Relay Stations and Home Stations

*Stations on the Pony Express route were usually nine to fifteen miles apart and were of two kinds. Relay stations were small affairs which housed only a station keeper and a stock tender plus three or four horses. Their purpose was to provide a change of mounts for the riders. Home stations were larger, and usually were also stage stations. Each housed at least two riders, the station keeper, and two to four stock tenders. Spare horses, supplies, and surplus equipment were also kept at the home stations. The distance between stations was called a “stage.” Each rider rode three successive stages on three different horses, and was expected to total at least 33 1/2  miles per run. At the home station he turned his mail over to the next rider and rested there until his turn came to make the return trip.