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, and Elizabeth Benson was the first postmaster. Postmasters in those days often opened up post offices in their own homes. In 1934, the new post office opened in a separate building in Placerville. As other post offices closed, postmasters in different towns would make postal fixtures available to new post offices.
The Placerville Post Office 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 Western Railway Depot, church, and a home. The Placerville Post Office will be installed in the Museum of the West’s exhibit gallery as part of our remodel plans in 2016.