“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
La Sal in San Juan County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Historic La Sal Post Office

Historic La Sal Post Office Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, May 19, 2016
1. Historic La Sal Post Office Marker
Inscription.  The first Postal Service was established at La Sal on September 12, 1878. La Sal was made an outpost on the mail route from Salina, Utah to Ouray, Colorado. It was described as one of the strangest and most dangerous routes in the history of the United States Post Office and for several years it was the only mail-way. The 350 mile route started at Salina and went through Green River, Moab, and La Sal in Utah to Paradox, Naturita, Placerville and Ouray, Colorado.
The schedule and arrival of the mail depended on three factors -- how deep the snow was, how high the Price, Green, Colorado, Dolores, and San Miguel Rivers and how hostile the Indians were at the time. Sometimes it took a month to deliver the mail and sometimes six weeks.
William Hamilton was the first Postmaster. In February 1879 R.R. Simpson assumed this post. Mrs. Elizabeth L. Ray became Postmaster in August of 1879. She also helped to begin the first school in La Sal, using some of the Post Office black ink to make a serviceable blackboard. In February and March of 1885 the snow drifted to ten feet and any travel was by snowshoe. The mail carrier from Paradox, Mr. Calan,
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arrived exhausted -- his snowshoes disintegrated. Jack Silvey, an experienced snowshoer, relieved him so the mail could go through.
William N. Prewer became Postmaster May 28, 1897, followed soon by his brother Fred. Fred, a partner in the PCC Cattle Company, planted many fruit trees and poplars which still stand today. Between 1878 and 1901 the Post Office was located at Pine Lodge seven miles northeast of here. In 1901 this site, originally known as Coyote, became the Post Office and the townsite gradually became known as La Sal. John Conningham was named Postmaster and the office was in "The Ranch House", a large two-story frame house still standing today. One old timer can recall the mail being dumped onto the dining table and each person picking out his own.
In May of 1915 Charles Redd was appointed Postmaster and the office moved to a small store building east of "The Ranch House". About 1916 a new road was built and the pony express mail carrier replaced by a buckboard or white top rig. These rigs always carried passengers and nooned at La Sal, much to the entertainment of local farmhands. Mr. Redd served 43 years, during which the automobile replaced the white top rig.
In March of 1958 Frances R. White was appointed Postmaster and the office was designated Third Class during the uranium boom. In December of 1961 the Post Office and store was destroyed
Historic La Sal Post Office Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, May 19, 2016
2. Historic La Sal Post Office Marker
by fire. Mrs. White was able to rent a room from the elementary school and was ready for her patrons the following week. The new building, owned by Redd Ranches and rented from them by the Post Office Department, was completed and occupied by September 1962. Roberta J. Wilcox assumed charge in January of 1968 and is Acting Postmaster at this time.
Erected 1976 by The Utah Bicentennial Commission and Postmaster Roberta J. Wilcox.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Postal Mail and Philately, and the The Spirit of ’76, America’s Bicentennial Celebration series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1968.
Location. 38° 18.755′ N, 109° 15.008′ W. Marker is in La Sal, Utah, in San Juan County. Marker is on Utah Route 46, 9 miles east of U.S. 191, on the left when traveling east. Marker is in front of Post Office, town center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: La Sal UT 84530, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wilson Arch (approx. 7.2 miles away); The Spanish Trail (approx. 12.3 miles away); Hole N” The Rock, Utah (approx. 12.3 miles away).
Historic La Sal Post Office Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, May 19, 2016
3. Historic La Sal Post Office Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 10, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 470 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 10, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.

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Dec. 9, 2023