The Pony Express Museum (Hollenberg)

Destination #6: Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma

Wow did I really come to appreciate the United States Postal Service after a visit to the Pony Express Museum. So back in the day, if you were a pioneer in the heartland, your mail was delivered by Pony Express-meaning it was transferred from rider to rider over hundreds of miles on horseback to get to you. The riders were young men—17 to early 20’s—who would ride for 2 days and then change horses at different locations along the route. It was an exhausting job and the young men were usually worn out after just a couple of years. Exploring this little museum we found out what it was like for these young riders and everything it to took get the mail delivered out West on the new frontier.  I believe part of the building was an original post where they guys would park their horses and spend the night and sort the mail that was then sent out the next day.  It sounds like it was a rough gig. Today 17 sounds pretty young to have such a demanding job that carried so much responsibility.  I think kids had to grow up a lot faster on the frontier, to help take care of their families.  I don’t think there was too much time for fun and games as there was so much work to do just to survive.  We saw some real mail bags from back in the day  and a room showing how the mail would have been sorted.  We also saw what a typical pony express rider might have taken along with him on his route.  This museum was a little on the gritty side and didn’t seem like it got too many visitors on a typical day but I am really glad we visited because it took us back to another time and place so we could appreciate all the conveniences that we have today.  It always makes me wonder what will generations in the future think of our systems and way of life.  Will they laugh or marvel at our primitive ways?

My son, Joel, actually had an acorn he had found on the grounds of the state capitol building and put it in the arms of the taxidermy squirrel that was sitting on the front desk because he “thought it looked hungry.” The lovely woman working at the museum remarked about his kindness. If you see it when you visit, the lady will tell you that a sweet little boy from California brought it for him…

Destination #6: Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma

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