Fridays Station Nevada
Fridays Station Nevada Overview
Located in Douglas County, Nevada, Fridays Station was a stop on the Pony Express that was also known as Burke and Small Station, Fridays, Smalls, and Edgewood. (Although I have found references that Smalls was actually a separate nearby location.)
In 1986 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. [see below for information found on the application]
Learn more about the Pony Express: The Route, The Riders, The Ruins Left Behind.
Fridays Station Nevada History
According to many historical resources, Friday’s, also known as Lakeside, is considered a Pony Express stop.
Friday’s Station began operation in early 1860 as a franchise station on the Kingsbury Grade, a new road through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, near the Nevada-California border. Martin K. “Friday” Burke and James Washington Small managed operations at this home station for the Pony Express and later stage lines.
Structures at Friday’s included a one-room log cabin, a two-and-one-half-story hostelry, dining room, kitchen, storeroom, woodshed, and a roomy building that doubled as a stable and hay barn.
Burke and Small conducted a profitable business at the station for several years after the demise of the Pony Express. In 1871 the partners split their land acquisition, with Small’s share including the station site.
In 1888 John Wales Averill purchased the station and surrounding property from James Small’s brother, J. G. “Doc” Small, and renamed the site “Edgewood.”
The station experienced several phases of remodeling as it changed hands over the years, but portions of the interior retained their historical integrity as late as 1957.
In 1976 the original 20 x 40 foot log blacksmith shop still existed as a shed.
From the National Register of Historic Places:
Friday’s Station is a two-and-one-half story, frame building constructed in 1860 as an inn and Pony Express Station. The symmetrical building is a western adaptation of Greek Revival design and includes horizontal siding with cornerboards, eave returns on the gable ends, six-light-over-six light sash windows with thin muntin profiles, and a central entry with sidelights, pilasters and cornice. The inn, recently restored, is in excellent condition and is currently used as a guest house for the Park Cattle Company. A single cell, gable-roofed, log blacksmith shop and stable is located to the rear of the inn. This building was built in 1850 and is currently used for storage.
Of the thirty Pony Express stations constructed in Nevada, Friday’s Station is the only one to survive essentially intact. Unlike the majority of the P6.ny Express stations which were hastily erected from desert matieral, (stone, adobe, scrap lumber) Friday’s Station was constructed as a substantial timber building and remained in operation under private ownership beyond the life of the Pony Express. (October, 1861) Friday’s Station was established in March 1860 by Martin K. “Friday” Burke and James Washington Small with the preempting of 320 acres of meadow and forest and the building of a one room cabin/station. Located on Kingsbury Grade, the main road over the Sierras to Washoe Valley, Friday’s capitalized on the traffic to the Comstock Lode in 1860, one year after silver was discovered there.
In April of 1860, Burke and Small obtained a franchise to operate Friday’s as a Pony Express station. Friday’s is famous as the home station of “Pony Bob” Haslam, one of the most notable riders. “Pony Bob” was the first rider to cross the Sierra on the new Kingsbury Grade road, riding from Friday’s to Buckland’s Station on the Carson River near Fort Churchill.
“Pony Bob” is accredited the fastest run and the longest ride by a single rider in the short life of the Pony Express. He rode from Friday’s to Buckland’s, and then to Smith’s Creek when the relief rider would not ride the second leg due to the danger posed by the Paiutes. This ride, the fastest in Pony Express history, was 190 miles long, ridden on May 6, 1860, the day before the Pyramid Indian War started. After a brief stay at Smith’s Creek, “Pony Bob” headed back to Friday’s with the westbound mail, on his way he stopped at Cold Springs to discover that the Paiutes had burned the station and killed John Williams and his group. He continued his ride to Friday’s stopping only to change horses and to alert the other stations of the tragedy at Williams Station.
Originally supported by a redwood foundation, the inn now sits on a recent, concrete block foundation. The wood framed building is clad with horizontal V-grooved wooden siding with cornerboards and is topped by a shingled, gabled roof with a boxed cornice, plain frieze, and eave returns. Two interior chimneys protrude through the roof. These chimneys are enclosed in wood and are recent additions to the building.
The predominant feature of the building is a two tier verandah with shed roof which runs the length of the building. The verandah is supported by square posts with a criss-cross balastrade on the second floor. A one story addition with shed roof once ran the length of the building on the rear elevation. This addition was removed c. 1980 during the building’s restoration.
The windows are six-over-six, double hung, sash with plain surrounds and are flanked by wooden shutters. There are four exterior doors, one centrally placed on each long side of the building on each floor. The main (front, first floor) door is flanked by sidelights and topped by a plain cornice supported by pilasters. The second floor, wooden doors have two panels and six lights.
The interior has been remodeled several times. The present floor plan on the first floor is close to the original plan which included a restaurant on one end and a saloon on the other. The first floor plan now includes a living area on one side and a kitchen and dining room on the other. The second floor is divided into several small rooms, much as it always has been except for the addition of bathrooms. The second floor was decorated in knotty pine paneling in the 1930’s. The third floor or attic is one large space with exposed log rafters.
The original Pony Express cabin (also built in 1860) is rectagular in plan, one room, log building. The round log exterior has saddle notched, corner joints with the logs extending about six inches beyond the corners. The building is topped with a gabled, wooden shingled roof. The gable ends are sided with vertical boards. Double doors, hinged at the sides and a small door in the gable-end provide the only openings into the building.
- 1860 – The two-story wood-frame white building built as a Pony Express station and inn
- October 26, 1861 – The operations ceased after the first transcontinental telegraph was established on October 24, 1861
- 1870s – 1880s – Operated as a resort under the name “Buttermilk Bonanza Ranch
- 1986 – Added to the National Register of Historic Places
Highway 50 between Kingsbury Grade and Loop Road
38° 57′ 38.67″ N, 119° 56′ 30.65″ W
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Photos and Videos
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Click here to view our list of History of the Southwest – Books and Online Resources to learn more about our amazing area!
- Godfrey, Ph.D., Anthony, (August 1994), Historic Resource Study Pony Express National Historic Trail
- Wikipedia – Friday’s Station
- USGS – Edgewood Nevada