B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

Ragtown Station - Pony Express


Townley identifies Ragtown as a station between Old River and Desert Wells. Like other stations on the "Stillwater Dogleg," Ragtown probably functioned briefly as a Pony Express station in the summer and fall of 1861 and as an Overland Mail Company stage stop from 1861 to 1868. L. Kenyon and his family managed station operations at the site for nearly fifty years. The station's name supposedly came from the common site of freshly washed travelers' clothing spread out to dry on surrounding bushes. [82]

Geographic coordinates provided by: http://www.nevada-landmarks.com/ch/shl19.htm

In 1854, A. L. Kenyon established a trading post on his ranch at Ragtown, on the path of the California Trail. He dug a well 11 miles to the north, and is credited with saving the lives of many immigrants coming across the Forty Mile Desert. This would place the well, presumably, on or near the California trail somewhere near the Upsal Hogback. Temporary pole and canvas dwellings and stores were thrown up on this site in the late 1850's to take advantage of emigrant traffic. In 1861 Ragtown became a station on the Overland Mail and Stage route. Sam Clemens- better known as Mark Twain- passed through in that year. The rival Community of Centerville sprung up one and a half miles to the north, boasting of a hotel and a ranch.

In 1862 Ragtown experienced a flood, which disturned many of the emigrant graves. In 1863 Ragtown became an important stop on the road to the Reese River mining area, but with the arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad its importance diminished somewhat. A post office finally opened in 1864, only to close in 1867. The 1880 census lists A.L. Kenyon as "stock raiser" and his wife Kate as "station keeper." It opened again in 1884 until 1887, after which mail was sent to the St. Clair post office. A farming community developed, and was known as Leeteville. Nevada Post Offices claims that Leeteville post office was in operation from 1895 until 1907, after which the mail went to Hazen.

We won't even go into the old story that Ragtown got its name from all the clothes drying on the bushes. Everyone has heard it before. Suffice to say, after crossing the forty mile desert and almost dying of thirst, Ragtown looked mighty fine in them there days.

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