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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near McGill in White Pine County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Pony Express

A Journey Across the American West

 
 
The Pony Express Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 30, 2013
1. The Pony Express Marker
Inscription.
Mail From Coast to Coast: During the mid-1800s, American settlers were on the move, relocating from crowded Eastern cities to the untamed wilderness of the West. Many made their way to California. With the surge of settlers, California began to thrive and emerge as a new center of commerce. Businesses and settlers in the West needed a fast way to correspond with their Eastern contemporaries. Recognizing a business opportunity, William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell established the Pony Express. The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2,000-mile trail between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860.

A Dangerous Ride: 120 young riders carried correspondence through dire conditions, bravely speeding across the prairies, mountains, and deserts with only the whip of the wind at their backs. The brave few faced freezing temperatures, limited supply lines, hostile Native Americans, and dangerous raiders. Many riders were killed while making the journey.

Exchanging Mail at Schell Creek Station: An individual rider did not typically carry the mail for more than 75 miles (or longer than a 24-hour journey). Swing stations and home stations were established to help the riders
Pony Express Route and Letters image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 30, 2013
2. Pony Express Route and Letters
Caption: Pony Express trail across Nevada. In letters marked like these, Pony Express riders carried new of Abraham Lincoln's election, the succession of the Southern States, and rumors of civil war to the information-hungry West. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society.)
make their way across the West. Swing stations were located 10-15 miles apart. At the swing station, a rider dismounted from his tired horse and quickly mounted a fresh horse ready to restart the journey. The exchanges were quick—never lasting more than two minutes—just long enough for the rider to take a quick drink and swing the mochila over the saddle of his new horse. This spot marks the swing station at Schell Creek (Pony Express Station 128). Westbound riders would have reached the station on the seventh or eighth day of the mail's ten-day journey.

The Pony is Replaced: As telegraph lines moved across the West, the Pony Express became obsolete. Schell Creek Station outgrew its purpose. The area was renamed Schellbourne and instead of welcoming dusty, trail-worn Pony Express riders, a small mining community of 400 persons occupied the area.
 
Erected by Nevada Department of Transportation.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pony Express National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 39° 47.84′ N, 114° 44.462′ W. Marker is near McGill, Nevada, in White Pine County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of U.S. 93 and White Pine County Road 18 (Route 893), on the right when traveling
Pony Express Recruitment Poster image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 30, 2013
3. Pony Express Recruitment Poster
Caption: Re-creation of reported Pony Express recruitment poster.
north. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Schellbourne Rest Area. Marker is in this post office area: Mc Gill NV 89318, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Lincoln Highway (here, next to this marker); Schellbourne: Gateway to the Goshute Nation (here, next to this marker); Schellbourne (a few steps from this marker); The Crowds Cheered On ... (a few steps from this marker); Speedy Riders (a few steps from this marker); Strength and Endurance (within shouting distance of this marker); Cherry Creek (approx. 10 miles away); Cherry Creek School (approx. 10.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McGill.
 
Categories. CommunicationsRoads & Vehicles
 
Mochila image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 30, 2013
4. Mochila
Caption: Riders used mochila (saddlebags) to carry 34,753 pieces of mail across 616,000 miles. During the nineteen months of operation, there were just two accounts of lost mail. (Illustration by Scott Fisher.)
The Pony Express Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 30, 2013
5. The Pony Express Marker
National Pony Express Centennial Association Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall
6. National Pony Express Centennial Association Trail Marker
Located near Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 29, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 366 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 29, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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