Sand Springs Station

Sand Springs was first surveyed as a potential emigrant stop by Army Lieutenant James H. Simpson in 1859. The station was constructed in early 1860 by Bolivar Roberts, J.G. Kelley, and a small crew. James McNaughton served as the first station keeper before becoming a rider himself. On October 17, 1860, Sir Richard Burton visited Sand Springs, giving this description of the station's conditions:

Sand Springs deserved its name...the land is cumbered here and there with drifted ridges of the finest sand, sometimes 200 feet high and shifting before every gale. Behind the house stood a mound shaped like the contents of an hour-glass, drifted up by the stormy S.E. gale in esplande shape and falling steep to northward or against the wind. The water near this vile hole was thick and stale with sulphury salts; it blistered the hands. The station house was no unfit object on such a scene, roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid, with a smoky fire in one corner, impure floor, the walls open to every wind, and the interior full of dust...
In 1866, Sand Springs was used as a station along the Fort Churchill and Sand Springs Toll Road, which connected Dayton to the Reese River mines at Austin. After its later abandonment, the station was subsequently buried by shifting sands (the same that make up nearby Sand Mountain). After being buried for around a century, the station was rediscovered and excavated by the BLM and archaeologists from the University of Nevada in the late 1970s. Today, the site is one of the best preserved Pony Express stations in Nevada, and is a part of Sand Mountain Recreation Area. Interpretive signs have been placed around the site, depicting life at the station while it was still in use.

Pony Express, 1860-61
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