Pony Express, Jesse James and 158 years of history
We traveled north along the Missouri River to our next stop on the Lewis and Clark Trail
at the World of Fun Campground located on the grounds of an amusement park of
the same name. It is a very nice place,
but can imagine it would be very crowded and noisy during the busy season.
Our first excursion was to St Joseph, MO. The first stop was the Pony Express Museum
that is in the original building of the first Pony Express station. This was the starting point of the westward
mail route via horseback riders. The
museum provides an overview of the operation of the mail service and of the
very young riders who made the long rides to and from the west coast. This was
a short lived service, but was an important part of the communications from
east to west during its operation. Once
the arrival of the telegraph and expanded rail service was in place, the Pony
Express became obsolete.
The Patee House Museum National Landmark was founded
as a luxury hotel in 1858. It also
housed the headquarters of the Pony Express.
During the Civil War, it was occupied by the Union Army, where war
trials were conducted in the Grand ballroom. Today, it holds an amazing
collection of American artifacts. In addition to displays on its history, it
has railroad cars, an operating carousel and many reflections of life throughout its 158 year history. Many hours could be spent wandering the two
floors of exhibits.
Just outside the hotel, is the home of Jesse James
moved a few blocks from its original location, where Jesse James was shot and
killed by Bob Ford on April 3, 1882. The bullet hole in the wall is still