The Pony Express
From February until November,
1849, when the telegraph office
in Halifax was opened, news
from Great Britain to the
United States brought by the
Cunard steamers was expressed
for the Associated Press and
a rival organization from
Halifax to Digby Gut, by riders
who changed at Kentville but
had fresh mounts every twelve
miles of the 144 mile route;
carried by steamer to Saint
John and thence despatched to
its destination by telegraph.
The author, a long-time correspondent for this newspaper, is honorary president of the Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, a former president (for 3 years), and former secretary of the association (for 33 years).
The Government of Nova Scotia (sic)
From February until November, 1849, when the telegraph office was
opened in Halifax, news from Great Britain to the United States, brought
by the Cunard steamers, was expressed for the Associated Press and a
rival organization, from Halifax to Digby Gut, by riders who changed at
Kentville but had fresh mounts every 12 miles on the route; carried
by steamer to Saint John and despatched to its destination by telegraph.
Mr. Rankin said in his address:
The significance of what transpired during the earlier period increased over subsequent years until today a great co-operative known as the Canadian Press extends to the remote parts of the world, has come into being. There is no more highly competitive business in the world than the newspaper business, yet here we found a group of publishers banding together to bring raw material — the lifeblood of their various enterprises — to the same city in which they fought each other, tooth and nail, for readers for their publications. Nowhere in the business world will you find a similar parallel.
Mr. Rankin also said:
A free press was the strongest asset a nation could have ... Nova Scotia played a prominent part in its development.
Some of the details in this article are open to question,|
in particular the missing bridge. Other sources tell the
story of the horse making a great leap over a gap due
to a swing span being left open overnight, which is
not the same as the bridge having been "swept away."
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