Carson Sink

Carson Sink Bucklands Hooten Wells Sand Springs

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In March of 1860, Bolivar Roberts, J.G. Kelly and others built this station. J.G. Kelly describes it as follows:

"Arriving at the Sink of the Carson River, we began the erection of a fort to protect us from the Indians. As there were no rocks or logs in that vicinity, it was built of adobes, made from the mud on the shores of the lake. To mix this and get it to the proper consistency to mould into adobes, we tramped all day in our bare feet. This we did for a week or more, and the mud being strongly impregnated with alkali carbonate of soda, you can imagine the condition of our feet. They were much swollen and resembled hams."

Riders on the Sink of the Carson Stretch included J.B. McCall, Emmet McCain, Johnson Richardson and Thomas Flynn.

"Pony" Bob Haslam on his famous ride passed through the Sink of the Carson Station. On his way back through, he made these comments:

"When I arrived at the Sink of the Carson, I had found the station men badly frightened, for they had seen some fifty warriors decked out in their war paint and reconnoitering. There were fifteen white men here, well armed and ready for a fight. The station was built of adobe, and was large enough for the men and ten or fifteen horses, with a fine spring of water within a few feet of it."

On October 17, 1860, Sir Richard Burton made these comments on Carson Sink Station:

"Sink Station looked well from without; there was a frame house inside an adobe enclosure, and a pile of wood and a stout haystack promised fuel and fodder. The inmates however, were asleep, and it was ominously long before a door was opened. At last appeared a surly cripple, who presently disappeared to arm himself with his revolver. The judge asked civilly for a cup of water, he was told to fetch it from the lake which was not more than a mile off, though as the road was full of quagmires it would be hard to travel at night. Wood the churl would not part with; we offered to buy it, to borrow it, to replace it in the morning; he told us to go for it ourselves, and that after about two miles and a half we might chance to gather some. Certainly our party was a law-abiding and a self-governing; never did I see men so tamely bullied; they threw back the fellow's sticks, and cold, hungry, and thirsty simply began to sulk. An Indian standing by asked $20 to herd the stock for a single night. At last George, the Cordon Blue, took courage, so he went for water while others broke up a wagon plank, and supper after a fashion was concocted.

"I preferred passing the night on a side of bacon in the wagon to using the cripple's haystack, and allowed sleep to steep my senses in forgetfulness, after deeply regretting that the Mormons do not extend somewhat farther westward."

Today very little remains of this once busy station. Two adobe walls of the corral are visible, but they are rapidly melting back into the alkali. In 1960, Walt Mulcahy found faint ruins of four - maybe live - buildings beside the corral. He said all of them faced north with three in a small flat just north of the dunes and two partially in the dunes.

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

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