MAIL TO RIDE AGAIN ON PONY EXPRESS TRAIL 05/31/99 CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) The Pony Express Trail will echo again with the hoofbeats of horses carrying riders and mail. The National Pony Express Association will stage its annual re-ride of the trail between St. Joseph, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif., from June 8-18. More than 500 riders and horses will take part in the eight-state relay, which will be conducted 24 hours a day until the mail is delivered to Sacramento. Dale Ryan of Carson City, association national president, said the event is designed to commemorate the Pony Express mail service of 1860-61. The event is a thrill for participants and gives them a feel for what the Pony Express was like for the earlier riders, he said. "It's great to be out there in the middle of the night waiting for the relay," he said. "Your imagination runs wild. It's dead quiet out there, then all the sudden you can hear the pounding of horse hooves." The 1,966-mile Pony Express Trail traversed Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. The event will begin June 8 at St. Joseph, Mo., and reach Nevada on June 15. Riders will reach Carson City on June 17 and South Lake Tahoe, Calif., later that day. Plans call for the event to end at noon June 18 in Old Town Sacramento with the unveiling of the Sesquicentennial California Gold Rush Stamp. Riders will relay commemorative letters being purchased by history enthusiasts and others from across the country. Federal protection was extended to the Pony Express Trail in 1992. Unlike the other states, most of the trail in Nevada and Wyoming still exists, Ryan said.

UTAH,1249,100004607,00.html? The original battalion was to meet at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to gather arms and horses. By the time they arrived, the horses were taken by other companies. As a result, the original 500 Mormon Battalion recruits traveled more than 2,000 miles on foot before they reached San Diego. Twenty women also were recruited in the battalion as laundresses. They earned $7 a month, equivalent to pay as a private. Each of five battalion companies recruited four women to cook, wash clothes and care for the wounded. A total of 34 women accompanied the battalion. Four women traveled the entire distance. Without uniforms, which included boots, the battalion weathered the long haul with inadequate clothing. The battalion traveled often with little food and water, but were fed a good meal by the Pima Indians near Tucson, Ariz. The Great Basin Museum in Delta is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The museum, started by the Great Basin Historical Society, promotes West Millard County history from American Indians who populated the area to the county's mining legacy. "Our mission is to tell the story of the founding of west Millard County," says Charlotte Morrison, the museum's director. "We've stayed to regional and local history." The museum is at 328 W. 100 North in Delta. Admission is free.

ARIZONA In 1994, Phoenix moved the 3,000-square-foot Smurthwaite House to the cemetery from its original location, the northwestern corner of Seventh and Fillmore streets. It then was restored. Built for $2,875 as a boarding house, it will become a visitor center.

NEW MEXICO Six years ago this week, a vast stretch of the Southwest was in the grip of a mysterious, flulike illness that was killing young, healthy people -- and was doing it frighteningly fast. It is largely a disease of the rural West, although there have been a sprinkling of cases in the East, some caused by the deer mouse's cousins. And it remains deadly. Nearly 45 percent of cases are fatal. Four people have died in New Mexico this year and one in Colorado. By Hjelle's count, there have been more than two dozen cases since the beginning of 1998 in the Four Corners states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. That is more than twice as many as in the previous three years combined.

TEXAS The Texas-Oklahoma line actually was in dispute long before either state joined the union. The boundary initially was a result of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. But it wasn't until 1821 that the United States and Spain finally agreed on the details.


FIRST TOURIST SEASON FOR ARCHEODOME 05/31/99 MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) Archeologists are gearing up for a lifetime of excavation at Mitchell's newest tourist attraction. "I doubt I will see the end result in my lifetime," said Peter Winham, assistant director of the archeology laboratory at Augustana College in Sioux Falls. "This will be an ongoing process." The $2.3 million Thomsen Center Archeodome, located on the grounds of the Prehistoric Indian Village Museum at Lake Mitchell, is open for its first tourist season. The Archeodome shelters the dig site of an ancient, agricultural people thought to be ancestors of the Mandan. Last week, scientists set up a grid system on the Archeodome's soon-to-be-excavated dirt floor. The ground likely will take about 50 years to completely excavate, with only 1 or 2 inches of dirt being removed per year. Digging at the site is expected to go as deep as 12 feet. The excavation that will take place within the six-sided Archeodome will be logged into a computer program at the center. By use of computers, visitors can view three-dimensional computer models of various excavation levels and artifacts. A quick slide of the foot over the dirt floor of the Archeodome may uncover an old bone or segment that tells the story of this ancient culture. Or, it may simply unearth artifacts from a more recent time, like broken bottles or shotgun-blasted skeet particles. "It's amazing what you will find. But you don't have to dig very far to uncover something," Winham said. To make his point, he pointed to the spot where a set of bones already were protruding from the unworked surface. "As you can see here, items are very close to the surface," Winham said. Officials with the Indian Village Museum are optimistic about the start of the tourist season. "We've just about doubled the number of people who have visited this May compared to the same month last year," said Jerry Garry, Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Preservation Society president. Exact numbers were not immediately available. Scheel has produced maps over the past three decades. The intricate, hand-drawn works of cartographic art show everything from American Indian burial grounds and fishing traps to settlements of former slaves, along with old general stores, post offices and grain mills. Each map takes about a year or so to produce, mainly because Scheel's method involves walking the land, viewing the sites and talking for hours with old-timers to elicit a small scrap of information. His attention to detail, history and accuracy is unusual in this age of computer-produced maps designed to help the reader get from point A to point B in the shortest time possible. Scheel conveys the romance of travel and discovery in his tracings of abandoned roads and trails, his resurrection of oddly named crossroads and his careful notation of each river's network of tributaries. His customers include local history buffs, genealogy researchers and groups interested in preserving the landscape. Frank Siebert's story bears every mark of the fanatic collector, said anthropologist Edmund Carpenter. To buy books, he sacrificed everything, but there was this other side of him: He is one of the major authorities in American Indian languages, a genius who devoted his life to this study. Siebert focused on the language and legends of various tribes, especially the Catawbas of South Carolina and the Penoboscot of Maine, near whom he lived for the last 30 years of his life, mastering their language, becoming its last speaker and producing a dictionary. When he died at 85 from cancer a year ago, Siebert's collection of 1,500 books and manuscripts had never been seen by his colleagues in anthropology and linguistics. Now the Siebert library will be auctioned in two parts at Sotheby's, in Manhattan, in a sale estimated to total about $7 million. The first 550 books, which focus on the tribes east of the Mississippi, went to auction earlier this month. The rest of the books, on those of the South and the West, will be auctioned in October. A wooden bowling ball almost 300 years old has been unearthed near Boston. The ball -- the oldest known bowling ball in the New World -- was found on land once owned by a woman named Katherine Nanny. It was discovered in a filled latrine that was used before 1715.