B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

Simpson’s Springs/Egan’s Springs/Lost Springs Station - Pony Express

Simpson’s Springs/Egan’s Springs/Lost Springs Station (N40 02 22.0 W112 47 15.3) (M#87)

Location: SW1/4NE1/4 Section 18, Township 9 South, Range 8 West, Salt Lake Meridian, 8 miles from Government Creek.

The station now located on BLM land, bears the name of explorer Captain J. H. Simpson who stopped here in 1858 while searching for the overland mail route between Salt Lake City and California. It was one of the most dependable watering points in this desert region. Captain Simpson first named the spring “Pleasant Spring” because of the good water. He later renamed the spring “Simpson Springs” because of the spring’s significance as the “last stop for water” for travelers heading west. The water at became a necessity for the Pony Express from 1860-1861 and for the Overland Stage from 1861 to 1869. Even before the days of the Pony Express, freighting companies used the springs as a watering stop. George Chorpenning established a mail station at this site in 1858. At the turn of the century, the spring was still being used by freighters hauling supplies from mining towns around Gold Hill to western Utah. It is still a key watering location for livestock.

A number of structures have been built and destroyed in the vicinity of Simpson Springs over the years. It is not known for sure which served as a station for both the mail route and the Pony Express. There is a monument and restored structure (reconstructed in 1974 by the FFA) located on a building site which dates to the period (1860) and closely resembles the original. The site, nature and use of the old buildings were determined by archaeological investigation. It also has an information kiosk and ruins of Alvin Anderson’s cabin. Nearby is a camp ground and the site of a Civilian Conservation Corp camp from the 1930′s.

The first east-bound Pony Express courier halted here about 5 p.m. April 7, 1860 and westbound about 2 a.m. April 10, 1860. The last riders passed October 1861. The coming of the Overland Telegraph made it inadvisable to continue this station. The building at the site was rebuilt by the Tooele F.F.A. Chapter in 1976 as a sesquicentennial project.

A Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Camp was built west of the site in the 1930’s. One can see remnants of it today. The BLM has developed the area and installed camping facilities.


The 1861 mail contract listed Simpson's Springs as a route site, which other sources also identify as Pleasant Springs, Egan's Springs, and Lost Springs. [27] Fike and Headley place this station eight miles west of Government Creek. [28] George Chorpenning found the site promising in 1851, with a good source of water, and stone structures were erected soon thereafter. These structures probably housed Pony Express and stage operations, after Russell, Majors, and Waddell and the Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company assumed the Chorpenning contract in May 1860. George Dewees managed the station. [29] The station received its name from J. H. Simpson, a Camp Floyd topographical engineer who in 1859 laid out an acceptable route from Salt Lake City to Carson Valley. [30]

Activities at Simspon's Springs declined after the Pony Express and stage eras until the 1890s, when miners and other travelers began stopping at the site on their way to and from the Gold Mill area. During that time the Walters and Mulliner Stage Company adapted the rock station for its use, and other structures went up at the site. Dewey and Clara Anderson built a home about 1895, and someone else operated a log grocery store there. The Anderson home burned about 1957. [31]

In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps established a camp west of the Simpson's Springs station site. In 1965, a monument was placed to mark the station site. [32] Thereafter, in the 1970s, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) revitalized the area as a camping spot, and in 1975, BLM and Future Farmers of America finished reconstructing the rock station. [33]

40.039493560791, -112.787536621090