“I, __________, do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors & Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language; that I will drink no intoxicating liquors; that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful in my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers. So help me God.”
-Pledge of the C.O.C. and P.P. Express Company
Life working for the Pony Express was incredibly difficult. That’s why here at the White Pine Public Museum, we believe that the legacy of the riders and what they stood for should be immortalized. We have a wonderfully condensed trove of relics from the era of the Pony Express. There is also the Schell Creek Station near both Ely and the museum. We will also gladly stamp your Pony Express Passports when you come to visit us.
The Pony Express Route Connecting the East to the West
Life was hard for the riders during the 18 months the Pony Express was in operation. Between all the hazards such as grueling temperatures, a plethora of holes where horses can get their legs stuck and break, and possibly getting lost in the vast American west, the riders grew to have a reputation of being rugged individuals—a true visage of the American worker and our country’s determination.
Because of these hazards, the Pony Express paid its riders a handsome sum for their efforts. Around $125 a month! In comparison, at the time, the average unskilled wage was roughly $0.50-$1 a day. There is a bit of controversy surrounding the hiring preference of riders. It’s rumored to be “young,” “skinny,” and “orphans preferred,” though there was no official ad run saying such.
A massive thank you to Travel Nevada for their generous donation to the White Pine Museum!
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2000 Aultman Street
Ely, NV 89301