Miller’s Station – Pony Express

Miller’s station, also known as Reed’s Station is a pony express station located in Churchill County, Nevada.

Winchester Firearms adopted the image of a Pony Express Rider.
Winchester Firearms adopted the image of a Pony Express Rider.

Pony Express

Sources generally agree on the identity of this station as a C.O.C. & P.P. Express Co. station, possibly located near the area where the north and south branches of the original Pony Express and Overland Mail Company trails rejoined. Bloss lists Miller’s and Reed’s as separate stations, but other sources agree that the two names represent the same station. The station began about 1849 or 1850 as a stopping point on the California Emigrant Trail, and the Pony Express included the site as one of its original relay stations in 1860. On July 1, 1861, the station passed into the hands of G. W. Reed. Even though Reed owned the station after that date, some people knew it as Miller’s Station. On October 19, 1860, Richard Burton stopped at “Miller’s Station” for about one and one-half hours, where he and his companions had a snack and waited for a heavy rain shower to end. A letter written by an employee, C.H. Ruffing, on May 31, 1860, from Miller’s Station to W.W. Finney stated:

I have just returned from Cold Springs-was driven out by the Indians, who attacked us night before last. The men at Dry Creek Station have been killed and it is thought the Roberts Creek Station has been destroyed. The Express turned back after hearing the news from Dry Creek. Eight animals were stolen from Cold Springs on Monday. Hamilton is at the Sink of the Carson, on his way in with all the men and horses. He will get to Buckland tomorrow.

Nothing remains of the station’s structures, but a well still exists on the site.

NameMillers Station
Location Churchill County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude
Other NamesReed’s Station
NPS Pony Express 162
Next Westbound StationDayton Station
Next Eastbound StationDesert Wells Station

References

Timothy H. O’Sullivan – Photographer

CDV of Timothy H. O'Sullivan with imprint of F.G. Ludlow, Carson City, Nevada Territory on verso. Taken between 1871–74 while O'Sullivan was the official photographer for the Wheeler Expedition.
CDV of Timothy H. O’Sullivan with imprint of F.G. Ludlow, Carson City, Nevada Territory on verso. Taken between 1871–74 while O’Sullivan was the official photographer for the Wheeler Expedition.

Timothy H. O’Sullivan (c. 1840 – January 14, 1882) was a photographer best known for of the Civil War and the western United States. O’Sullivan began his photography career as an apprentice in Mathew Brady’s Fulton Street gallery in New York City. He moved on to the Washington, D.C., branch managed by Alexander Gardner. In 1861. At the age of twenty-one, O’Sullivan joined Brady’s team of Civil War photographers.

Little is known about his early life. He was either born in Ireland or New Work City. As a teenager, Timothy was employed by Matthew Brady where he learn the newly invented craft of photography. When the Civil War broke out, he is commission as a first lieutenant in the Union Army, in 1861.

After the was, in 1867, Timothy H. O’Sullivan is hired by Clarence King to accompany the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel as a photographer. O’Sullivan was with the Survey for the seasons of 1867, 1868, 1869 and 1872.

During these expeditions, he is known to carry two or possibly three camera outfits which include a 9″x12″ and 8″x1O” plates and for stereoscopic views. He developed the plates in the field, as was necessary with the wet plate process, and worked in either a photographic tent or a mule-drawn ambulance wagon. The negatives were usually sent back to the Survey offices in Washington D.C. where they are printed.

In 1871, O’Sullivan join the geological surveys west of the one hundredth meridian, under the command of Lieutenant George M. Wheeler of the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Wheeler would caption O’Sullivan’s photographs with practical information useful in the later establishment of roads and rail routes and emphasized the west’s suitability for settlement.

In 1873, on another Wheeler expedition, O’Sullivan photographed the Zuni and Magia pueblos and the Canyon de Chelly and its remnants of a cliff-dwelling culture. He returned to Washington, D.C., in 1874 and made prints for the Army Corps of Engineers. Soon after being made chief photographer for the United States Treasury in 1880, O’Sullivan died of tuberculosis at age forty-one.

Sand dunes, 1867, Carson Desert Western Nevada RG 77 Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, 1789-1988 Photographic Album of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel – The King Survey, 1867-1872 ARC ID 519530 77KS-3-160

Timothy H. O’Sullivan Portfolio

References

Frenchman Station Nevada

Frenchman, or Frenchman Station is an unincorporated community and old stage stop locate in Churchill county, Nevada. The property was devlopred by Aime “Frenchy” Bermond, a native of France who came to Nevada in 1899. The station and stage stop is a relay point along the freight route between Fallon and the mining camps of Fairview and Wonder

Frenchman Station, Nevada 1910 - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p 94, Mrs. Lyle de Braga Collection
Frenchman Station, Nevada 1910 – Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p 94, Mrs. Lyle de Braga Collection

In the early 1900s, the station provided lodging and food, with a hotel, restaurant, saloons and stables and travellers. Water is hauled into the location from Luck Boy Springs, which is located about twelve miles away. Frenchy had the water hauled in by paid freighters. A sign proudly stood at the holding tank that read: “If you don’t want to pay for this water, leave it alone.”

Frenchy died in 1926, however his station is sold numerous times. The station remains open until 1985. The U.S. Navy bought out the community in 1985 due to its proximity on the northern boundary of the Dixie Valley bombing range. The remaining buildings were demolished two years later. Today, the location is not much more than a wide spot in the road.

Location Summary

NameFrenchman Station
LocationChurchill County, Neada
Also Known asFrenchman, Bermond
Latitude, Longitude39.2793679, -118.2701317
GNIS857995
Elevation4,157 Feet
Post OfficeNov. 24, 1920 – May 31, 1926

Trail Map

References

Hazen Nevada

Hazen Nevada is a small inincorporated town in Churchill county, Nevada located about 16 miles northwest of Fallon.. The town is formed when the Southern Pacific realigned its route to the East of Wadsworth in 1902. A Post Office is established in 1904 and several saloons “hydrated” workers digging the a nearby 31 mile long canal between the Truckee River and the Carson River.

"Saloons and disreputable places of Hazen (Nev.) June 24, 1905." By Lubkin - NARA - 532037.jpg
“Saloons and disreputable places of Hazen (Nev.) June 24, 1905.” By Lubkin – NARA – 532037.jpg

The small rail town is the location of the last lynching in the state of Nevada. Desperado, Willian “Nevada Red” Wood was hung from a telegraph poles not far from the tiny jail, on February 27th, 1905 after robbing canal builders and the citizens of Hazen. Journalists at the time noted, “Keep the good work up! Ornament all telegraph poles with the carcasses of this type of men”

William "Nevada Red" Wood, was Hung on February 27th, 1905 in Hazen, Nevada
William “Nevada Red” Wood, was Hung on February 27th, 1905 in Hazen, Nevada

Hazen became an important four way rail junction for the Southern Pacific, which installed a round house and handsome depot. In 1908, a fire burned much of the town, however the town soon rebuilt. A small school educated the children of several nearby ranches. The Palace Hotel was a main attraction of the little community. The hotel was host to a restaurant and grill. The store located in Hazen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Town Summary

NameHazen, Nevada
Other NamesHazen Station.
LocationChurchill County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.5653, -119.0464
GNIS864634
Population250
Post Office1904 – Current
Elevation4,000 Feet
NewspaperThe Harvest

References

Pony Express Trail (1860 – Sesquicentennial – 2010)

The Pony Express Trail (1860 – Sesquicentennial – 2010) is Nevada State Historic Marker #271 is located in Churchill County, Nevada. From Fallon drive head east on US 50 for 15 miles to Salt Wells Road. Turn south onto Salt Wells Road and travel for eight miles. This marker is the last historic marker approved by the the state of Nevada.

Pony express route April 3, 1860 - October 24, 1861 - Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942.
Pony express route April 3, 1860 – October 24, 1861 – Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942.

A Brief History

The Pony Express started to fill a need caused by the growing populations of California. After the discovery of Gold in 1848, thousands streaked to the golden state to seek their fortune in the ground. Additional demand for mail service was caused from migration along the infamous Oregon Trail and the Utah Mormon exodus in 1847. Stage Service was used to transfer correspondence across the Western United States.

The service was built and organized by three men, William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell. These men formed the company Russell, Majors & Waddell and in just two months in the winter of 1860 organized 184 stations, 80 riders and 400 hundred horse to race mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. Some of the stations were existing stage stops while others were purpose built humble buildings deep in the Nevada territory. They hoped with a 10 day delivery time they could secure government contracts. The costs of the expedited service was 25000% greater that the slower stage service and a 1/2 package would cost $5 at the time.

Marker Text

One hundred and fifty years ago, the Pony Express was founded by W. H. Russell, Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell, operators of the Overland Stage Line of Leavenworth, Kansas. During a visit to Washington, Mr. Russell was urged by California Senator William Gwin to expand the Overland Stage operation to facilitate faster mail service. Mr. Russell’s partners hesitated due to the projected high costs; he persevered and the first ride began on April 3, 1860.

Overland stagecoach stations were located every 10-12 miles as far as Salt Lake City. Eighty skilled and experienced riders, 400 horses and approximately one hundred-eighty-four stations were located in Nevada from Utah (Deep Creek) to the California border (Genoa). The swift riders carried the mail 2,000 miles in 10 days from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The “Pony” improved nationwide communication, western expansion and was credited with California’s continued participation in the Union at the beginning of the Civil War.

A high price was paid for the improved communication, including the cost to post a letter and the trials of the employees during the ride. The cost of mailing a letter as advertised was not economical, “letters less than 1/4 oz cost $2.50; over 1/4 oz, not to exceed 1/2 oz cost $5.00 and so on.” The riders, station masters and division agents faced hostile environments including poor housing, extreme heat and cold, poor access to potable water, food and dangers due to the conflicts between the Tribes and the new comers to the west.

On October 24, 1861, the telegraph was born and the last ride was completed. What had taken ten days could be achieved in ten seconds thus ending the Pony Express but the memory of the riders and the route live on.

STATE OF NEVADA HISTORICAL MARKER No. 271

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.

Nevada State Historic Marker Summary

NamePony Express Trail (1860 – Sesquicentennial – 2010)
LocationChurchill County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.287541, -118.571526
Nevada State Historic Marker Number271

References