Diamond Springs

Diamond Springs Sulphur Springs Jacob's Well

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Captain J.H. Simpson passed this way on May 20, 1859 and made these observations:

"Six and eight tenths miles farther brings us to a large spring, in marsh, where we water. Plenty of grass about it, though not of best quality. This valley is in some portions argillaceous and in some arenaceous. The latter glitter with small crystals of quartz, of very pure character's which we amuse ourselves in picking up, and facetiously call California diamonds."

The Indian problems that caused destruction of lives and property to the east and west of here in the spring of 1860 were apparently avoided at this station. On May 24, 1860 the rider into Salt Lake from the west carried no mail and reported:

"The Indians have chased all the men from the stations between Diamond Springs and Carson Valley."

When W.H. Streeper returned from his trip on which he had found Simpson Park and Dry Creek stations burned he noted:


Well, we made it to the next station (Diamond Springs) where several other riders and keepers had gathered and we stayed there several days until some soldiers came to help open up the mail line."

So Diamond Springs is where the men waited until Bolivar Roberts came from the east and met A HREF="http://www.roguetrader.com/~dave/major.htm">Major Howard Egan at Robert's Creek on June 9, 1860 to reopen the line.

Streeper told of the following event:

"Upon one occasion at Diamond Springs, Mr. Bolivar Roberts, asked for a fast rider to take the mail into Salt Lake City; I volunteered. The mail pouch contained a great deal of money. The captain asked how many soldiers I wanted for guards and I told him none. A California postmaster who was there asked if 1 would like him to come along and I told him he could not keep up with me. I didn't take anyone. It was 22 miles from there to Ruby Valley where I had to change animals. There was no more trouble from Indians and I went straight through from station to station till I reached Salt Lake."

This probably happened just after the Indian troubles, when Roberts and Egan were in the area. Other riders that passed through this station were John Fisher , Henry Tuckett and Mose Wright.

Sir Richard Burton visited Diamond Springs on October 9, 1860. He said:

"The station is named Diamond Springs, from an eye of warm, but sweet and beautifully clear water bubbling up from the earth. A little below it drains off in a deep rushy ditch, with a gravel bottom containing equal parts of comminuted shells; we found it an agreeable and opportune bath. . .

"The station folks were Mormons, but not particularly civil; they afterwards had to fly before the savages - which perhaps they will be pleased to consider a `judgment' upon them."

In the Nevada State Journal of January 3, 1960, Edna B. Patterson had the following to say about Diamond Springs:

"One of the few Pony Express Stations still standing is at Diamond Springs, Eureka County, though gone is the part of the cabin that housed the old telegraph line office. Belying the jewel-like name of this desolate country, but echoing the name of the prospector, Jack Diamond, who came to the area in quest of riches, and finding none soon left the country. He left behind him only his name to designate Diamond Springs, Diamond Valley and the Diamond Range of mountains.

"In 1859, with the advent of the Pony Express, a new cabin was built at the spring site as a change station on the Pony Express route. Materials of the area were used in building stations. This one was made of limestone slabs compacted with mud and roofed with split cedar trunks which were covered with dirt. The gables and part of the fireplace chimney were made of adobe brick. This one room structure had the convenience of a stone fireplace which provided the only heat and cooking facilities.

"The change ponies were kept in two corrals of cedar posts planted in the ground in stockade fashion and joined to a small open shelter of the same cedar post and dirt roofed construction. Ponies were kept in readiness for approaching galloping hoofs from Jacob's Well or Sulphur Springs. William Frances Cox, station master for the Pony Express at Diamond Springs, in two minutes' time would shift the leather mochila, or pouches containing the mail, from the incoming horse and would transfer it to the waiting, saddled pony, and the new horse and incoming rider thundered off again into the distance.

"When the Overland Telegraph tapped the end of the Pony Express, William Cox stayed on at Diamond Springs and became a telegraph operator and maintenance man for the Overland Telegraph Company. He was responsible for repairs of the line as far east as Cherry Creek and as far west as Robert's Creek Station. He taught his wife to send and receive messages. When he was out on the line, she became the telegraph operator."

Diamond Springs Today the site of the old Pony Express station sits on private land owned by Olive Thompson. The limestone slab section of the original Pony Express station that Edna Patterson spoke of in her narrative is still partially standing among large cottonwoods at the mouth of Telegraph Canyon. Diamond Springs, overgrown with cat tail and salt grass, is located in the meadow nearby. There is another stone dugout among the trees, but no one knows how long it has been there. The structures are visible from the country road on the west side of the Diamond Mountains. There is a brass Pony Express centennial plaque mounted in a stone and concrete monument near the ranch house just one mile south of the actual station site.

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

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