"If the gable end of old Hell would blow out, it wouldn't melt the snow in six months!"
...exclaimed a frustrated and tired U.S. mail contractor who was late with his deliveries during the hard winter of 1879.
His was the disagreeable job of hauling mail on horseback 120 miles north to Rock Springs, Wyoming, over rugged and wind-whipped mountains, through the worst winter in Uinta Basin history.
In the winter of 1877, Alfred Harvey Westover made the trip to Rock Springs on snowshoes with sacks of letters, for which he was paid 25 cents per letter. Even though snow-blinded during one storm, he still persevered.
During the winter of 1879, when a terrible snowstorm closed all the mountain roads, five men tried on different occasions to make the trip via Brown's Park to Rock Springs for the mail.
Two of them suffered frozen feet and almost lost their lives. Peter Dillman finally made the return trip, and the settlers persuaded him to continue carrying the mail for the rest of the winter, which he did at the risk of his life.
The Vernal Post Office was established June 10, 1886, and was moved in 1920 to the white sandstone corner building directly across from you. For 66 years it served as the U.S. Post Office and, notably, was the only federal building authorized for an inland town in the United States, and the first ever constructed off a railroad line.