Park City History Bits - October 31, 2013

Oct 31, 2013

Did you know the famous Pony Express came right through Summit County?

This is Bill Redeker with your weekly Park City History Bit.

As kids we loved learning about The Pony Express, but it actually only operated for 18 months, from April 1860 to October 1861.

One hundred fifty years ago, mail delivery took eight weeks to get from the East Coast to the new state of California, and people joked that events in the East had already been forgotten by the time they were known in the West. Then business entrepreneurs Russell, Majors and Waddell established The Pony Express, making that same mail fly across the nation in just ten days.

Russell, Majors and Waddell established 190 stations along the route with riders averaging 33 to 75 miles per day.

For the first six weeks of the Express, riders traveled through Utah over the Golden Pass trail and at the mouth of Echo Canyon, turned up the Weber River to Rockport, through Three Mile Canyon to reach Parley’s Park, now Kimball Junction, and then down Parley’s Canyon to Salt Lake City.

Snow conditions forced the route to change to follow the historic Mormon Pioneer Trails soon afterwards. Then the invention of the transcontinental telegraph in 1861 made The Pony Express instantly obsolete, because messages took only four hours by wire.

This Park City History Bit is brought to you by the Park City Museum, and their newest exhibit, “Miners to Moguls: 50 Years of Park City Skiing”, and is sponsored by Julie Hopkins of Keller Williams Real Estate.