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History Of the Pony Express


The Sam Macchette Station was erected in 1854 on the Oregon Trail and was used as a Fur Trading Post & Ranch House. From 1860-1861 the station was used as a Pony Express Station. After the Pony Express ended, the station was used as an Overland Trail Stage Station, bunk house, storage house, and dwelling until 1931. In 1931 Mrs. C.A. Williams donated the station to the city of Gothenburg. The city had it moved from its original site to Ehmen Park inside Gothenburg city limits. The station was dedicated to "All Pioneers Who Passed This Way, To Win and Hold the West."

History of the Sam Machette Station

The first rider out of San Francisco and his mount left the Alta Telegraph office just before 4:00 p.m., April 3, 1860. Heading west out of St. Joseph, Missouri on April 3, 1860 was the first pony rider, John Fry. 


To perform these services required over 170 relay and home stations, and over 200 employees including station keepers, stock or horse tenders, blacksmiths and cooks.

The Pony Express ceased to operate on October 24, 1861 when the telegraph lines to California were completed bringing to a close the brave and shining saga of the Pony Express as the public knew it.


From its beginning, when it was established and supported by Russell, Majors and Waddell to its end when it was owned by Wells Fargo and Co., the Pony Express was a financial failure. The deficit was over $200,000. But what a glorious failure. What a legacy of storied and shining courage it left for the West.

Stop by the Gothenburg Pony Express Station and learn about the colorful past of the Pony Express and its riders.


Admission is FREE!

The station was moved into Gothenburg in 1931. It is located in a beautiful arboretum. You can walk your dogs, let kids run out the wiggles on the playground, visit 2 museums- all within one small block of each other!

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