Old log building in Callao
Callao (originally Willow Springs) was incorporated in 1859 in the foothills of the Deep Creek Mountains. It served as a stop on the Pony Express from 1860 to 1861. Riders would stop at the Willow Springs station to change riders and feed their horses. The telegraph line ended all activity on the Pony Express. The towns biggest boom came with the completion of the Lincoln Highway which brought more businesses and residents to the area. In 1936, 100 residents lived in the town. However, the towns importance would be diminished by the relocation of the Lincoln Highway to the west. Today, the area supports small ranching operations.
Plaque for the Willow Springs station