The monument, a 10-by-10-foot metal silhouette of a mounted Pony Express rider heading east on the return route, overlooks Highway 50 near the Carson Highlands storage units. In addition to being visible to Highway 50 travelers, it will also be seen by V&T passengers when the train makes it to Carson City.
Larry McPherson, a Lyon County commissioner, said he had the rider pointing east rather than west because, since western Nevada was close to the westernmost point of the Express route, the rider heading east from Sacramento would have arrived at that point sooner than the rider headed west from St. Joseph, Missouri.
The original Pony Express route paralleled Highway 50 through the Dayton Valley to Carson City. This was an opening of where one would come out of Dayton Valley, go over the rise known as Mound House, and drop into the Eagle Valley. The riders had to follow the contour of the hills to get in, rather than go straight through because of the very high water table in this area. It wasn't always the most direct way, but it was a way to go without horses slogging through the marsh. There was a lot of marshland then.
The silhouette was created by artist Bill Muerle, of Carson Valley, who donated his time. Muerle, who owns Decorative Iron Plus, frequently does cowboy and cowgirl silhouettes, though usually not that big. Here is a pictorial document on Muerle's Pony Express Project.
The placement of the monument was a team effort; in addition to McPherson and Muerle, Capital City Concrete donated concrete for the base, DIS Backhoe dug the hole, workers at Miles Construction stored it and hauled it to the location. Developer Phil Cowee, of Dayton, donated the land.
unveiling the silhouette.