Pony Express National Museum

Pony Express National Museum Come and experience the exciting, educational and state-of-the-art exhibits conveying the creation, operation and termination of the legendary Pony Express
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The Pony Express was founded by William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors. Plans for the Pony Express were spurred by the threat of the Civil War and the need for faster communication with the West. The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2000-mile trail. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours and the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. The pony riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo
12/02/2019

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo

Made With Uncommon Character, St. Joseph, MO
11/25/2019

Made With Uncommon Character, St. Joseph, MO

Stories of the Pony Express permeate St. Joseph, but we like the uncommon ones the most. Read more about what happens when a Cyclone 🌪️ Buffalo 🤠 and Bronco 🐎 come together along with the scores of young men who made history riding for the legendary Pony Express…

"No other subject captures the imagination and also speaks to the impact that the city of St. Joseph had on a national stage than the saga of the Pony Express. In this era of modern transportation, it still seems an impossible idea to travel by horseback to Sacramento, California in a mere ten days. Now imagine that concept in 1859 when the world was definitely a much bigger place. The young riders who rode those stretches of lonely prairie faced dangers from gopher holes to hostile Indians. Without a doubt, the most famous of all of the riders was William F. Cody who went on to fame and fortune as Buffalo Bill Cody with his Wild West Show. But scores of other young men rode for the Pony Express. To honor those individuals and commemorate the Pony Express, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the City of St. Joseph dedicated a monument in 1912 in the park directly across the street from the livery barn that had housed the horses used for the mail runs - The Pony Express National Museum today. The postcard pictured here, which dates from the 1920s, shows the monument along with three former Pony Express riders. This image was actually taken in 1914 for a dedication ceremony of the monument where former riders Buffalo Bill Cody, Charlie Cliff and Charles Thompson were present. The discrepancy between the date on the monument and the date of the event was due to Cody’s travel schedule with his Wild West Show.

Volumes are written about the life of Buffalo Bill Cody, but comparably little is written about Charlie Cliff and Charles Thompson. Cliff rode the route between St. Joseph and Seneca, Kansas and at some point in his life became known as Bronco Charlie Cliff. He lived his life in St. Joseph and operated a feed and flour store. Charles Thompson’s career with the Pony Express was brief. He worked for a month as a substitute rider for Johnny Fry when Fry was too ill to make his portion of the run. When the war between the states began, Thompson served as a Confederate soldier in Virginia and eventually moved back to Northwest Missouri after the war. He later worked as the head janitor at the Buchanan County courthouse where he earned the nickname of ‘Cyclone’. It seems that after an argument with a county court judge, the judge called Thompson ‘windy’. To that Thompson replied, ‘Judge, you come outside with me and I’ll show you a cyclone.’ It would seem that a cool nickname goes hand in hand with being a rider for the Pony Express even if it does come much later in life.”

Postcard and commentary courtesy of Cole Woodbury.

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo
10/16/2019

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo

Countdown has begun! It is time for Pumpkinfest! We have been busy carving pumpkins and getting ready for this weekend! ...
10/07/2019

Countdown has begun! It is time for Pumpkinfest! We have been busy carving pumpkins and getting ready for this weekend! Pumpkinfest starts on Friday, October 11th at 5:00 P.M. The lighting of the mountain is planned for around 8:00 P.M. (or when dark). Pumpkinfest ends Sunday, October 13th at 5:00 P.M. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Free Museum Day | Smithsonian Day at the Pony Express National Museum on Saturday, Sept. 21.Contact: Cindy Daffron, Exec...
09/16/2019
Pony Express Museum - St. Joseph, MO | Welcome to ponyexpress.org

Free Museum Day | Smithsonian Day at the Pony Express National Museum on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Contact: Cindy Daffron, Executive Director
Pony Express National Museum
Phone: 816-279-5059

Smithsonian Day, Sat., September 21, 2019, at Pony Express National Museum, 914 Penn Street, St. Joseph, MO 64503.

FREE ADMISSION. Re-enactors will be presenting history at the Museum and Pony School during these hours: 10:00 A.M – Noon and 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Museum hours: 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. Phone: 816-279-5059. Visit website:www.ponyexpress.org. Email: [email protected]

Cindy Daffron says to” join re-enactors for a visit through the era of the Pony Express and spend time in the1860’s Pony School with a Schoolmarm”. Come see the newly restored George Gray “Platte Purchase Mural” that once graced the wall of the Hotel Robidoux’s Pony Bar’N.

For information on other museums offering free admission September 21, go to stjomo.com/museums..

On April 3, 1860, a lone rider left on horseback from the gates of one of the nation’s most historic landmarks, the Pikes Peak Stables in St. Joseph, Missouri. Carrying saddlebags filled with our nation’s hopes and dreams, the Pony Express riders traveled 2,000 miles west to Sacramento, Californ...

Save the date!
09/13/2019

Save the date!

Save the date for the 2019 Pony Express PumpkinFest. Entertainment line-up coming soon! Check http://ponyexpresspumpkinfest.com for updated info.

Financial assistance from the St. Joseph Visitors Bureau.

Recently, The Pony Express National Museum unveiled the Platte Purchase Mural. This mural, which graced the Pony Bar’N o...
09/11/2019

Recently, The Pony Express National Museum unveiled the Platte Purchase Mural. This mural, which graced the Pony Bar’N of the historic Hotel Robidoux for over 30 years, is the work of famous artist George Gray.

Peggy Van Witt, Conservator, cleaned, restored and reframed the mural. She is the only independent Conservator in the state of Kansas. The Mural depicts the Platte Purchase of the six Northwest Missouri Counties of Platte, Andrew, Buchanan, Holt, Nodaway, and Atchison from American Indian Tribes in October 1837. The purchase price was $7,500, along with other promised items.

Visit the museum to see the "new" mural in all its colorful glory!

Nick & Sarah’s Travels
09/06/2019

Nick & Sarah’s Travels

Pony Express Museum and Jesse James Murder House *way catchier name than “Jesse James Home”...

Hey! That's US!
08/22/2019

Hey! That's US!

"This iconic building is recognizable the world over as the home of the Pony Express. However, no one who ever worked for the firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell to carry the mail from St. Joseph to Sacramento, California in 1860 and 1861 would recognize the building as it looks today. Originally the building, which was named the Pike’s Peak Stables, was a wood frame structure. The brick exterior was actually an alteration added in 1888. Despite the history of the building, it was not always honored for its connection to the westward expansion of our nation.

Prior to it becoming a museum in about 1950, the building had been used by a number of different businesses through the years. These businesses ranged from a radiator shop to a mattress manufacturing company. Over time, the building fell into such disrepair that the back half of the building had to be removed. The circa 1909 postcard visible here shows the building at its full length. When the Pony Express National Museum opened its doors, the building was about half this size. After a second restoration in 1993, the building was returned once again it’s original size.

The business of transporting the mail across 2,000 miles of wilderness by horseback proved to be a financial disaster for the owners. However, the investment made by M. Karl Goetz and the Goetz Pony Express Foundation, as well as the citizens of St. Joseph, the Chamber of Commerce, and the the St. Joseph Museum, Inc. has proven to be a huge success in preserving this important and unique piece of our country’s history."

Postcard and commentary courtesy of Cole Woodbury.

The Pony Express Museum “Day Camp 2019” will be held for two weeks at the Museum from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. All ...
05/28/2019
Day Camp 2019 | Pony Express Museum - St. Joseph, MO

The Pony Express Museum “Day Camp 2019” will be held for two weeks at the Museum from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. All students entering grades 1-5 beginning in the fall of 2019 are eligible to participate. All campers will receive a camp T-shirt and lunch will be provided from 12-1 p.m. A cookout will be a part of the fun.

The four-day camp will include arts and crafts of the 1860s, educational games, and some surprises as well. All arts and crafts supplies will be furnished. The theme for 2019 is “Adventure Awaits”. The campers will learn about the building of the boom towns, westward expansion, and participate in era-related projects. Each day the students will spend time in the Pony School for educational and new activities. Don’t miss out on all of the fun! Bring a friend.

The cost of the camp is $40.00 per camper with a limited number of scholarships available. Please call Cindy Daffron at the museum, (816) 279-5059 or 1-800-530-5930, or e-mail me at [email protected] for more information. The committee is planning a great living history Day Camp. River says: “It was awesome and I can’t wait to go back next year!” Daffron says “Be one of 120 students to learn of the riders and what a story they have to tell!”

Scholarships are available for those students needing financial help to attend. Anyone wishing to support this worthy educational programming is encouraged to contact the Executive Director at 816-279-5059.

http://ponyexpress.org/day-camp-2018/

Winter Business Hours Monday - Saturday 9:00 to 4:00 Sunday remains the same at 11:00 - 4:00Winter business hours effective December 1 through March 1

On this day in St. Joseph history...The Pony Express began and notorious outlaw, Jesse James was shot and killed.For mor...
04/03/2019

On this day in St. Joseph history...

The Pony Express began and notorious outlaw, Jesse James was shot and killed.

For more history on both, check out https://stjomo.com/explore, or visit us at the Pony Express Museum!

On this day in St. Joseph history...

The Pony Express began and notorious outlaw, Jesse James was shot and killed.

For more history on both, check out https://stjomo.com/explore.

Riders wanted...for real!
03/14/2019
Riders Wanted

Riders wanted...for real!

If you are interested in joining our association as a rider, please contact one the State Division Presidents to see if any ride slots are available in their state.

THE PONY EXPRESS TRUNK (Blog post) - Read all about this amazing artifact. On a crisp winter day in November, the Van Wi...
02/28/2019
Blog

THE PONY EXPRESS TRUNK (Blog post) - Read all about this amazing artifact.

On a crisp winter day in November, the Van Witt Fine Art Team drove from the Conservation studio in Overland Park, Kansas to St. Joseph, Missouri in order to asses and obtain an original Pony Express artifact. The leather and canvas trunk had encased the written words of a burgeoning nation on the brink of a civil war. Weathering many westward journeys in the brief 18-months of operation, the strong bamboo infrastructure was enveloped in a soot-covered canvas, complete with tar and oil residue, nicotine stains and anything else that wasn't biodegradable over years of storage on a barn floor....

02/19/2019

Tonight's Tuesday Night Talks has been cancelled due to the incoming weather. See you next week!

Family Day 2019
02/18/2019

Family Day 2019

Still time to get down to Family Day at the museum! Having lots of fun!
02/18/2019

Still time to get down to Family Day at the museum! Having lots of fun!

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo
01/24/2019

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo

Show•Me Adventure Kids
01/23/2019

Show•Me Adventure Kids

The Pony Express National Museum and Visit St. Joseph, Missouri Visitors Center now have copies of our newest book, "Weigh What You Say." Show Me Adventure Kids sends a big thank you! Check out the book in these gift shops and let us know what you think. #visitmo #familytravel #stjosephmissouri

Tuesday Night Talks at the Pony Express Museum is starting up again next week. 20th year and counting!Admission is free ...
01/10/2019

Tuesday Night Talks at the Pony Express Museum is starting up again next week. 20th year and counting!

Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. Doors open at 6:15 and speaker begins at 7pm. Schedule is below.

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo
11/29/2018

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo

Pony Express National Museum
11/29/2018

Pony Express National Museum

11/20/2018

Hall of Riders exhibit at the Pony Express National Museum.

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo
10/19/2018

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo

10/12/2018

Pumpkinfest 2018 Carnival Ride Wrist Band Schedual.

Friday October 12, 2018 6pm-10pm

Saturday October 13,2018 12pm-4pm and 6pm-10pm

Sunday October 14,2018 12pm-4pm.

Colored wrist Bands are $20.00 each per 4 hour session. or you can purchase 32 tickets for $25.00 No refunds due to weather.

10/08/2018
Pony Express PumpkinFest

Turn up the volume and be prepared to chuckle!

Turn up the volume and be prepared to chuckle!

Wanted! Volunteers!!! Contact Cindy at 816-279-5059.
10/03/2018

Wanted! Volunteers!!! Contact Cindy at 816-279-5059.

Pony Express National Museum
10/01/2018

Pony Express National Museum

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo
10/01/2018

Pony Express National Museum's cover photo

Pony Express Museum attracts world travelers
08/01/2018
Pony Express Museum attracts world travelers

Pony Express Museum attracts world travelers

The Pony Express Museum attracts visitors from all over the world — 25 countries to be exact, and they expect more before the museum season ends in October.

Pony Express National Museum
07/27/2018

Pony Express National Museum

Always wonderful to receive reviews like this....
07/06/2018

Always wonderful to receive reviews like this....

Visit St. Joseph, Missouri
06/29/2018

Visit St. Joseph, Missouri

Talk about and "uncommon" activity for tomorrow evening! The kids'll love this!

Saturday, June 30
8:30 – 9:30pm

Annual re-ride by the National Pony Express Association arrives in St. Joseph from California. More than 550 riders cover the 1,966-mile trail in 10 days. The ride will arrive at the Patee House, Saturday June 30th at 8:30 p.m.

Address

914 Penn St
Saint Joseph, MO
64503

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(816) 279-5059

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