Monday, August 31, 2009

Hollenberg Pony Express Station, Stage Coach, and Covered Wagon

Pony Express Station near Hanover, Kansas is believed to be the only unaltered station on it's original site.

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station (also called Cottonwood Station) was built in 1857 by Gerat Hollenberg, who emigrated to America from Germany, it stands near Hanover in Washington County, Kansas. As well as serving as a Pony Express Station (1860-61) it was also a way station for travelers on the Oregon-California Trail. Gerat Hollenberg was a colorful character, he searched for gold in South America and Australia and took part in the California gold rush in 1849 before settling in Kansas. He founded nearby Hanover and served three terms in the Kansas Legislature. In 1874 his health was failing and he decided to return to Germany, a few hours out of New York he died and was buried at sea.

Each year on the last Sunday in August the Pony Express Festival is held at the Station which is a State Historic Site. This year the event was held on August 30th.

Scenes from the Mural in the Pony Express Museum

The Oregon Trail

Gerat and Sophia Hollenberg talking with an army officer

Pony Express Station

These are scenes from a mural in the Hollenberg Pony Express Station State Historic Site Museum near Hanover, Kansas.

Scenes from the Pony Express Festival held on August 30, 2009 near Hanover, Kansas

Plowing with Belgian Draft Horses

A young man from Portis, Kansas had a pair of Belgian Draft Horses at the Festival and was showing how plowing was done in an earlier time.

People Demonstrating different 19th Century Crafts at the Pony Express Festival

Several people were demonstrating different crafts from the era of the Pony Express.

Reenactors at the Pony Express Festival

There were thirty three historical reenactors at the Pony Express Festival at the Hollenberg Pony Express State Historic Site on Sunday August 30, 2009. All of the reenactors I talked with were from Kansas, with many coming from Manhattan.