One of the largest artifacts in the Museum of the West’s history collections is the Placerville Post Office. The post office was acquired by the Museum from the town of Placerville, Colorado, in 1986. The first Placerville Post Office opened in 1878 in the home of Elizabeth Benson, the first postmaster. Postmasters in those days often opened up post offices in their own homes.
In 1933, Grace Estep became the postmaster of the post office that is preserved in the Museum of the West. As other post offices closed or remodeled, postmasters in different towns would make postal fixtures available to new post offices. The Placerville Post Office’s Victorian woodwork came from Montrose, the metal post boxes from Nucla, and other items from Redvale, Naturita, and Ridgway. The original building was a combination of a Denver & Rio Grande Southern Railway Depot, church, and a home.
The official reopening of the Placerville Post Office will be May 12 at our Free Day and Open House.