Green River’s Origins As a Stagecoach Station

Green River’s Origins As a Stagecoach Station

The Sweetwater County Historical Museum features exhibits about the Overland Stage and Pony Express, including a fine scale model of an Overland Stage / Wells Fargo Stagecoach. Sweetwater County Historical Museum photo

The Transcontinental Railroad reached Green River in 1868 and established the future Sweetwater County seat as a railroad town, but for about six years before that, its importance was as a stagecoach station site, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River said in a special release on Saturday.

In 1861, the owner of the Overland Stage Company, Ben Holladay, the “Stagecoach King” originally from Nicholas County, Kentucky, was awarded the United States mail contract and began establishing stations across the country along the Overland Trail. Among them was a station at what would become “Green River City” – the town of Green River.

The town of Green River in the 1870s. The Overland Stage station is marked with an arrow; note the railroad bridge across the river on the right and Expedition Island at center right. Sweetwater County Historical Museum photo)

The station was located south of the south bank of the Green River where the Wyoming Game & Fish Department facility on Astle Avenue stands today.  

Advertisement - Story continues below...
Very early photo of Green River taken from the north side of the river, looking south. The Overland Trail stage station and Mansface are marked. Sweetwater County Historical Museum photo

At the site is “Overlook Park,” which features a gazebo, picnic tables, and a number of interpretive plaques describing the history there.

Overlook Park in Green River, just north of Astle Avenue, commemorating the Overland Stage station site.

The next Overland stage station about 12 miles west of Green River was Lonetree; going east, it was the Rock Springs station on what is now Springs Drive west of Elk Street.

The Overland Stage ford across the Green River as seen from Overlook Park.

The Overland Trail was a going concern until 1869, when the Union Pacific met the Central Pacific at Promontory Point, Utah, linking the country by rail from California to the east coast,  relegating long-distance stagecoach travel to a secondary role.

Aerial photograph of the Overland Trail stage station site in Green River. Marked are the original site of the station, Overlook Park, a section of the old Overland Trail, and its ford across the river.

Among the County Museum’s displays are exhibits about the Overland Stage and the Pony Express. The Museum is located at 3 E. Flaming Gorge Way in Green River. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free.