Buckland's Station

Buckland's Station Fort Churchill Hooten Wells

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Buckland's Station

Located across the Carson River from what was to be the future site of Fort Churchill, Buckland's Station consisting of a log cabin and saloon was established by Samuel S. Buckland who had come to California in 1850 via the Isthmus of Panama. During the cold winter of 1859-60, Buckland constructed a toll bridge across the Carson River, and set the following fees for its use: $2.00 for heavy wagons, $1.50 for light wagons, $1.00 for buggies, and $.25 for pedestrians.

A bridge across the river, supplies for sale, extra livestock to replace trail-weary animals, and a good supply of gut-warming whiskey made Buckland's Station a natural stopping place for men who had crossed the Great Basin, or who were headed into the desert wilderness.

In March of 1860, Bolivar Roberts made arrangements with Samuel Sanford Buckland to use his "good-sized cabin" as a Pony Express Station. Apparently the rancher declined employment as keeper, for this position was taken by W.C. Marley. The place served as a rider-relay, or home station, until the establishment of Fort Churchill in the summer of 1860.

Prior to the establishment of the fort, several memorable events took place at Buckland's Station including Johnson Richardson's refusal to relieve Bob Haslarn forcing the latter to make his famous ride. "Pony Bob" Haslam, one of the most famous riders of the Pony Express, rode regularly from Lake Tahoe to Buckland's Station near Fort Churchill. Perhaps his greatest ride, 120 miles in 8 hours and 20 minutes while wounded, was an important contribution to the fastest trip ever made by the Pony Express -- the message carried, Lincoln's Inaugural Address.

On May 11, 1860 men on their way to battle at Pyramid Lake stayed at Buckland's. They took Pony Express horses with them, and four days later, the survivors of the battle straggled back to Buckland's.

By the end of the summer of 1860, Indian troubles had forced the establishment of Fort Churchill. From then until the end of the Pony Express, the headquarters building at the fort was used as a stopping station instead of Buckland's.

On October 19, 1860, Sir Richard Burton passed Buckland's Station and gave this description:

"We found the station-house, and congratulated ourselves that we had escaped the twelve hours' durance vile in its atmosphere of rum, kornschnapps, stable tobaco, flies and profane oaths, not to mention the chance of being "wiped out" in a "difference" between soldier and a gambler, or a miner and a rider."

Today the original log cabin used by the Pony Express is gone,but a house built later marks the spot. It is located eight and a half miles south of Silver Springs on US 95 Alternate.

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Source: Mason, The Pony Express in Nevada, 1976.