Historic La Sal Post Office

Historic La Sal Post Office (HM1SKB)

Location: La Sal, UT 84530 San Juan County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 18.755', W 109° 15.008'

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The first Postal Service was established at La Sal on September 12, 1878. La Sal was made an outpost on the mail route from Salina, Utah to Ouray, Colorado. It was described as one of the strangest and most dangerous routes in the history of the United States Post Office and for several years it was the only mail-way. The 350 mile route started at Salina and went through Green River, Moab, and La Sal in Utah to Paradox, Naturita, Placerville and Ouray, Colorado.
The schedule and arrival of the mail depended on three factors — how deep the snow was, how high the Price, Green, Colorado, Dolores, and San Miguel Rivers and how hostile the Indians were at the time. Sometimes it took a month to deliver the mail and sometimes six weeks.
William Hamilton was the first Postmaster. In February 1879 R.R. Simpson assumed this post. Mrs. Elizabeth L. Ray became Postmaster in August of 1879. She also helped to begin the first school in La Sal, using some of the Post Office black ink to make a serviceable blackboard. In February and March of 1885 the snow drifted to ten feet and any travel was by snowshoe. The mail carrier from Paradox, Mr. Calan, arrived exhausted — his snowshoes disintegrated. Jack Silvey, an experienced snowshoer, relieved him so the mail could go through.
William N. Prewer became Postmaster May 28, 1897, followed soon by his brother Fred. Fred, a partner in the PCC Cattle Company, planted many fruit trees and poplars which still stand today. Between 1878 and 1901 the Post Office was located at Pine Lodge seven miles northeast of here. In 1901 this site, originally known as Coyote, became the Post Office and the townsite gradually became known as La Sal. John Conningham was named Postmaster and the office was in "The Ranch House", a large two-story frame house still standing today. One old timer can recall the mail being dumped onto the dining table and each person picking out his own.
In May of 1915 Charles Redd was appointed Postmaster and the office moved to a small store building east of "The Ranch House". About 1916 a new road was built and the pony express mail carrier replaced by a buckboard or white top rig. These rigs always carried passengers and nooned at La Sal, much to the entertainment of local farmhands. Mr. Redd served 43 years, during which the automobile replaced the white top rig.
In March of 1958 Frances R. White was appointed Postmaster and the office was designated Third Class during the uranium boom. In December of 1961 the Post Office and store was destroyed by fire. Mrs. White was able to rent a room from the elementary school and was ready for her patrons the following week. The new building, owned by Redd Ranches and rented from them by the Post Office Department, was completed and occupied by September 1962. Roberta J. Wilcox assumed charge in January of 1968 and is Acting Postmaster at this time.
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Year Placed1976
Placed ByThe Utah Bicentennial Commission and Postmaster Roberta J. Wilcox
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, June 10th, 2016 at 1:03pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12S E 652984 N 4241946
Decimal Degrees38.31258333, -109.25013333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 18.755', W 109° 15.008'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 18' 45.3" N, 109° 15' 0.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)435
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 84530 UT-46, La Sal UT 84530, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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