Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pony Express from Princeton to Earlville

This morning reminded just how much I miss my horse, Rojo, and the companionship we shared on many a trail.

The Pony Express mail service was re-enacted this morning by many gentlemen of the Illinois Valley Horsemen's Association.  The horsemen prepared in a parking lot adjacent to the to Princeton Post Office this morning. 

The Pony Express riders arrived through the parking lot and rode up the sidewalk a short distance to be welcomed by the postmaster.  

The mailbag was handed off by postmaster and well wishes for a safe journey.

The horsemen jay-walked their horses across to the grassy knoll.  Many children and curious onlookers had to take a double look to see two horseback riders riding through town, stopping traffic.

The rules of the Pony Express were read to the riders, and they were all sworn in.
Mayor Cain spoke a few words of gratification to Earlville, the Pony Express Riders, Joni Hunt (Princeton Bureau of Tourism) and our community for the spirit of cooperation and celebration.  This ride was the beginning of the 150th Celebration of Earlville.  My friends, Mary and Scott Wallis, met me at the Post Office this morning and we took many pictures.  Then we followed the riders through town.
As the riders reached the town's edge, they were followed by a traffic controlling pick-up and a police or sheriff's car.  It was a beautiful scene, watching the horses canter along the field edge.  The pull on my heart was strong.  Just a few years ago, this something I would have trusted Rojo and I to complete.

Mary, Scott and I headed to the next stop in Dover, IL.  We passed the trailers on the road where the next rider was preparing for the mailbag hand off.  Each rider would travel approximately 2 miles before a hand off.

Rider arriving in Dover, IL.
Below the hand-off of the mailbag.
 The riders took time at each mail stop to talk with the small crowd gathered.  Bandannas were handed out to the kids with Earlville's 150th Celebration logo printed on them.  Some children asked questions about the horses and riders.  Mostly curious how horses respond to riders and interest in the horse's shoes. 

This hand-off process will happen throughout today until the final riders arrive in Earlville at approximately 6pm for the opening ceremonies of the celebration.

Happy Trails to the Pony Express riders of the 150th Celebration of Earlville!


  1. Love how you followed along and took photos of the journey.

  2. This was neat! I was surprised some time ago when I learned how short the run of the Pony Express was. From history class it sounded like it had been working forever. What a feat of logistics to get something like that up and organized in a day without cell phones and email!