Mile 1948: Sand Springs Station

Sand Springs Station
Sand Springs Station

“Sand Springs Station [is] about 20 miles east of Fallon. This Pony Express Station was built in 1860, yet many of its walls still stand. After the station was abandoned, drifting sand from nearby dunes buried the structure, helping to preserve it. In 1977, archaeologists excavated and stabilized the station. Today, it’s managed by the Bureau of Land Management and open to the public.”

“Several sources identify Sand Springs as a station, including the 1861 mail contract. Like Cold Springs, this station existed due to the construction efforts of Bolivar Roberts, J. G. Kelly, and their crew in March of 1860 for the C.O.C. & P.P. Express Co. James McNaughton managed station operations for a time. On October 17, 1860, Richard Burton recorded his negative views of the roofless, dirty structure and its staff, stating that it was “roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid, with a smoky fire in one corner, and a table in the centre of an impure floor, the walls open to every wind, and the interior full of dust.” [41] Travelers found a reliable source of water at Sand Springs, but its poor quality often poisoned animals and probably made people ill.

In addition to the Pony Express, other individuals and businesses utilized Sand Springs until World War Two. The telegraph came through the area, and the site served as a freight, milling, and ranching center. Structural ruins from many of these activities still exist around the springs. In 1976, the site was determined eligible for the National Register. By 1981, the station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was structurally stabilized. This source locates the station’s ruins near Sand Mountain, about three-fourths of a mile north of Highway 50.

– From the Pony Express Bikepacking Route info marker, citing the Pony Express Historic Resource Study