Callao is a small farming community in northern Snake Valley, along the border of Juab County and Tooele County, Utah, United States. It was part of the original Pony Express overland route, and was first called Willow Springs in 1860.
Round Station/Canyon Station
This stabilized fortification, known in modern times as Round Station, was built in 1863 to serve the Overland Stage. It was probably the third incarnation of Canyon Station, the first two having been burned by Indians. The ruin at Round Station is that of a structure probably used for defense, and the foundation of the station is visible to the south and east across the parking lot. The interpretation is the product of a cooperative agreement among the BLM, National Park Service, and the Utah Division of the National Pony Express Association.
Of the canyon ahead, now called Overland Canyon, Burton observed: “Nothing, certainly, could be better fitted for an ambuscade than this gorge, with its caves and holes in snow cuts, earth-drops, and lines of strata, like walls of rudely piled stone; in one place we saw the ashes of an Indian encampment; in another a whirlwind, curling, as smoke would rise, from behind a projecting spur, made us advance with the greatest caution.”
(*)Information provided by Patrick Hearty, NPEA Utah, 2005.
Boyd Station, or Boyd’s, may also have been known as Butte or Desert Station. It does not appear on the 1861 mail contract, but Burton describes a stop here, and Egan mentioned it as a Pony Express station. It was built by and named for station keeper George Washington Boyd in about 1855. George W. died in Salt Lake City in 1903. “Bid” Boyd, a relative of George, lived at the station until around the turn of the century. According to local resident and Pony Express historian David Bagley, he didn’t do much but hang out there and enjoy the solitude.
In Saddles and Spurs, the Settles say that Boyd Station was a log structure, but the stabilized ruins are of stone, in agreement with most other accounts. James Sharp says it was a one-room stone cabin which had gun ports on all four sides. There was apparently a small spring of very brackish water near Boyd Station. A well was dug to try to improve the water supply, but all that was found was brine so strong they used it to cure meat, according to Sharp. A poison spring was found a distance to the north, marked by numerous bones of dead animals.
The stabilized ruin at Boyd’s, on BLM-administered land, is one of the best preserved of the Pony Express stations in western Utah.
The first human occupation of the Fish Springs Marsh can be traced to the gradual evaporation of Pleistocene Lake Bonneville around 11,000 years ago and the formation of the marsh. Today, the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake are all that remain of Lake Bonneville. Archaeological and botanical remains from Hot Springs Cave suggest the inhabitants of the cave were hunting and gathering the abundance of wild animals and plants that occur in this marsh environment.
Located on Main Street in the small town of Eureka Utah is the Tintic Mining Museum. This Museum is filled with relics from this towns history dating back to the late 1800’s. As you make your way through the museum you can view several of the minerals that are common to this area. Exhibits of old mining tools, mining relics and other historical artifacts are on display.
The Little Sahara Recreation Area in Utah is a large area of sand dunes, hills and sagebrush flats located in the west central part of the state approximately 30 miles north of Delta, Utah. It is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management. A 9,000-acre portion of the northwest corner of the facility has been designated as The Rockwell Natural Area and is off limits to vehicles to preserve and shelter desert plants and animals.
Yuba Lake (technically Yuba Reservoir) is in Yuba State Park and is popular for boating, fishing and all types of watersports.
Yuba State Park got its name from the individuals who built the dam. Local farmers and ranchers had to build the dam themselves or risk losing their water rights. The men working on the structure called it the U.B. Dam. As they worked they sang a song that stated they were damned if they worked and damned if they didn’t. The phonetic sound of the reservoir’s name was eventually spelled Yuba.
Knightsville was at the north end of Godiva Mountains, one-half mile east of Eureka. Jesse Knight was a well-known mining man, financier, and benefactor. He developed Knightsville in 1897 to house his mining employees and their families. When the mines were closed, Knightsville was abandoned. During the town’s peak it was only one of two mining camps in Utah without saloons or red-light districts. Today it is a ghost town site.(*)