Sunday, November 20, 2011

Phantoms of the Pony Express at Hollenberg Station - Hanover, Kansas

In the old mid-west around 1860, St. Joseph, Missouri was the end of the line as far as modern travel and communications go.  There was no way to get mail further west except by stagecoach or ship which would take many months.  Until that is, the invention of the Pony Express.  The express riders would brave the weather, Indian attacks, and animal attacks to get the mail through to the west. Many never survived the trip.  Some claim that these riders can still be seen and heard today along what was once The Oregon Trail near the only remaining Pony Express station that is still intact, The Hollenberg Station in Hanover, Kansas. 

The express riders would carry the mail twice as fast as a stagecoach would, relaying the mail from station to station every ten miles or so where they would change horses, calling as they approached the stations so the horses could be made ready for the exchange.  Every thirty miles they would change riders, if they made it that is.  The Pony Express riders picked up the mail in St. Joseph, Missouri and relayed it across the country to Sacramento, California.  Hollenberg Station, or Cottonwood Station as known by some, was the largest Pony Express station as it also served as a stop over and resupply depot for travelers on the Oregon Trail.

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station - Hanover, Kansas

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station also served as a stop over for pioneers on The Oregon Trail

After about a year and a half, the telegraph lines were extended throughout the west and eventually to California.  The Pony Express was then made obsolete and the riders would ride no more.

The largest relay station of the Pony Express still stands today at Hanover Kansas.  Some visitors have reported cold spots within the station itself. Others claim that The Hollenberg station is said to still serve the ghosts of the Pony Express riders.  Their phantom steeds can still be heard galloping along. Many have heard the ghostly screams of the express riders as they approach the station. 

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station in Hanover, Kansas was the largest station on the route and is the only one in it's original state.

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station is now a museum open to the public and is located in Hollenberg Ranch State Park.  Who knows, you may be one of the few who have an encounter with the phantoms of the Pony Express!

Hollenberg Pony Express Station

Visitor Center
2889 23rd Road
Hanover, Kansas 66945
(785) 337-2635 

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