Pony Express statue at Marysvile, Kansas
Photos: Rick Metzger
postmarked in 2013 with two stamps, one for 32 cents (Aloha) and one for 1 cent (Tiffany Lamp)
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The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages and mail from St. Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Sacramento, California by horseback, using a series of relay stations. During its 18 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about ten days. From April 3, 1860 to October 1861, it became the West's most direct means of east–west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the country.
The Pony Express was a mail delivery system of the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company of 1849 which in 1850 became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company.
The route started at St. Joseph, Missouri on the Missouri River, it then followed what is modern day US 36 (as seen in the above postcard) – the Pony Express Highway – to Marysville, Kansas, where it turned northwest following Little Blue River to Fort Kearny in Nebraska.