Pony Express riders once carried mail the 1,996 miles from here to Sacramento, Calif., in as little as eight days.

Some 400 relay stations, where riders changed ponies, stood 10 to 15 miles apart along the route. The riders covered about 75 miles a day, at speeds up to 25 mph. They were paid $100-$150 a month, high wages in the 1860s.Pony Express riders regularly beat their competitors, the Overland Mail stagecoaches, to California by 12 or 14 days. But after less than 18 months of operation, totaling 650,000 miles ridden, Pony Express service ended Oct. 24, 1861, when the coast-to-coast telegraph made it obsolete.