Pony Express
Historic Resource Study
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Chapter Six:



The Needles/Needle Rock Station is presumably located near the Salt Lake Meridian line. Little is known about this station, other than its identification as Needle Rock in the 1861 mail contract. [94] Other sources also identify this site as a station, variously known as "The Needles," "Needle Rock," and "Needle Rocks." [95]


Richard E. Fike and John W. Headley identify the station as Head of Echo Canyon mentioned in the 1861 mail contract as Castle Rock, and/or Frenchies. Castle Rock refers to a sandstone geological formation near to the head of the canyon. Apparently a man named Frenchie served as stationkeeper at the log structure, which a French trapper purchased and moved to another site in 1867. [96] Other sources identify Echo Canyon as the station site as well. Bishop and Henderson, Loving, and Pierson list Echo Canyon as the first station west of Needle Rock, but give no exact locations. [97]


A man named Daniels served as stationkeeper at Halfway Station, which was listed as the third Utah station in the 1861 mail contract. Local people also knew the station as Daniels or Emery. [98] Bishop and Henderson also identify Half Way as a station between Head of Echo Canyon and Weber. [99]


This site appears on the 1861 mail contract. [100] James E. Bromley, division superintendent for stations between Pacific Springs, Wyoming, and Salt Lake City, managed the station operations at Weber Station. The stone station house and other structures there housed a general store, inn, saloon, blacksmith shop, jail, and later, a hotel at this site. In 1868, the Union Pacific Railroad bought the station and surrounding property to establish Echo City. [101] The Settles mention Weber as a stone stage and Pony station, built in 1853, at the mouth of Echo Canyon. The station maintained a large supply of food for man and beast in the form of locally grown vegetables and wild hay. [102] Apparently, the station house stood until 1931, when workers demolished it for safety reasons. [103]

Several other sources identify Weber as a Pony Express station, but they do not agree on its location. Bishop and Henderson locate the site between Half Way and Wheaton Springs (exact location unknown). [104] Bloss places Weber between Needles and Carson House (exact location unknown). [105] Pierson identifies the station between Hanging Rock (exact location unknown) and Henefer (exact location unknown). [106] Kate B. Carter, of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, also mentions Weber Station at the mouth of Echo Canyon. [107] Pierson identifies Hanging Rock as a station between Echo Canyon and Weber. [108] However, Fike and Headley list Hanging Rock as another name for Weber Station. [109]


After leaving Weber Station, under normal traveling conditions, Pony Express riders crossed Forney's Bridge over the Weber River and rode through Bachelors Canyon to Dixie Hollow. When high water and snow made the normal route unsafe, riders followed the valley to the Brimville Emergency Station, also known as Henneforville (Henefer, Utah). From Brimville, riders reached Dixie Hollow by way of Little East Canyon. [110] Pierson identifies Henefer as a station between Weber and Dixie Creek. [111] This site does not appear on the 1861 mail contract, [112] and probably was used infrequently.


A few sources identify Carson House as a station. Bloss and the Settles place the site between Weber and Dixie Creek. [113] According to the Settles, in the summer of 1860, two young Mormons managed station operations at the newly-built station. [114] However, it should be pointed out that this site does not appear on the 1861 mail contract. [115]


Identified in the 1861 mail contract, local people also knew East Canyon Station as Dixie Hollow, Dixie Creek, Bauchmanns, and Snyder's Mill. Mr. Bauchmann and James McDonald managed station operations at the stone structure. Travelers and sheepherders used the station site as late as 1881. Today, the East Canyon Reservoir covers the historic site. [116] Bishop and Henderson listed East Canyon as a station between Wheaton Springs and Mountain Dale. [117]

Several other sources identify Dixie Creek as a station. Bloss locates the station between Carson House and Snyder's Mill. [118] The Settles mention the site as a relay station before Big Mountain. [119] Pierson places Dixie Creek between Henefer and Big Canyon, while Carter identifies the site somewhere between Weber and Bauchmann's. [120] Kate B. Carter also identifies Bauchmann's as a station somewhere between Dixie Creek and Mountain Dell. [121]

In 1853, according to Fike and Headley, Snyder's Settlement (Snyderville) and Snyder's Sawmill sprang up several miles south of the Snyder residence. When Captain Albert Tracy spent a night at Snyder's home (between 1858 and 1860), he mistakenly identified it as Snyder's Mill. [122] Several other sources mention Snyder's Mill as a station. Loving places it between Echo Canyon and Daniels, while Bloss locates the site between Dixie Creek and Big Canyon. [123] The Settles identify Snyder's Mill, also known as Big Canyon, at the foot of Big Mountain's western slope. Ephraim Hanks, a Mormon Danite and relative of Abraham Lincoln, managed station operations there. [124]


The Wheaton Springs Station, also known as Winston Springs, was identified in the 1861 mail contract, [125] and Bishop and Henderson identify Wheaton Springs as a station between Weber and East Canyon. [126]


Fike and Headley suggest two possible locations for this site. The traditional site is located eight and three-fourths miles from Wheaton Springs. A second possible site exists at the mouth of present Freeze Creek. The 1861 mail contract referred to this station as Mountain Dale, but it was also known as Mountain Dell, Big Canyon, and Hanks. Ephraim Hanks served as stationkeeper at the log structure. A vandalized marker stood near the traditional site in 1979. [127]

Mattie Little, daughter of Pony Express rider George Edwin Little, wrote:

One day father was bringing in the mail from the east to the station at Mountain Dell. There was a heavy snow storm came up and crossing over Little Mountain, the snow became so heavy and deep that his horse gave out and he had to leave him. He took his pocket knife and cut the mail pouches open putting the mail inside his shirt. Then he broke trail over to Mountain Dell, arriving there at 3 [a.m.]. The next morning he rode a horse bareback to Salt Lake and delivered the mail to the Old Salt Lake House which was the home station. Ephraim Hanks his stepfather road back up to the canyon next morning and brought in the horse. . . . [128]

Several other sources mention Mountain Dell or Mountain Dale as the relay station before Salt Lake City. Bishop and Henderson identify the site as Mountain Dale, while others refer to it as Mountain Dell. [129]

Fike and Headley identify Big Canyon as another name for the Mountain Dell/Dale Station. [130] Several other sources identify Big Canyon as a station. Bloss places Big Canyon Creek between Snyder's Mill and Salt Lake City, while Pierson locates the site between Dixie Creek and Mountain Dell. [131] The Settles, as mentioned earlier, called the station Big Canyon or Snyder's Mill.


Salt Lake City was a home station and the last station in Division Three of the Pony Express. [132] This station was listed in the 1861 mail contract as Salt Lake House. The wood frame structure, kept by A. B. Miller, stood at present 143 South Main, the site of the Salt Lake Tribune offices in 1979. [133] The Salt Lake House served as a home station for both stage lines and Pony Express riders. This building stood on the east side of Main Street, between First and Second South, in Salt Lake City. [134]

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Last Updated: 17-Jan-2008