There was the Pony Express!
The Pony Express mail service operated for only 18 months from April 1860 to October 1861 before it fell victim to the transcontinental telegraph.
Riders would gallop along a 1,966 mile route from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California where upon the mail would be taken upon a steamer to be sent down to San Francisco. Because the mail was delivered by riders on horseback rather than stagecoaches mail could be delivered between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts by ten days.
The Pony Express Monument in Old Sacramento, California commemorates the first Eastbound ride which started at this exact spot at 2:46 a.m. on April 4,1860, when Sam Hamilton started his first lap of the 1,966 mile trip to St. Joseph, Missouri.
Old Sacramento, California is located on the Sacramento River and is minutes from the State Capitol. It has the highest collection of "Gold Rush" era buildings and is registered as a National and California Historic Landmark.
Kudos to the young men of the Pony Express who endured inclement weather and treacherous terrain to deliver mail, while today I sit at my computer and send electronic email to thousands of people all over the world in a blink of an eye!
Text and photo copyright by Sam Antonio
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