Pony Express Monument gets much-needed facelift

Pony Express Monument gets much-needed facelift

By Vicki Hood

Contributing Editor

GUERNSEY—School’s out, pools are open and many Americans are on the road, checking out the sites our country has to offer.  With a number of major historical attractions, the Guernsey area sees a fair number of tourists every summer and keeping those places clean and attractive should be a priority.  But with a mix of ownership, it’s not always clear just exactly who should be responsible and to what extent.  But for some locals guys, getting what needed done became more important than who should do it.  

Over the past two summers, a substantial amount of work has been done to provide some access points on the Platte River for those who enjoy floating.  In addition to two locations near the west river bridge in Guernsey to get on the river,  an area was developed near Register Cliff to provide an easy point to get out.  Now known as Madison Beach, the site was made possible through donated labor and materials to honor the life of Madison Cook, a young woman who died in a domestic violence situation.  Madison enjoyed floating on the river through Guernsey with family members many times, so the family chose to do the project in Madison’s honor.  It was formally dedicated last summer.  

The site happens to sit adjacent to the area where the Nine Mile Station for the original Pony Express was located.  Although the building came down many years ago, the historical site is recognized with a large white stone monument alongside the road used to access the beach and Register Cliff.  Some of the same volunteers that worked on the beach noticed how run down the Pony Express marker had become and decided it was time for a facelift.  Their timing couldn’t have been more perfect as the annual National Pony Express Reride was scheduled to come through this past week.  The five volunteers included Kellie Augustyn, Brad Cook, Greg Frankel, Tom Holleran, and Randy Hood.  Using some funds provided by the Madison Beach Memorial fund, they completely scraped, sanded and repainted the white stone and cleaned the bronze pieces attached.  They added white rock around the base and finished the project with a split rail fence surrounding three sides.  The project was finished the day before the reride came through and many commented how much improved the site is.

Because they don’t have the resources that many large metropolitan areas have, small town residents rely on volunteers to make things happen.    

It serves as a great example to what can be accomplished for the good of all when the focus is on the project rather than who gets the credit for doing it.