Friday, February 8, 2008

A Little Postal History of Post Offices On or Near the GN Mansfield Branch

This tidbit of history is interesting in that the Great Northern breathed life into many towns it touched, or enlarged those it came across. While the post office dates to not coincide with the dates the railroad built through the area, it does give you an idea of how the population ebbed and flowed over time.

Established November 1, 1887
Waterville had mail service from Wenatchee which was daily as early as September 14, 1894, and a Star Route from Coulee City provided additional mail daily on a circuit which made mail available to the small post offices of Baird, Spencer, and Farmer. Waterville’s own Star Route was opened in 1896 to take mail over Badger Mountain to make contact with the Great Northern at Columbia River Siding, and return the following day. This route ran until about 1915 or 1916.
From 1908 to 1911 before the Great Northern Railroad became the carrier of the mail, a steamboat service from Wenatchee dropped mail off at the foot of Corbaley Canyon near the present town of Orondo and from there it was brought by stage coaches to Waterville.
There was activity at the post office only at mail arrival time. It arrived at most any hour of the day or night.

Established February 14, 1888. Discontinued July 12, 1968-mail to Waterville.
The town name honors Stephen Arnold Douglas, Illinois statesman after which Douglas County was named.
The first mail service to Douglas was provided between Coulee City and Waterville. In 1911 the GN branch from Wenatchee to Mansfield provided mail service. A local dray man, performed messenger service between the depot and post office.
In 1918 the GN reduced its daily service to tri-weekly which immediately proved unpopular so it became necessary to find other means of bringing the mail to Douglas.

Established April 22, 1892. Discontinued August 31, 1943-mail to Mansfield.
Leahy might have had a more important place, and might even have survived to this day as a post office, had the GN carried out their intentions to extend their branch as far as Delrio, passing through Leahy.

Established September 27, 1904. Discontinued September 30, 1943-mail to Mansfield
Delrio’s close proximity to Grand Coulee and the opening of a Star Route from that point aided in Delrio’s downfall. It might have endured had the GN built its planned extension of the Mansfield branch.

Established February 1, 1905
Mansfield stared at a point 1 ½ miles northeast of its current location, but when the GN halted construction of its branch in 1909, the town moved literally building by building to the railroad. The right-of-way had been surveyed to go through the original town of Nelson, Leahy, and Delrio. Failure to do so spelled eventual doom to those three post

Established April 18, 1907. Discontinued March 15, 1912-mail to Mansfield
Located 5 1/2 miles west, 4 1/2 miles north of Mansfield. It was named for the postmasters hometown in Nebraska.

Established September 10, 1908
Palisades post office actually started about 4 miles northeast up the coulee on what was known as the “Upper Ranch.”

Established March 4, 1910. Discontinued December 29, 1967-mail to Waterville.
Withrow originated with the GN.

Established June 27, 1910. Discontinued March 31, 1911-mail to Palisades.
Located 6 miles north of Palisades, 15 miles southeast of Douglas.
On December 12, 1916 the office of McCue was opened at this location.

Established January 23, 1912. Discontinued February 28, 1927-mail to Palisades.
Located 6 1/2 miles southwest of Palisades.

Established May 21, 1912. Discontinued April 30, 1914-mail to Mansfield.
Located 5 miles southwest of Mansfield. The railroad siding is named Tuohey but when entered on the post office application it was misinterpreted. The office did not operate long enough for the error to be corrected.

Established May 9, 1913. Discontinued June 15, 1934-mail to Waterville.
Located 5 miles south of Douglas.
The land hereabout was owned by one Al Rogers, who also had a store and thought it could hardly be called a town at the time, it did acquire the name of Al’s Town.

Established December 12, 1916. Discontinued June 15, 1920-mail to Palisades.
Former location of Hopewell.

These post offices were not located on the Mansfield branch, but were nearby on the Columbia River.

Established September 8, 1902. Discontinued January 31, 1914-mail to Malaga.
This office was at a GN flag stop about 2 1/2 miles southeast of Rock Island.

Established April 18, 1906. Discontinued August 15, 1908-mail to Buhela.
Located on the GN 12 miles south of Rock Island and the opening of Moses Coulee.
Mail was supplied by the railroad and a route from Vulcan to Jameson and Mansfield served early Moses Coulee settlers. The route was abolished when the GN built the Mansfield branch. This spelled doom for the Vulcan post office. The Vulcan depot was moved to Rock Island at the time the dam was under construction.

Established July 20, 1907. Discontinued February 15, 1908-mail to Hammond.
Reestablished April 16, 1908. Renamed Columbia River December 19, 1908
Located at the lower end of Moses Coulee, 3 1/2 miles south of Rock Island.
This is the same site as the former office of Dutcher and the later one of Columbia River.

Columbia River
Established December 19, 1908. Discontinued October 30, 1926-mail to Appledale.

1 comment:

KKA said...

Any information on the Hatton Post Office? The post mistress was my Great Grandmother, Ida Belle Sutton Hackett.