In a previous series of articles, I described the Nevada Pony Express Stations in western Nevada, starting from the west. These 16 stations were about half of the 34 Pony Express Stations in Nevada.
In the next series of articles, I will describe the
remainder of the Pony Express Stations in the eastern half of the state,
starting at the Nevada/Utah state line. Each article will describe about three
to five stations. The numbers in parentheses indicate the number of stations
from the Nevada/Utah State line. There will be about one Pony Express
article each month.
Prairie Gate/Eight Mile Station (1)
Prairie Gate or Eight Mile Station was the first Nevada Pony
Express Station when traveling west from the Nevada/Utah State line. It was
built a couple months after the trail opened to break up the long ride between
Utah’s westernmost station, Deep Creek, to Antelope Springs in Nevada. The
premature end of Antelope Springs also made Prairie Gate an integral stop.
Several notable sources list this as a Pony Express Station, even though it was
not listed on the 1861 mail contract and its exact location remains
unknown. The station possibly existed on the present-day Goshute Indian
Reservation or at Eight Mile Springs. It is believed this station was probably
erected after July 1861 and was part of the Pony Express Route for only
approximately three months.
Antelope Springs Station (2)
The Antelope Springs Station, which was listed on the 1861
mail contract, has been identified by several sources as a Pony Express
Station. It was the second Pony Express Station in Nevada when traveling
West from the Nevada/Utah State line. In 1859, George Chorpenning constructed this
station, that later became a Pony Express Station. On June 1, 1860,
Indians reportedly attacked the station and burned the structures. When English
traveler Richard Burton visited the site in late 1860, he found a corral, but
no new station house. Burton also noted that the station burned the previous
June. According to Burton, “the corral still stood; we found wood in
plenty, water was lying in an adjoining (creek) bottom, and we used the two to
brew our tea.” The station was not rebuilt until the Overland Stage and Mail
Company took over the line, after Burton’s Visit.
In 1976, a log structure with a flat roof, corral and two
sources of water remained at the station site. Authorities disagree on
whether the original station stood within the corral, or still exists as the
Spring Valley Station (3)
Though Spring Valley Station was not listed on the 1861 mail
contract as a station, and its exact location remains unknown, sources
generally agree on its identity as a Pony Express station. This was the third
pony Express Station when traveling west from the Nevada/Utah
line. This station did not exist when Richard Burton traveled through the
area on Oct. 5, 1860, however, the Pony Express did stop at a site somewhere in
the valley. Constant Dubail or a man named Reynal possibly served as
stationkeepers at Spring Valley. When Pony Express rider Elijah N. "Uncle
Nick" Wilson stopped at the station for something to eat, he found two
young boys managing the operations. While Wilson was there, several Indians
stole the station's horses. Wilson reportedly was killed when he tried to stop
The Overland Mail Co., line maintained a station in Spring
Valley until 1869, which also possibly served as a Pony Express stop after July
1861. The Overland station stood on property owned by Reed Robinson in 1976.
Foundations exist near a turn-of-the century stone house on the property.
Townley locates the Overland station site within the corrals, southwest of the
stone house. Another theory suggests that the station stood on the present
Henroid Ranch, an area that provided a shorter route to Antelope Springs
Station through the Antelope Mountains.
This article is by Dayton author and historian, Dennis Cassinelli. You can order his books at a discount on his blog at denniscassinelli.com.