Central Overland Trail (Ruby Valley to Fort Churchill)

The Central Overland Trail is described in a Trails West guidebook which may be available for purchase in the CTIC gift shop or you can purchase it directly from Trails West on their website.

Marker CON-11


RUBY STATION

"We reached Ruby Valley today and camped near the station. There is a trading post here but everything fearfully dear. ... There is a fort near here and a number of the soldiers are here in camp." - Phebe Abbott Carleton, July 8, 1864

Marker CON-12 / HN-22


HASTINGS PASS

"Started [from Ruby Station] about 8 oclock through Hastings Pass down into the [Huntington] valley to Jacobs Well then to the mountains again" - Mary Hall Jatta, August 14, 1868

Marker CON-13 / HN-23


LEAVE HASTINGS CUTOFF

"Left the spring [in Ruby Valley] and came to a spring on Silver [Ruby] Mountain at noon, then over the summit [of Hastings Pass] to a valley and Jacob's Wells Station to camp. Sick better." - William Gaines Pennebaker, July 10, 1868

Marker CON-14


JACOBS WELL STATION

"Got up and got a very late start. Drove to 15 miles [Jacob's Well] station, then turned off the main road and drove 2 miles and camped on dry grass. Water scarce but very good, when I was taken sick." - Abbey E. Fulkerth, July 6, 1863

There are a couple of interpretive signs near Marker CON-14. The information they provide is shown below.


PONY EXPRESS NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL

The Pony Express Historic Trail has been a member of the National Trails System Act (NTSA, Public Law 90-543; U.S.C. 1242 et. seq.) since 1992.


Naval and Military Map of the United States - 1862 Pony Express and Telegraph Route

Sacramento Post, March 20, 1860

"Men Wanted! The undersigned wishes to hire ten or a dozen men, familiar with the management of horses, as hostlers or riders on the Overland Express Route via Salt Lake City. Wages, $50 per month and found [room and board]. I may be found at the St. George Hotel Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday," reads the ad, signed by William W. Finney, the agent for the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company.


  • On April 3, 1860, the first Pony Express riders departed St. Joseph, Missouri, and San Francisco, California.
  • Riders switched to fresh horses every 10 to 15 miles along the route at way stations such as Jacob's Well, handing off to a new rider every 75 miles or so to complete the 1,943-mile route.
  • The Pony Express continued in operation until November 1861 when it discontinued service partially as a result of the completion of the overland telegraph line, which eliminated the need for mounted couriers.

JACOB'S WELL STATION


From 1860 to 1861 Jacob's Well served as a way station along the Pony Express Trail for the riders to change horses, have a meal, and rest. Later, it served as a stagecoach stop for the Overland Stage, which operated until 1869. Jacob's Well was abandoned after 1870.


In 1995 and 1996, the University of Nevada, Reno performed archaeological excavations and mapping at Jacob's Well Station (Goddard 1996, 1997) as part of the research that contributed to the Comprehensive Management and Use Plan / Final Environmental Impact Statement, California National Historic Trail and Pony Express National Historic Trail, 1999.


The excavations revealed:

  • A large wooden structure containing a rock fireplace and chimney with artifacts suggesting domestic and animal husbandry activities
  • The rock foundation of a small wooden structure
  • Deep, rock line cistern
  • Blacksmith shop
  • Domestic trash deposit that underwent repeated burning episodes
  • Privy / Out House
  • Corral area


A great variety and number of artifacts are now housed in the Nevada State Museum in Reno, Nevada.

Marker CON-15


OVERLAND PASS

"Started ... in the morning - got breakfast. Just after daylight in the mountains walked up the highest [hill] we have yet come to. We found ourselves ... very tired before we reached the summit. ... we went ... 42 miles." - Mary Warner, June 16, 1864

Marker CON-16


DIAMOND SPRINGS STATION

"Diamond Springs got here tolerably early, the water is warm though very clear and good; we came over such a steep mountain to-day, had to walk. Only travelled twelve miles!" - Martha Logan, August 26, 1864

Marker CON-17


SULPHUR SPRING STATION

"Come across an alkali flat of twelve miles [Diamond Valley] which brought us to a station [at Sulphur Springs], where we stopped to feed and take dinner. Dinner over and train are prepareing to start" - Mary Karchner, August 2, 1862

Marker CON-18


ROBERTS CREEK STATION

"Traveled fifteen miles and camped on Roberts Creek. Three miles from the road found good grass and water. Are not going out until tomorrow eve the Indians are our constant visitors and we all dread to see them" - B. P. Lewis, July 7, 1863

Marker CON-19


GRUBB'S WELL STATION

"After noon traveld 17 miles to Grubs Well som water not much grass there has not been any grass along the rode for 40 miles fit for a hors" - Wilson Fryberger, August 18, 1864

Marker CON-20


DRY CREEK STATION

"Drove from [Grubb's Well] station to Dry Creek. 20 miles. No water or grass but a splendid road ... Simpson's Park [is] over the mountain 14 miles ... [we] camped 2 miles above the [Dry Creek] station." - Albert Jefferson Young, August 28, 1862

Marker CON-21


SIMPSONS PARK

"We travel 20 miles over a very bad road. Had a very bad hill to climb and a worse one to descend. I walk down which brings on a spell of sickness for tonight I am very poorly [she's pregnant]. We camp in Simpson's Park." - Mary Ringo, October 6, 1864


Mary Ringo's published diary is held in the collection of the Library of Congress and can be viewed here.

Marker CON-22


EMIGRANT PASS

"Went on up the canyon [Simpson's Park] which is very wide and not very steep ... on going over the summit the descent was more abrupt down into the valley ... we came to the Reasses [Reese] River" - Lumin A. Scott, August 25, 1859

Marker CON-23


JACOBSVILLE STATION

"Nooned at Simpson's Park passed through Austin... drove down to Jacobsville and camped on Reese River grass short good water no wood, drove 30 miles had a snow storm to day" - Jackson S. Swank, June 21, 1864

Marker CON-24


SMITH CREEK SUMMIT

"We want to get to Smith's Creek by night, which is twenty-five miles distant. We traveled over mountainous country this forenoon. ... we stopped for dinner on a mountain. It rained some and thundered very loudly." - Ada Millington, August 16, 1862

Marker CON-25


SMITH CREEK STATION

"Camp near station on Smith Creek but no feed ... we came over a sandy sage plain and had a wind and sand storm - crossed a level place hard and smooth as ice nearly; looked like a lake frozen over." - Delia Thompson Brown, August 20, 1860

Marker CON-26


EDWARDS CREEK STATION

"We traveled over mountains and down canyons and finally stopped for the rest of the day on Edward's Creek, where we found some wild currants. ... there are some Indians in camp." - Ada Millington, August 17, 1862

Marker CON-27


COLD SPRINGS STATION

"Passing out of the canyon we went up [Edwards Creek] valley between two ranges of mountains ... to Cold Springs where we ... prepared for crossing the sixty mile desert by cutting grass and filling our kegs with water" - Lumin A. Scott, August 29, 1859

Marker CON-28


EASTGATE STATION

"We started in search of grass and water. ... there was a stream of water running through the canon ... there was s stone house here empty. It had a cooking stove in it ... Mrs. Mason did her work there." - Phebe Abbott Carleton, July 18, 1864

Marker CON-29


MIDDLEGATE STATION

"At Middle Gate and stopped to feed and take a lunch; ... it is now 20 or 27 [miles] to the next water and not very good at that. ... we have some rough road again today - shall have some sand before we get through." - Delia Thompson Brown, August 24, 1860

Marker CON-30


WESTGATE STATION

"We left camp at 6 this morning passed through Middle and West Gate This kanyon that these passes or gates are in is the most beautiful one we passed through yet we have not traveled only 15 miles today" - Elizabeth Duncan, October 4, 1867

Marker CON-31


SAND SPRINGS STATION

"Sand Springs is a station on ... the Overland Stage Road ... a few rough places stuck in the sand and covered with cloth ... several holes have been shoveled out of the sand these are the springs ... warm and unwholesome" - William C. Moss, August 22, 1861

Marker CON-32


CARSON SLOUGH

"Left West Gate 6 o'clock went to Sand Springs 22 miles for dinner no grass, pretty good water went to Carson Slough ... forded slough toll $1.50 per wagon not much grass made 40 miles hard road" - Silas L. Hopper, June 26, 1863

Marker CON-33 / CR-12


RAGTOWN

"Started out without breakfast for Carson River. ... roads very sandy. Very fine stream. Took a bath. ... we crossed the river, and got to Ragtown at three o'clock. Took supper at station, had buttermilk and sugar" - Edward James Mathews, September 11, 1859


On this post is the original marker placed here by the Nevada Emigrant Trail Marking Committee, Inc. (NETMC).


CARSON RIVER ROUTE MARKER NO. C.R.R.8 RAGTOWN ON THE CARSON RIVER. END OF 40 MILE DESERT


This post also has Marker CR-12 from the Carson River Route on it. Use the button below to go to the Carson River Route.

Marker CON-34


CARSON SINK STATION

"Had a dreadful sandy road this morning, nooned at a station at the Carson Sink. Starting on this afternoon, we got on the wrong road, which took us to a hay ranch. ... the lady of the house called on us." - Flora Isabelle Bender, August 1, 1863

Marker CON-35


DESERT STATION

"Reached the sink about noon traveled along the bank ... and camped for dinner. After taking dinner we started for Desert Wells fifteen miles distant. Reached the wells late in the evening found good water and grass" - B. P. Lewis, July 16, 1863

Marker CON-36


BUCKLANDS STATION

"Just at daylight we came in sight of Carson River. ... the water is clear and cold. ... fish are caught here. ... we took time to rest as we had an invitation to attend a party this evening held at a stage station" - Clara E. Downes, August 15, 1860

Marker CON-37 / S-1 / CR-19


FORT CHURCHILL

"In about 3 miles we came to a mail station (Bucklands) ... about one mile farther we came to a new fort they were just building. ... on the north side of the river they are putting up some rite smart doby building" - Philander Powell, September 28, 1860


This marker post also has an original marker placed here by the Nevada Emigrant Trail Marking Committee, Inc. (NETMC).


CARSON RIVER ROUTE MARKER NO. C.R.R. 12-A - THE EMIGRANT ALTERNATE RIVER ROUTE RUNS FROM THIS POINT TO THE BASE OF THE SIERRA.


Markers S-1 and CR-19 from the Walker River / Sonora Route and the Carson River Route, respectively, are also found on this post. You can navigate to those routes using the buttons below.