however, Bishop and Henderson noted on their map that the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract did not list the site as part of the official route. [31] Franzwa locates Devil's Gate Stage Station just south of the Devil's Gate rock formation. [32]

74. PLANT'S/PLANTE STATION

L.C. Bishop and Paul Henderson list Plant's or Plante as a station between Devil's Gate and Split Rock. Franzwa and the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract specifically identifies Plant(e)'s as a Pony Express station. [33] Little more is known about this station site.

75. SPLIT ROCK STATION

Most sources generally agree on the identity of this station, probably because it appears on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [34] A French-Canadian named Plante managed operations at the station, known by the stationkeeper's name or the natural formation off to the northeast. [35] Gregory Franzwa does not specifically list Split Rock Station as a Pony Express site, although he does mark it on his maps. [36] As late as 1988, a marker stood on the north side of U.S. 287/789, which read:

Split Rock. A famous natural landmark! used by Indians, Trappers, and! emigrants on the Oregon Trail.! Site of Split Rock Pony Express! 1860-1861, stage, and telegraph! station is on the south side of the Sweetwater.! Split Rock can be seen as a! cleft in the top of the Rattlesnake Range. [37]

76. THREE CROSSINGS STATION

Sources generally agree on the identity of this site as a Pony Express station, probably because it appeared on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [38] However, Gregory Franzwa identifies separate stage and Pony stations at Three Crossings, locating the Pony Express station site west of the stage station. [39] According to one source, an English Mormon couple with the last name of Moore managed station operations at Three Crossings, a home station for both stage lines and Pony Express riders. [40]

77. ICE SLOUGH/ICE SPRINGS STATION

Bishop and Henderson, as well as the mail contract of 1861, identify Ice Slough or Ice Springs as a C.O.C. & P.P. Express Co. station between Three Crossings and Warm Springs. [41] Other sources do not list the slough as a station, but they mention its nearly year-round ice as a well-known landmark. [42] Franzwa locates Ice Spring and Ice Slough separately in his Oregon Trail maps, but he does not list either site as a Pony Express station. [43]

78. WARM SPRINGS STATION

Several sources identify Warm Springs as a station and Gregory Franzwa specifically names Warm Springs as a Pony Express site. He locates it on the Seminoe Cutoff from the Oregon Trail. [44]

79. ROCKY RIDGE/ST. MARY'S STATION

The 1861 Overland Mail Company contract listed this station site as Rocky Ridge, [45] but apparently the station was also known as St. Mary's. Several sources identify Rocky Ridge as a station site. Bishop and Henderson place the station between Warm Springs and Rock Creek, while James Pierson locates it between Rock Creek and South Pass. [46] Franzwa describes Rocky Ridge as a "desolate" summit in his Oregon Trail maps, but he does not identify any station site there. [47] On the other hand, Franzwa does list St. Mary's Station in his Oregon Trail maps, but he does not specifically identify the site as a Pony Express stop. He places St. Mary's between Warm Springs Station and Rocky Ridge. Whereas, James Pierson identifies St. Mary's as a station between Three Crossings and Rock Creek. [48]

80. ROCK CREEK STATION

Several sources list Rock Creek as a station, which also appears on the 1861 contract. However, these sources disagree about its exact location. [49] Bishop and Henderson place the station between Rocky Ridge (after Warm Springs) and Upper Sweetwater/South Pass. [50] Since Franzwa also places a Pony Express station named Strawberry Station between Rocky Ridge and Upper Sweetwater, it was probably the same site. [51] The Settles identify Rock Creek as a station between Warm Springs and South Pass, while Pierson lists it between St. Mary's and Rocky Ridge. [52] Finally, Loving and Bloss locate Rock Creek between Split Rock and Three Crossings. [53]

81. UPPER SWEETWATER/SOUTH PASS STATION

Sources refer to this site as either Upper Sweetwater or South Pass Station but generally they agree on its identity as a station. [54] Two French-Canadians managed station operations at South Pass, near the Continental Divide. [55] Franzwa indicates South Pass in his Oregon Trail maps and specifically identifies Upper Sweetwater Pony Express Station several miles northeast of the pass. 56

82. PACIFIC SPRINGS STATION

Pacific Springs is identified as a station in several sources. [57] Located approximately two miles west of the Continental Divide, Pacific Springs served as a relay station for both stage lines and the Pony Express. [58] Franzwa lists Pacific Springs in his Oregon Trail maps, but he does not identify it as any type of station. [59] The British traveler, Richard Burton, in his narrative mentioned that the stage road crossed Pacific Creek two miles below Pacific Springs, and no doubt Pony Express riders followed the same path. [60]

83. DRY SANDY STATION

Sources generally agree on the identity of Dry Sandy as a relay station, although it is not mentioned as a station on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [61] A young Mormon couple managed station operations at Dry Sandy Station, which Franzwa specifically identifies as a Pony Express site. [62]

84. LITTLE SANDY CREEK STATION

Bishop and Henderson, the U.S. mail contract of 1861, and Pierson identified Little Sandy as a relay station between Dry Sandy and Big Sandy Station. [63] Little Sandy Creek, according to Richard Burton, was near the junction of the Great Salt Lake Road and on the road to Fort Hall, Idaho. [64]

85. BIG SANDY STATION

Several sources identify Big Sandy as a relay station for the Pony Express, including the U.S. mail contract of 1861. [65] When Burton passed through the area, he noted that Big Sandy Creek was a resting stop for the stagecoach and that it was about twenty-nine miles from their previous stop at Pacific Creek. Apparently, a Mormon couple operated Big Sandy Station. [66]

86. BIG TIMBER STATION

Bishop and Henderson, as well as the U.S. mail contract of 1861, list Big Timber as a station between Big Sandy Creek and Green River. Gregory Franzwa places this station just east of the Slate Creek Cutoff to the Sublette Cutoff, but he does not specifically identify Big Timber Station as a Pony Express site. [67] Little more is known about this station.

87. GREEN RIVER (CROSSING) STATION

Key sources generally agree on the identity of Green River as a station, near an early fording area of the river. [68] Green River served as a home station for both the stage lines and Pony riders. [69] Richard Burton discusses the Green River Station at great length in his travel journal. [70]

88. MICHAEL MARTIN'S STATION

Several notable sources identify Michael Martin's as a station, including Gregory Franzwa, who places it on his Oregon Trail maps as approximately ten or so miles southwest of Green River Station. [71] Michael Martin, a French-Canadian, managed station operations at his trading post, where he sold a wide variety of items. [72] Richard Burton mentions that Michael Martin had a store there, and that in 1860 his stage stopped there for a short rest, making it highly likely that the Pony Express stopped there. [73] However, Bishop and Henderson point out that the 1861 U. S. mail contract did not identify it as a station, [74]indicating it may have been eliminated as a station by March 1861.

89. HAM'S FORK STATION

Historical sources agree on the identity of Ham's Fork as a station, including the 1861 mail contract. [75] David Lewis, a Scottish Mormon, managed station operations with his two wives and large family. [76] Franzwa lists Ham's Fork Crossing in his Oregon Trail maps, but he does not specifically identify it as any type of station. [77]

90. CHURCH BUTTE(S) STATION*

James Pierson lists Church Buttes as a relay station, while Gregory Franzwa mentions the Church Butte Stage Station, but makes no connection between it and the Pony Express. [78] Bishop and Henderson note that the 1861 U. S. mail contract does not list Church Butte as a station. [79]

91. MILLERSVILLE STATION

Several sources pinpoint Millersville as a station, including the 1861 mail contract. [80] The station received its name from A. B. Miller, a partner of William Russell and William Waddell. A Mormon named Holmes ran a trading post at the site, and also managed station operations there. [81] In his research, Franzwa mentions Millersville Stage Station which shared its facilities with the Pony Express. [82]

92. FORT BRIDGER: NR, 4/16/69, 69000197

Fort Bridger is identified as a station site by several sources, but these resources disagree about its function as a Pony Express station. [83] Raymond and Mary Settle suggest that the fort did not serve as a Pony or stage station because there was insufficient grazing land on the government's property. According to them, riders probably stopped briefly to get the mail at Judge W. A. Carter's store and post office before heading to Muddy Creek Station. [84] Pierson, however, argues that a station existed in the fort's quartermaster building. In 1857, General A. S. Johnston's Army of Utah established winter quarters at the fort and maintained a supply contract with the freighting firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell's—the same firm that operated the Pony Express. This connection, according to Pierson, provides a logical reason for a Pony Express station to exist at Fort Bridger. [85] Franzwa lists Fort Bridger in his Oregon Trail maps, but the trail historian does not identify it as a stage or Pony Express station. [86]

93. MUDDY CREEK STATION

Several sources identify Muddy or Muddy Creek as a station, including the 1861 contract. [87] A French-Canadian and his English wife served as stationkeepers. [88] Little more is known about the station.

94. QUAKING ASP/ASPEN/SPRINGS STATION

Quaking Aspen or Quaking Asp Springs has been identified as a station in a few sources, probably because it is listed on the 1861 Overland Mail Company contract. [89] The Settles mention Quaking Asp, but do not specifically identify it as a station. [90] Most sources place the site between Muddy Creek and Bear River Stations, but for some unknown reason, Roy Bloss identifies Quaking Asp Creek between Horse Creek and South Pass. [91]

95. BEAR RIVER STATION

Though the U.S. mail contract and several other sources identify Bear River as the next station, the exact location of this site is currently unknown. [92] According to the Settles, a Mormon named Myers managed station operations there. [93] Bear River Station was the last Pony Express station within the state of Wyoming.


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Last Updated: 17-Jan-2008