Pony Express rides!
Kati Garner | December 13, 2009 at 09:46 amby
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The Pony Express rode on Saturday from Folsom to Old Sacramento, a prelude to its 150th anniversary.
12 relay horseback riders carried collected holiday cards from Folsom to Old Sacramento.
The Christmas greeting cards were carried in a mochila, a four-pocketed leather square, fitted over the saddle.
Each envelope receives a special ink-stamp showing they were carried by Pony Express. The US Postal Service will deliver them world-wide.
Rain was pouring down as they rode. The motto "Neither snow, nor rain...." held true.
The 12 riders rode along the American River Parkway trail from the Folsom Historical Museum to Old Sacramento's Historical Museum, completing the journey in about five hours.
The riders - Janet Kampf, Cindy Honn, Laura Beeman, Lisa Mahon, Pam Dixon, Kathy Colt, Marton Bross, Jessie Davison, Cary Morre, Pat Fanelli, Jessica Sloat and Susan LaFrance - are from different California towns.
The Pony Express will celebrate its 150th year delivering mail by a 10-day horseback trek from Old Sacramento, CA to St. Joseph, MO on June 6, 2010.
The 150th Anniversary rerun ends with a river crossing, a parade through downtown St. Joseph, swinging past the pony express monument, and ending at the Patee House Museum.
(From the americanhistory.suite101.com):
"Evidence points to Johnny Fry as the first Pony Express rider to head west from St. Joseph, Missouri, on April 3, 1860. Founded by Alexander Majors, William Russell, and William Waddell, the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Company ran the Pony Express for 18 months. The route was approximately 2,000 miles and took anywhere from 10 to 16 days for riders to travel from St. Joseph to Sacramento, California.
Accounts state that 49 letters, 5 telegrams, and some special edition newspapers were carried on the first westbound run.
The Express’ Days were Numbered Before it began.
On June 16, 1860, Congress authorized the building of a transcontinental telegraph line.
'The passage of the bill resulted in the incorporation of the Overland Telegraph Company of California and the Pacific Telegraph Company of Nebraska. On July 4, 1861, Edward Creighton began building Pacific Telegraph’s line westward from Julesburg, Colorado, toward Salt Lake City. Twelve hundred miles to the west on the same day at Fort Churchill in Nevada, James Gamble set the first pole in the Overland Telegraph Company's line,' states the History and Culture Pony Express article at nps.gov/poex.
On October 20, 1861, Creighton won the race to Salt Lake City. Four days later Gamble's crew arrived. On October 26 the wires were joined, and San Francisco was in direct contact with New York City.
On that day the Pony Express was officially terminated, but it was not until November that the last letters completed their journey over the route.”
Photos | Kati Garner
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