Pony Express
Historic Resource Study
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Chapter Seven:

UTAH (Continued)


Richard F. Fike and John W. Headley locate this first station site west of Salt Lake City nine miles south of the Salt Lake House. The station once stood on State Street in an area referred to as Lovendahl's Corner. [1] Some sources generally identify this first relay station as Trader's Rest or Traveler's Rest. [2] The 1861 mail contract identified Trader's Rest Station, where Absalom Smith managed station operations. After the Pony Express era, someone added wood siding and a false front to the adobe building to convert it into a business establishment. The building was also used as a garage prior to its destruction sometime before 1979. [3]


Sources generally refer to the station as Rockwell or Rockwell's, named after Orin Porter Rockwell, a Mormon Danite in Missouri and former bodyguard for Brigham Young in the 1830s, [4]who was the stationkeeper at the stone structure. [5] Kate B. Carter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers disagrees about Rockwell's role as stationkeeper, arguing that he served as a special agent for the Overland Mail Company during the Pony Express era and then acted as Brigham Young's bodyguard. [6]


The 1861 mail contract referred to Dugout as a station, but sources also list it as Joe's Dug Out, Joe Dugout, Joe's Dugout, Joes Dugout, and Joe Butchers. [7] Joseph Dorton managed operations there and ran a grocery at the adobe station, which also served as a stop for the stage lines. Station structures also included Dorton's two-room brick home, log barn, and a dugout for Dorton's young Indian helper. [8] Dorton dug a deep well near the site, hoping to find a reliable source of water. According to Kate Carter, the well failed and led to the eventual abandonment of Dugout as a station site. [9]


Identified as Camp Floyd in the 1861 mail contract, this station had various other names including Fairfield, Fort Crittendon or Crittenden, Carson's Inn, and Cedar City. [10] The settlement of Fairfield began in Cedar Valley in 1858, when John Carson, John Williams, William Beardshall, John Clegg, and others built homes and a protective enclosure called Cedar City Fort. John Carson built an adobe inn that same year, which served as a station for both Pony Express riders and stage lines. In 1858, General A. S. Johnston and his troops established a fort near Fairfield, which they named in honor of John B. Floyd, Secretary of War. [11] Troops stayed at the Camp Floyd until early in the Civil War, when they headed east to join the fighting. After Secretary of War Floyd joined the Confederacy, Union officials renamed the Utah garrison Fort Crittenden. [12]

The adobe station existed as late as 1979, with a wooden facade, under the protection of the Utah Parks system. [13]


Fike and Headley locate this dugout station ten miles southwest of Camp Floyd. Although the 1861 mail contract did not identify East Rush Valley as a station, it apparently received a lot of travelers from the military road just south of the site. Local people also knew the station as Pass and Five Mile Pass. In 1979, a depression identified the site where the dugout stood. [14] Several other sources also list East Rush Valley as Pass Station, the Pass, and Five Mile Pass, located between Camp Floyd (or Fort Crittenden) and Rush Valley. [15] In 1965, a monument with a plaque donated by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers marked the station site. [16]


Fike and Headley place this station eight and three-fourths miles from East Rush Valley. The 1861 mail contract probably mistakenly identified this station as Bush Valley. 17 Other sources list the stone station as Rush Valley, Bush Valley, Faust's, Doc Faust's, and Meadow Creek. [18] George Chorpenning erected the station in 1858. [19] Henry J. "Doc" Faust later purchased the land as a ranch and raised horses for the Pony Express and later military operations. [20] Faust served as stationkeeper during the Pony Express era and lived on the land until 1870, when he moved to Salt Lake City and went into the livery business. [21] Kate B. Carter identifies Rush Valley as the first home station west of Salt Lake City and notes that the valley and station received their names from a body of water lined with bullrushes in the north end of the valley. [22]

As late as 1978, the stone station house and a cemetery still existed on private land. A misplaced marker also stands north of the site. [23]


The 1861 mail contract listed this station as Point Lookout, and other sources also identify the site as Lookout Pass and Jackson's. [24] A Mr. Jackson served as stationkeeper at Point Lookout, which saw Pony Express operations halted in June and July of 1860 because of the Pyramid Lake War. In 1876 Horace and Libby Rockwell lived in a log house at the site, which Fike and Headley suggest had possibly served as the station. In 1979, the Rockwells' pet cemetery, enclosed by a metal fence, still existed south of the station site. [25]


Fike and Headley list this station eight miles from Point Lookout. Also known as Davis Station and Government Well, because the army dug a well at the site, the station's function on the Pony Express route remains uncertain because it did not appear on the 1861 government contract. A rock foundation still existed at the site as late as 1978. In late 1861, David E. "Pegleg" Davis operated a telegraph station at Government Creek. This telegraph station operated until 1869. Fike and Headley suggest the telegraph office came to Government Creek because buildings already existed there. [26]


The 1861 mail contract listed Simpson's Springs as a route site, which other sources also identify as Pleasant Springs, Egan's Springs, and Lost Springs. [27] Fike and Headley place this station eight miles west of Government Creek. [28] George Chorpenning found the site promising in 1851, with a good source of water, and stone structures were erected soon thereafter. These structures probably housed Pony Express and stage operations, after Russell, Majors, and Waddell and the Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company assumed the Chorpenning contract in May 1860. George Dewees managed the station. [29] The station received its name from J. H. Simpson, a Camp Floyd topographical engineer who in 1859 laid out an acceptable route from Salt Lake City to Carson Valley. [30]

Activities at Simspon's Springs declined after the Pony Express and stage eras until the 1890s, when miners and other travelers began stopping at the site on their way to and from the Gold Mill area. During that time the Walters and Mulliner Stage Company adapted the rock station for its use, and other structures went up at the site. Dewey and Clara Anderson built a home about 1895, and someone else operated a log grocery store there. The Anderson home burned about 1957. [31]

In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp west of the Simpson's Springs station site. In 1965, a monument was placed to mark the station site. [32] Thereafter, in the 1970s, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revitalized the area as a camping spot, and in 1975, BLM and Future Farmers of America finished reconstructing the rock station. [33]


Sources generally agree on the identity of the site, listed as Riverbed in the 1861 mail contract, although for an unknown reason Mabel Loving cites it as Redbed. [34] Fike and Headley identify this station eight miles west of Simpson's Springs. [35] William F. Horsepool, Oscar Quinn, and George Wright managed operations at the vertical log structure, named for its location in a dry riverbed. [36]

The Civilian Conservation Corps erected a monument at the site about 1939 or 1940. [37]


Most sources agree on the identity of this station, listed as Dugway in the 1861 mail contract. [38] Fike and Headley place this site ten and one-half miles from River Bed Station. [39] A dugout with an adobe chimney probably served as the main structure at the station, noted for its three deep wells and lack of water. Someone hauled water from Simpson's Springs to Dugway on a regular basis. Dugway also experienced some activity in the 1890s as a stopping point for the Walters and Mulliner Stage Line from Fairfield to Ibapah. As late as 1979, a monument marked the station site area. [40]


Fike and Headley list this station thirteen and three-fourths miles from Dugway. [41] Several sources identify Black Rock or Blackrock as a station between Dugway and Fish Springs, although Fike and Headley add Butte and Desert Station as alternative names. [42] The exact location of the station, originally known as Butte or Desert, remains unknown. The Overland Mail Company may have erected a stone structure near the Blackrock volcanic formation after July 1861, but its connection with the Pony Express is uncertain because it did not appear on the 1861 mail contract. A damaged monument marks the general area of the station site. [43]


Fike and Headley identify this station ten miles from Black Rock Station. [44] Sources generally list the station as Fish Springs, including the 1861 mail contract. Fike and Headley also add Smith Springs and Fresh Springs as alternative names. [45] Named for the abundant small fish that lived in the warm mineral springs nearby, Raymond and Mary Settle list two men at the station, [46] whereas Fike and Headley identify a Mr. Smith as the stationkeeper at the stone station. [47] In later years John Thomas owned a ranch that included the station site. The ranch buildings stood until the 1930s, and the site existed in 1979 as part of the Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge. [48] The station's present-day status and condition are not known.


Sources generally list the station as Boyd or Boyd's, although Fike and Headley also suggest Butte and Desert as alternative names for this potential Pony Express station, although it does not appear on the 1861 mail contract. [49] The Settles describe Boyd's Station as "a single room log hut," which does not agree with Fike and Headley's interpretation. [50] They suggest that Bid Boyd managed station operations at a stone structure and lived on the site into the twentieth century.

Boyd's exists today as one of Utah's best-preserved Pony Express stations, maintained, protected, and interpreted by the BLM. [51]


The location of the Willow Springs station, identified in the 1861 mail contract, remains controversial. Fike and Headley identify this site eight miles from Boyd's Station. A photograph from 1868 shows the Willow Springs stage station and adobe ruins next to it that possibly served as the Pony Express station. [52] According to Fike and Headley, a foundation that possibly supported the Willow Springs stable exists "approximately 100 feet northeast of F. J. Kearney's boarding house [still standing in 1978] . . . [and] 3/4 mile east of the structure popularly known as the station house." [53]

Terral King notes that the town of Callao now surrounds the Willow Springs Station site. In 1965 a monument stood near the gate to the Bagley Ranch, and preserved buildings associated with the Pony Express were painted red. [54]

Other sources also refer to Willow Springs as a station but they do not agree on its location. Several sources place it between Boyd's and Canyon/Burnt Station. [55] Bloss lists Willow Springs between Canyon Station and Deep Creek Station. [56]


Fike and Headley locate this controversial station six miles from Willow Springs. They and the Settles are the only sources to list Willow Creek as a Pony Express stop. [57] If it was a stop, then Pete Joyce's cabin on Six-Mile Creek possibly served as the station. [58] Little more is known about the station.


The exact location of this station site remains unknown. Sources generally list the site as Canyon or Burnt Station. [59] Howard Egan built the original Canyon Station for the Pony Express, possibly near Overland or Blood Canyon or on Clifton Flat. The site's structures possibly included a dugout, stable, and log house. Fike and Headley suggest that a Civilian Conservation Corps marker incorrectly identifies the station site location. [60]

In 1863, two years after the Pony Express ended, Indians attacked Canyon Station, killing the residents, and burning the buildings. That same year, workers built a round, fortress-like structure above the mouth of Overland Canyon to replace the burned station. Local people distinguished between the two stations by referring to the burned station site as Burnt or Burnout, and the replacement as Round Station. Confusion occasionally arises from the reference to Canyon Station, but the second station, built after 1863, had nothing to do with the Pony Express. [61]


In the noted English traveller Richard Burton's account, he described the site as "two huts and a station-house, a large and respectable-looking building of unburnt brick, surrounded by fenced fields, water-courses, and stacks of good adobe." Burton also noted that a Mormon named Harrison Sevier acted as the stationkeeper. [62] Sources generally agree on the identity of this station, sometimes known as Egan's. [63] Major Howard Egan, Division Superintendent of stations from Salt Lake City to Roberts Creek, apparently maintained a home ranch at Deep Creek, which produced hay, grain, beef, and mutton for other stations along the route. [64] Substantial structures at Deep Creek Station included Egan's home, a barn, and an adobe station, kept by Howard Egan, Mathew Orr, and Harrison Sevier. [65]

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Last Updated: 17-Jan-2008