B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

Buckland’s Station - Pony Express

Buckland’s Station (N39 17 41.4 W119 15 01.5)

Located across the Carson River from what was to be the future site of Fort Churchill, Buckland’s Station consisting of a log cabin and saloon was established by Samuel S. Buckland who had come to California in 1850 via the Isthmus of Panama. During the cold winter of 1859-60, Buckland constructed a toll bridge across the Carson River, and set the following fees for its use: $2.00 for heavy wagons, $1.50 for light wagons, $1.00 for buggies, and $.25 for pedestrians.

A bridge across the river, supplies for sale, extra livestock to replace trail-weary animals, and a good supply of gut-warming whiskey made Buckland’s Station a natural stopping place for men who had crossed the Great Basin, or who were headed into the desert wilderness.

In March of 1860, Bolivar Roberts made arrangements with Samuel Sanford Buckland to use his “good-sized cabin” as a station. Apparently the rancher declined employment as keeper, for this position was taken by W.C. Marley. The place served as a rider-relay, or home station, until the establishment of Fort Churchill in the summer of 1860.

Prior to the establishment of the fort, several memorable events took place at Buckland’s Station including Johnson Richardson’s refusal to relieve Bob Haslarn forcing the latter to make his famous ride. “Pony Bob” Haslam, one of the most famous riders of the Pony Express, rode regularly from Lake Tahoe to Buckland’s Station near Fort Churchill. Perhaps his greatest ride, 120 miles in 8 hours and 20 minutes while wounded, was an important contribution to the fastest trip ever made by the Pony Express — the message carried, Lincoln’s Inaugural Address.

On May 11, 1860 men on their way to battle at Pyramid Lake stayed at Buckland’s. They took Pony Express horses with them, and four days later, the survivors of the battle straggled back to Buckland’s. By the end of the summer of 1860, Indian troubles had forced the establishment of Fort Churchill. From then until the end of the Pony Express, the headquarters building at the fort was used as a stopping station instead of Buckland’s. Today the original log cabin used by the Pony Express is gone,but a house built later marks the spot. It is located 8½ miles south of Silver Springs on US 95 Alternate.


A number of sources identify Buckland's as a station. [60] Townley and the Bureau of Land Management suggest that Buckland's Station functioned as a home station. [61] In 1859, Samuel S. Buckland established a log ranch and trading post and he made an agreement with Bolivar Roberts in March 1860 for his ranch to serve as a Pony Express home station. In the summer of 1860, due to the Pyramid Lake Indian War, soldiers established Fort Churchill a few miles west of Buckland's Station. The Pony Express then moved its station to the fort's protective headquarters. [62] On October 19, 1860, when Richard Burton visited Buckland's, he described the station, as usual, in negative terms. [63]

The station's original log cabin no longer remains. By 1979, a house stood on the station site, eight and one-half miles south of Silver Springs, on Alternate Highway 95. [64]

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