Writer Charts El Dorado County’s Historic Post Offices

The Kyburz Post Office. Courtesy Jimmy Emerson, licensed under Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61278305@N00/2974814342

El Dorado County’s gold rush history meant miners were constantly moving in the area’s early days, following the hype and going where they thought they could strike it rich.

That movement also meant many of the area’s first post offices fizzled out shortly after being established.

Mountain Democrat writer Doug Noble has taken on the task of detailing the history of El Dorado County’s more than 100 historic post offices in a web series started last month on his personal website.

Those 100+ historic post offices held more than 120 different names and many post offices were named but apparently never actually opened, Noble wrote.

Because of the area’s unstable mining population, entire towns moved to wherever the gold seemed to be plentiful, he said.

“In order to serve the miners, the local post office often just picked up and moved with them,” Noble wrote. “If there was an existing post office at the new location, the two were combined. If none existed, the relocated post office simply reopened, sometimes changing its name and sometimes not.”

The county’s first post office was in Coloma, officially established in 1849, according to Noble. And if the postage rate increase of 2014 feels painful, consider this: In 1853, pony express deliveries from the Coloma Post Office to nearby mines cost $1 per letter, and mail only arrived semi-monthly.

And in contrast to the other local post offices that were quick to close up shop, the Coloma Post Office has operated continuously since 1849, Noble wrote.

His series of posts on El Dorado County’s historic post offices is currently up to locations starting with the letter E, and can be seen at http://www.dougstepsout.com/category/post-offices-of-el-dorado-county/.

[Photo caption: The Kyburz Post Office. Courtesy Jimmy Emerson, licensed under Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2974814342. According to Noble’s website, this post office absorbed the former Camp Sacramento Post Office, a summer-only mailing center closed in 1940.]

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