Historical marker on US 36
South of Hollenberg, Washington County

Beginning in 1860 the Pony Express operated like a giant relay race between the Missouri river and the Pacific coast. Along the Oregon trail, through Forts Laramie and Bridger, around the Great Salt Lake, riders carried the mail through a wilderness infested with hostile tribes. Their mounts were Indian ponies, nearly 500 altogether, kept in relay stations 15 miles apart. At each station two minutes was allowed for transferring saddlebags to a fresh pony. Every few stations a new rider took over. Day and night, summer and winter, over sun-baked plains and icy mountain trails, the schedule was maintained. When the trans- continental telegraph line replaced the express, ponies and riders had made the remarkable record of 18 months with only one mail lost. The Hollenberg or Cottonwood Ranch House four miles north, built in 1857, is said to be the only original and unaltered Pony Express station. It is now owned by the state.

Erected by the Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission

Marker text sent by Mike LeMasters, Wichita, KS

More  Historical Markers

June 2, 1997 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

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