A little known fact is that The Pony Express was just around for a year and a half. I remember growing up and hearing about the pony express and reading books about it. When I was a kid it seemed like the Pony Express must have been around forever. If only my parents would have taken me to the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph Missouri and then I could have learned the whole story.
For those that have no idea what I am talking about the Pony Express was a fast mail service that went from St. Joseph Missouri to Sacramento California. What would have taken months to get news from the eastern part of the United States to the west coast with the creation of the Pony Express that news would take roughly ten days. It lasted from April 3, 1860 to October 26, 1861. The Pony Express ceased to be needed after the east and west were connected by the telegraph.
If you are at all interested in the Pony Express and are ever in the northwestern part of Missouri then you might want to check out the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph. It is a small museum and in our opinion not worth driving across the country to see, but the museum is worth seeing if you have the time and are already in the area. The museum has several exhibits including a wonderfully well done diorama that explains the trials and tribulations the riders had to face. It also has several life size replicas that show what the first ride would have looked like. The Pony Express museum also has a wagon full of supplies to show what moving west would have looked like, an original Pony Express letter that has been in space carried by an astronaut that is a descendent of one of the Pony Express riders, and a kids area.
While the museum has more replicas than real artifacts what it does have is pretty neat. I really liked the feeling of standing on the same ground as where the Pony Express was created, or the fact that we were able to pump water from the same well that the Pony Express Company would have used. It really gave you the feeling of history coming alive. Plus we could really tell how much the people that were running the place really cared about their museum and the history of the Pony Express.
The Pony Express Museum will not take you a whole lot of time to go through, but it does provide a ton of information in a short time. I know more about the Pony Express now than I thought was possible. They do a wonderful job laying out the information in a way that is easy for everybody to enjoy. It is a nice little stop if you are ever in the St. Joseph area.
Pony Express Museum
Located at 914 Penn, Saint Joseph Missouri
Cost as of 2011 Adults 18 and over $5.00 Seniors 60 and up $4.00 and Children 7 to 18 are Free
Hours of Operation Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information visit their website at http://www.ponyexpress.org/