This Month in Edmonds History: Edmonds mail service expands

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Early Edmonds post office on 4th Avenue.

My Edmonds News is proud to present a monthly look at Edmonds history, straight from the archives of the Edmonds Historical Museum. For the month of July, we’ll revisit the 1930s.

By the 1930s, population in Edmonds had surpassed 1,100 and the city was faring better than larger and more highly industrialized communities. During these lean years, however, Edmonds’ mail service saw many improvements. In 1931, the city added a mail train and extended its two rural mail routes to accommodate growth in population. In July 1933, an early morning mail service began in Edmonds, and the mail was dropped by the fast mail train every morning at 6:20 a.m.  In 1935, Edmonds’ post office brought in receipts totaling more than $11,000, breaking all previous volume records and prompting the city to begin looking for larger postal headquarters.

On July 1, 1936, Otto Sorensen took office as Edmonds’ postmaster. Sorensen graduated from Edmonds High School in 1918. At that time, the post office employed five other people—Edith Miller, head clerk; Mabel Sanford, clerk; S.J. Perrine, temporary substitute clerk; Richard Fisk, rural carrier for Route 1, and N.H. Bowen, rural carrier for Route 2—a large staff compared to its earlier years.

Edmonds first received authorization to establish a post office in 1884, with George Brackett as postmaster. The mail was carried once or twice a week by horse to Bothell, where it was exchanged for incoming mail, and then brought back to be distributed to settlers.  Matthew E. Hyner, one of Edmonds’ early merchants, served as postmaster from 1887 to 1896. At that time, mail arrived by steamer from Seattle, and if the tide was low Mr. Hyner had to meet the steamer with a rowboat to transfer the mail.

As the town grew, so did its services. The Edmonds post office continued to increase in staff and volume over the years.
By 1953, receipts totaled more than $42,000 and the post office had seven delivery routes. A new post office at 2nd and Main was in use by the early 1960s, and continues to be used today.

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