Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well Diamond Springs Ruby Valley

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Jacob's Well is often included in published lists of Pony Express Stations. However there was no station at the site in October of 1860, seven months after the inception of the Pony, as documented by Sir Richard Burton. On October 8, 1860, Burton made these comments as he passed through the area:

"After surmounting the watershed we decended over bench-land into a raw and dreary plain, which is traversed by Smith's Fork, which flows northward to the Humboldt River; when we crossed it, it was a mere rivulet."

W. H. Streeper in his account of his ride to Salt Lake City from Diamond Springs noted: "It was 22 miles from there (Diamond Springs) to Ruby Valley, where I had to change animals." There is no mention of Jacob's Well Station which was later to be built between Diamond Springs and Ruby Valley.

Edna B. Patterson said it was a Pony stop in her article of January, 1960 in the Nevada State Journal. She said:

Jacob's Well "There was one station in between and that was Jacob's Well which lies in the valley between the two ranges of mountains. This valley of sagebrush was dry and desolate, but a change station was needed every ten or twelve miles, so a little cabin was built of stone to serve as a station. It was built by men under General Fredrick Jacobs, of Indian War fame, who had been charged with construction of the road and building. A well was also dug to supply water for the station, and it was then given the name of Jacob's Well.

"Today nothing remains but a few old stones from which the old well has long since caved in with rock and dirt. This is a country where no one comes anymore, but Jacob's Well served the traveler and his horse well. It not only was a change station for the Pony Express and Overland Stage Line, but it later served the Hill Beachy Road to Hamilton and the White Pine Mines.

"Again at Jacob's Well, a fresh pony awaited the incoming rider of the Pony Express. In two minutes' time he raced off again across the sagebrush valley, over the Overland Pass of the Ruby Mountains and down to the Ruby Valley Station."

Jacob's Well may have not been one of the first stations built for the Pony Express, but it is likely that it was built shortly after Burton was through here. The new station then served the Pony Express until its demise and continued to service the Overland stage until 1869.

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

Jacob's Well has been to object of some intense archeological investigation in recent years.

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