B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

COLD WATER RANCH/MIDWAY STATION, Nebraska: NR, 10/15/69 - Pony Express

Point plotted about 3 miles south of Gothenburg

The Cold Water Ranch/Midway Station site is possibly located three miles south of Gothenburg. Sources generally agree on its identity as a Pony Express and stage station, although opinions vary about its function as a relay or home station. [22] L. & P.P. Express Co. stages stopped at Cold Water, located between Plum Creek and Cottonwood Springs. [23] Frank Root, an Overland Mail Company messenger in the 1860s, noted the station's name (Midway) came from its central location between Atchison and Denver. [24] In 1863, David Trout managed station operations at Midway Station, also known as Heavy Timber, Smith's East Ranch, Pat Mullaly's Home Station. [25] In 1866, Indians burned the station. [26]

Questions arise about the possible existence of one of Cold Water Ranch/Midway's log structures. As late as 1960, three miles south of Gothenburg, Harry Williams maintained a sturdy log structure on his Lower 96 Ranch. This building apparently stood on its original location as a surviving Pony Express station. The Oregon Trail Memorial Association recognized this station with a Pony Express bronze plaque, and a second bronze marker noted Pony Express rider Jim Moore's emergency trip from Midway to Julesburg on June 8, 1860, during a time of Indian unrest. [27] Notwithstanding, noted trail historian Merrill Mattes recently stated that: "If it is an actual Pony Express facility of 1860-1861, it somehow had to withstand the fire witnessed by Bratt [in 1866]." [28] Despite this apparent contradiction in the history of this structure, the cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [29]

Even though Roy Bloss located Cold Water Ranch Station between Willow Island and Midway, [30] in 1960, Merrill Mattes and Paul Henderson suggested Cold Water Ranch site as an alternative name or site for the Midway Station. [31]

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