LOCAL NEWS

Pony Express to hit stops in Utah on commemorative ride of historic route

Jun 23, 2024, 10:24 AM | Updated: 11:54 am

The Pony Express Monument at this is the Place Heritage Park. Pony Express 150th anniversary. Tuesd...

The Pony Express Monument at this is the Place Heritage Park. Pony Express 150th anniversary. Tuesday, May 18, 2010. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Riders with the National Pony Express Association embarked on a “re-ride” of the historic and legendary route starting in St. Joseph, Missouri, and its riders are scheduled to hit eight different locations in Utah on Sunday.

History

The Pony Express was a route staked out and utilized for mail delivery between April 1860 and October 1861. The route spanned over 1,800 miles, eight states, and connected the East to the West after a giant exodus of pioneers took on the Oregon Trail, the pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled in Utah in 1847, and the 1849 Gold Rush.

According to the National Park Service, there was an ad listed in the Sacramento Union newspaper on March 19, 1860:

“Men Wanted”

The undersigned wishes to hire ten or a dozen men, familiar with the management of horses, as hostlers, or riders on the Overland Express Route via Salt Lake City. Wages $50 per month and found.

In the end, Congress authorized a bill that subsidized the construction of a transcontinental telegraph that would connect the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast. The Pony Express was officially terminated on Oct. 26, 1861, and the last letters were delivered the following November.

Stops in Utah

The re-ride will make the following stops in Utah on Sunday, June 23:

  • 10:30 a.m. — This Is the Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City
  • 11:30 a.m. — Murray City Park, Murray
  • 2 p.m. — 14400 S. Redwood Rd., Bluffdale
  • 2:40 p.m. — Crossroads Blvd and Redwood Road, Lehi
  • 3:40 p.m. — Pony Express Memorial Park, Eagle Mountain
  • 4 p.m. — Camp Floyd State Park, Fairfield
  • 5:30 p.m. — Pony Express Monument, Faust
  • 8:30 p.m. — Simpson Springs Pony Express Station, Simpson Springs

The re-ride will be fully completed over the course of 10 days, which is the same amount of time historically riders were able to complete the route. Over 750 riders participate and mail approximately 1,000 letters each year. The letters are carried in a mochila and exchanged between riders completing different legs of the route.

Utah’s first stop, This Is the Place Heritage Park, memorializes the arrival of the Church pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. Church history states that Brigham Young stopped the travelers after experiencing a vision, and the valley would become home to generations afterward.

Inside the 450-acre park is the National Pony Express Monument which has a replica Pony Express station, the National Park Service said. It’s “a dramatic Avard Fairbanks sculpture of a relay rider changing horses, and several interpretive wayside exhibits.”

The re-ride can be followed online as riders make their way through Nevada to California where they’ll end the route in Sacramento.

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Pony Express to hit stops in Utah on commemorative ride of historic route