Submitted by scott on Thu, 09/29/2016 - 10:07
Venue
Off
39° 45' 1" N , 116° 17' 13" W

This was one of the original Pony Express stations built in the spring of 1860. It is difficult to say whether Bolivar Roberts or Howard Egan built Robert’s Creek. Some accounts say Bolivar Roberts and his crew built stations as far east as Robert’s Creek. However, Burton says Robert’s Creek was the western most extent of Egan’s division. It seems that the station was still intact around May, 1860. After this time it is thought that the station was destroyed by Indians and Bolivar Roberts set out to rebuild destroyed stations and restock them. This time the buildings were better constructed and men left to occupy each one until the Indian troubles were over. On June 16 they met Howard Egan at Robert’s Creek.
Robert’s Creek Station was a telegraph station as well as an Overland Stage Station. It was an Overland stop until 1869. The site of the station is now on the Robert’s Creek Ranch owned by Filbert Etcheverry of Bakersfield, California. Peter Damele noted the old Pony Express station, a log structure, has long since been obliterated by the owners. There is a log dugout very near the Express site he described, but no one knows if it is part of the original station or not. Robert’s Creek is 15 miles north of Highway 50.
(Expedition Utah)

The final station in Division Four was known as Roberts or Roberts Creek, a fact that all sources agree upon. The Roberts Creek Station existed as one of the original Pony Express stations. It was built in the spring of 1860 by either Bolivar Roberts' or Howard Egan's men. Other stations faced Indian troubles in May 1860, but it remains unclear whether any harm came to the Roberts Creek Station. Richard Burton definitely stated that Indians had burned the station, and workers had rebuilt only part of it by his October 10, 1860, visit. The site at Roberts Creek also later served as a station for the telegraph and the Overland stage line, and the station appeared on the 1861 mail contract with the Overland Mail Company.
The station's original log structure no longer exists. A log dugout stood near the site in 1981, but its relationship to the Roberts Creek Station remained unknown at that time.(NPS)

From the hills rose the smokes of Indian fires: the lands belong to the Tusawichya or White Knives, a band of the Shoshonees under an independent chief. This depression is known to the Yutas as Sheawit or Willow Creek: the whites call it, from Mr Bolivar Roberts, the Western agent, Roberts Springs Valley. It lies 286 miles from Camp Floyd: from this point Simpson's Road strikes off to the SE and as Mr Howard Egan's rule here terminates, it is considered the latter end of Mormondom. Like all the stations to the westward, that is to say, those now before us, it was burned down in the late Indian troubles, and has only been partially rebuilt. One of the employes was Mr Mose Wright, of Illinois, who again kindly assisted me with correcting my vocabulary.

About the station loitered several Indians of the White Knife tribe, which boasts, like the old Sioux and the modern Flatheads, never to have stained its weapons with the blood of a white man. They may be a respectable race, but they are an ugly: they resemble the Diggers, and the children are not a little like juvenile baboons. The dress was the usual medley of rags and rabbit furs: they were streaked with vermilion: and their hair - contrary to and more sensibly than the practice of our grandfathers - was fastened into a frontal pigtail, to prevent it falling into the eyes. These men attend upon the station, and herd the stock, for an occasional meal, their sole payment. They will trade their skins and peltries for arms and gunpowder, but, African-like, they are apt to look upon provisions, beads, and tobacco in the light of presents.

A long march of thirty five miles lay before us. Kennedy resolved to pass the night at Sheawit Creek, and, despite their grumbling, sent on the boys, the stock, and the wagons, when rested from their labor, in the early afternoon. We spent a cosy, pleasant evening - such as I have enjoyed in the old Italian days before railroads - of travelers tittle and Munchausen tattle, in the ingle corner and round the huge hearth of the half finished station, with its holey walls. At intervals, the roarings of the wind, the ticking of the death watch, (a well known xylophagus,) boring a home in the soft cotton wood rafters, and the bowlings of the Indians, who were keening at a neighboring grave, formed a rude and appropriate chorus. Mose Wright recounted his early adventures in Oregon; how, when he was a greenhorn, the Indians had danced the war dance under his nose, had then set upon his companions, and after slaying them had displayed their scalps. He favored us with a representation of the ceremony, an ursine performance, - the bear seems every where to have been the sire of Terpsichore, - while the right hand repeatedly clapped to his lips quavered the long loud howl into broken sounds: "Howh howh howh ow ow ough ough aloo aloo loo loo oo!" We talked of a curious animal, a breed between the dog and the bear, which represents the semi fabulous jumard in these regions: it is said to be a cross far more savage than that between the dog and the wolf. The young grizzly is a favorite pet in the Western hut, and a canine graft is hardly more monstrous than the progeny of the horse and the deer lately exhibited in London. I still believe that in Africa, and indeed in India, there are accidentally mules bimanous and quadrumanous, and would suggest that such specimens should be sought as the means of settling on a rational basis the genus and species of homo sapiens.

Mose Wright described the Indian arrow poison. The rattlesnake - the copperhead and the moccasin he ignored - is caught with a forked stick planted over its neck, and is allowed to fix its fangs in an antelope's liver. The meat, which turns green, is carried upon a skewer when wanted for use: the flint head of an arrow, made purposely to break in the wound, is thrust into the poison, and when withdrawn is covered with a thin coat of glue. Ammonia is considered a cure for it, and the Indians treat snake bites with the actual cautery. The rattlesnake here attains a length of eight to nine feet, and is described as having reached the number of seventy three rattles, which supposing (as the theory is) that after the third year it puts forth one per annum, would raise its age to that of man: it is much feared in Utah Territory. We were also cautioned against the poison oak, which is worse than the poison vine east of the Mississippi. It is a dwarf bush with quercine leaves, dark colored and prickly like those of the holly: the effect of a sting, of a touch, or, it is said, in sensitives of its proximity, is a painful itching, followed by a rash that lasts three weeks, and other highly inconvenient consequences. Strong brine was recommended to us by our prairie doctor.

Among the employes of the station was an intelligent young mechanic from Pennsylvania, who, threatened with consumption, had sought and soon found health in the pure regions of the Rocky Mountains. He looked forward to revisiting civilization, where comforts were attainable. In these wilds little luxuries like tea and coffee are often unprocurable; a dudeen or a cutty pipe sells for a dollar, consequently a hollowed potato or corn cob with a reed tube is often rendered necessary; and tobacco must be mixed with a myrtaceous leaf called by the natives timaya, and by the mountaineers larb - possibly a corruption of l'herbe or la yerba. Newspapers and magazines arrive sometimes twice a year, when they have weathered the dangers of the way. Economy has deprived the stations of their gardens, and the shrinking of emigration, which now dribbles eastward, instead of flowing in full stream westward, leaves the exiles to amuse themselves.

To Dry Creek 11th October
We arose early, and found that it had not frosted; that flies were busy in the station house; and that the snow, though thick on the northern faces, had melted from the southern shoulders of the hills - these were so many indices of the St Martin's or Indian summer, the last warm glow of life before the cold and pallid death of the year. At 6 AM we entered the ambulance and followed a good road across the remains of the long broad Sheawit Valley.
(The City of the Saints)

(The City of the Saints, p 481-3)

Pony-Stagecoach