By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
St. Joseph’s Pony Express Museum couldn’t celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Pony Express last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So, its celebrating it this year.
Museum Executive Director Cindy Daffron says the museum is taking advantage of Smithsonian Day, or Free Museum Day, Saturday to celebrate that milestone.
"Last year in 2020, we celebrated 160 years, but was really unable to take it to a live moment," Daffron tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post. "So we've decided to do it with Smithsonian Day."
As part of the celebration, parents will be able to take their kids on an interactive experience, tracing the Pony Express trail.
"We'll actually have a two thousand mile trail for the children to come, pick up a stick horse, and figure out what dangers and how much fun and what there was to do, we'll have some things in the museum also," Daffron says.
The interactive representative trail can be found at the Pony Express Event Center, formerly known as Callison Hall, at 1220 South 10th Street.
Daffron says the model of the Pony Express trail began on a small scale.
"We've been doing this two thousand mile trail for about 12 years, and we've kind of built it up, it was a small little thing and we thought oh we'll try it out, then it became popular," Daffron explains.
Daffron says as the trail became more popular, the museum added to it.
"And really do more of what the dangers are and really teach the kids, make it more elaborate," Daffron adds.
Daffron explains the exhibit invites children to start their journey in St. Joseph, buying a horse and traveling across the river, hearing stories and learning of the dangers of the trail, all the way to California.
Daffron says that for people coming out, there are not many restrictions when it comes to masks, but the museum still has patrons’ safety in mind.
"What we say here is if you want to wear a mask it is appreciated, but it is not mandatory," Daffron elaborates. "And we have zoning throughout the museum where you go your six foot or 10 try to stay in it, and we have sanitizing stations throughout, we'll also have sanitizing stations over in Callison Hall, or what we call the Pony Express Event Center."
Daffron says they are looking forward to people coming out as the museum will have reenactors floating around, as well as the many other exhibits on display.