B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

Simpson Park Station - Pony Express

Simpson Park Station (N39 30 00.0 W116 57 07.9) (P)

Located on private land approximately 15 miles NE of Austin. This was one of the original Pony Express stations having been built in the spring of 1860. This area was named for Captain J.H. Simpson who first visited here on May 27, 1859 and spent the night in the vicinity. Simpson Park was probably used by the Overland Mail and Stage Line from July 1861 to 1862 or 1863, when the run was changed to go through Austin.

George Washington Perkins or “Wash” was a rider on the run between this station and Ruby Valley. In 1861 William James was hired on the run from here to Cold Springs. At 18, he was one of the best Pony Express riders in the service. He rode only 60 miles each way but covered his round trip of 120 miles in 12 hours including all stops. He always rode California mustangs, using 5 of these animals each way. His route crossed the summits of 2 mountain ridges, lay through the Shoshone Indian country and was one of the loneliest and most dangerous divisions on the line.

A visitor to the station in 1949 gave this impression of what was left: The station foundations are visible. At the mouth of Simpson Park Canyon on the east side of Simpson Park lies a fenced meadow. Peter and Bennie Damele said the foundations were on a little mound in the east end of the meadow near an old fenced corral. The stone foundations outline probably 2 structures. The land is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wolf of Austin.


Sources, including a 1979 BLM report, generally agree on the identity of this station, known as Simpson or Simpson's Park. [9] The crew of Captain J. H. Simpson, who camped overnight here while surveying a wagon road in May 1859, gave his name to the area. In the spring of 1860, the Central Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company or Pony Express established a station at Simpson Park, known for its abundant wood, water, and grass. On May 20, 1860, the day before the attack on Dry Creek Station, Indians raided Simpson Park, killed James Alcott, the stationkeeper, scattered the livestock, and burned the station. [10] When Richard Burton arrived at Simpson Park on October 13, 1860, he found an incomplete new station house. [11] During the last few months of the Pony Express, riders shared the station with the Overland Mail Company line, which stopped its stagecoaches at Simpson Park during most of the 1860s, until company officials shifted the route to include Austin.

Evidence of a small cemetery also existed on a hill north of the station as late as 1959. As late as 1976, the station's stone foundations existed near the mouth of Simpson Park Canyon, in the east end of a fenced meadow. [12]

39.514636993408, -116.946716308590