Genoa, Nevada

The Courthouse Museum of Genoa, Nevada

The former courthouse of Genoa, Nevada serves as a museum of Genoa County.

A historical plague, directly in front of the front door of the former courthouse, is dedicated to the former Pony Express station.

The musuem dedicated a portion of its exhibits to the various emigrants who traveled to the west coast from the Midwest and the east coast from 1841 to 1869.

On June 28, 1910, a fire broke out at the Poor Man’s House in Genoa. The fire destroyed various historical buildings, including the original Mormon settlement building that was constructed in 1851.

Genoa, Nevada

1851 – John Reeseā€™s Trading Post And Mormon Settlement Was Established In Genoa, Nevada

In June of 1851, John Reese’s group of settlers established a trading post in Genoa, Nevada. Since most members of John Reese’s party were Mormon it became known as a Mormon settlement.

Replica of the original settlement building.

The group built the first structure, that was built by non-natives, within the state of Nevada.

Currently, the site of the original settlement is a the Mormon Station Nevada State Park.

Genoa, Nevada, Sacramento, California, Salt Lake City, Utah

1851 – The Jackass Express Was Established Between Sacramento and Salt Lake City

In 1851, the United States Post Office awarded a contract to George Chorpenning and to Absalom Woodward to establish the first mail route between Sacramento, California and to Salt Lake City, Utah. The route would become known as “The Jackass Express” and later as “The Pony Express”. George Chorpenning and Absalom Woodword began their standard “thirty day mail service” in May 1851.

Pony Express marker by the Genoa Courthouse Musuem.

For their passage, Woodward and Chorpenning chose the old emigrant route from Sacramento to Salt Lake City. The length of the route was approximately 750 miles, and ran via Folsom, Placerville, and over the Sierra by the old emigrant road, through Strawberry and Hope Valleys into Carson Valley, through Genoa, Carson City, Dayton, Ragtown, and then across the Forty-Mile Desert to the Humboldt River, near the Humboldt Sink; then following the old emigrant route east along the Humboldt River to what is now Stone house Station, on the Central Pacific Railroad near which it left the river and turning to the southeast, took the Hasting’s Cutoff to Salt Lake City.

Rear side of Pony Express marker by the Genoa Courthouse Musuem.

During the initial year of service, Woodward and Chorpenning encountered a multitude of challenges. Service was delayed by heavy snow in the Sierras, which caused the trip an extra sixteen days to reach Carson Valley from Placerville; then they met June snow in the Grouse Creek Mountains west of the Great Salt Lake. The trip took not the required thirty days, but fifty-four days. To add to matters, during the November mail delivery, Absalom Woodward was killed by Shoshone Indians near Stone-House station, just west of the Malad River. To worsen affairs, deep snow in the Sierras prevented the December 1851 and January 1852 mails from ever crossing the Sierra Nevada mountain range from Placerville.

Outdoor Pony Express artwork at the Mormon Station Park in Genoa, Nevada.