Vernal in Uintah County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Vernal Post Oﬃce
"If the gable end of old Hell would blow out, it wouldn't melt the snow in six months!"
…exclaimed a frustrated and tired U.S. mail contractor who was late with his deliveries during the hard winter of 1879. His was the disagreeable job of hauling mail on horseback 120 miles north to Rock Springs, Wyoming, over rugged and wind-whipped mountains, through the worst winter in Uinta Basin history.
In the winter of 1877, Alfred Harvey Westover made the trip to Rock Springs on snowshoes with sacks of letters, for which he was paid 25 cents per letter. Even though snow-blinded during one storm, he still persevered.
During the winter of 1879, when a terrible snowstorm closed all the mountain roads, five men tried on different occasions to make the trip via Brown's Park to Rock Springs for the mail. Two of them suffered frozen feet and almost lost their lives. Peter Dillman finally made the return trip, and the settlers persuaded him to continue carrying the mail for the rest of the winter, which he did at the risk of his life.
The Vernal Post Office was established June 10, 1886, and was moved in 1920 to the white sandstone corner building directly across from you. For 66 years it served as the U.S. Post Office and, notably, was the only federal building authorized for an inland town in the United States, and the first ever constructed off a railroad line.
Location. 40° 27.336′ N, 109° 31.813′ Touch for map. Marker is located along the sidewalk, near the southeast corner of the intersection. The subject building is directly across from the marker, on the north side of the street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 99 West Main Street, Vernal UT 84078, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Ashley Center (within shouting distance of this marker); Do Religion and Money Mix? (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Parcel Post Bank (about 400 feet away); Cobble Rock Gas Station (about 400 feet away); Farm Exchange Building (about 400 feet away); Where the Dollar has More Cents (about 500 feet away); Shipped Another 12,000 Hen Fruit by Parcel Post (approx. 0.2 miles away); Jensen (Mau-be) Ferry (approx. 11.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vernal.
Also see . . . The Hard Winter.
During the hard winter of 1879-80 the people of the Valley went through some of the most trying circumstances of their pioneer days. People actually went hungry and lived on daily rations. There were no vegetables at all and no fruit. There were deer but they were so poor that not a globule of grease would rise in the pot in which they were cooked. There was no way out or in for supplies. The cattle huddled under ledges or anywhere nature had provided a little shelter and there they perished. (Submitted on February 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Communications •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings in context. • Can you help?