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Utah Centennial Studies

 


Ghost Riders and Rest Stops Packet B

 

WEBER STATION AND THE MAIL ROBBER'S CACHE

Dear Pupils,

Weber Station was located at the mouth of Echo Canyon in Summit County, alongside the Weber River about 2 miles southeast of present-day Echo City. Can you find it on the map? Weber Station was an important stop, since the trail forked there and followed the Weber River upstream to Fort Hoyt, Wanship Rock Fort, Snyder's Station and over Parley's canyon to Mountain Dell and Salt Lake.

From Weber Station the stage road followed the Weber River downstream to Salt Spring Creek, the site of present day Henefer, where a brief stop could be made to rest the horses before climbing over a ridge and dropping into Thomas Canyon. The trail continued over Hogback Summit, a bare ridge where the pioneers of 1847 got their first glimpse of the rugged mountains ahead.

Stagecoach robberies happened almost daily along the road through Echo Canyon. All a robber had to do was ride a few miles across the territorial line into Wyoming where he was beyond a Utah posse's jurisdiction. Finally United States President Andrew Johnson appointed a special investigator who could work on both sides of the line so that the robber could not escape as easily.

Weber Station had been plagued by mail thefts. Often at night, during the confusion of changing teams, two men would run up to the coach, steal several sacks of mail, and carry them off. It happened so many times that there was no doubt that someone at the station was telling the robbers when the mail came in.

The problem was solved by two men who had climbed a side canyon to locate wood to repair a broken wagon wheel. They discovered two men asleep by a campfire which had been built from stacks of letters and mail sacks!

The two robbers were captured and taken to Hanging Rock Station where they were placed under arrest. Their camp was searched, but no trace of the large amount of loot taken from the Wells Fargo stage was found. Both men were given long prison sentences and never got a chance to recover the loot so it might still be there!

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