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Thursday, May 28, 2009

The first U.S. Post Office west of the Rocky Mountains

The post office is gone now, and a green park takes its place on the hillside on 15th Street between Exchange and Franklin; it's only a short block from the buildings that commemorate the site of Fort Astoria. The park is only the size of . . . I was tempted to say, "a postage stamp," but I won't. It's about the size of a lot for a small single-family home. It even has a white picket fence along the sidewalk. The two markers here look like gravestones, but they're not. The tall one says only, "Site of United States Post Office 1847." The plaque on the ground is more elaborate, and actually shows a bas relief image of the post office, a two-storey building. It says, "Site of the First United States Post Office West of the Rocky Mountains - John M. Shiveley Appointed First Postmaster by President Polk 1847 - Presented by Astoria Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution August 24, 1955." The park is lovely and quiet up above the river. I doubt many people visit, as it's in an area where businesses fade into the residential backdrop. I only noticed it myself this month after years of walking around town. It's surprising what you can find when you're looking for blog material. I love that aspect of taking part in City Daily Photo.

We've had mostly sun and blue skies the past few days, and the rhododendrons are blooming like crazy - a few as tall as trees and as big as the beast of Baluchistan (but more colorful).

Does your city have a famous "ancient" landmark?


cieldequimper said...

LOL, yes it has several landmarks, a palace with 9 million visitors a year!!! ;-)
I actually like this photo very much. The park may be small but it's very pretty!

Birdman said...

Enjoyed your 'historical' look back. One of the most interesting aspects of CDPB is the histories that often accompany these fine photos.
ps My sister lives in Lake Oswego. Grew up in Portland, ME-- now resides in near Portland OR. Strange how life moves on with some little quirks.

Lisa Wilson said...

Oh boy, we've got quite a few landmarks, including the site of the first bank robbery by Butch Cassidy!

I see that you are helping the tapirs! I just saw one in the movie, "Big River Man" at the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival. Have you heard of it? Martin Strel swam the entire Amazon River. There is only one quick view of a tapir, but you might want to watch for this to come out on DVD if you think you will be interested.

Jacob said...

Truly interesting. If I'd been asked the location of the first post office west of the Rockies, I would have probably guessed San Francisco...too bad the building was not restored but a marker is nice.

We're very famous here in Ocala, too. As I recall, we have marked the site where the first non-Seminole human was eaten by an alligator.

Nah. I just made that up.

Have a great evening!

Anonymous said...

This is very cool, appreciation like yours keeps landmarks like this alive, This would have been perfect of My world Tuesday!
I do have an old building in my town that I posted this week it is here
I am so very glad you like the banner on my blog I made it from a wildflower shot I took that you can see on the poppies page of my blog.
You did such a wonderful job covering the history of this story I cannot wait to see what else you have in mind!

J Bar said...

That's interesting. We have a lot of landmarks liek that around our city too.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It is really interesting to discover new things while looking for blog material for the Daily City Photo but it makes it fun and challenging. My husband works for the Post Office. He is a Rural Route Carrier delivering mail to people that live up in the mountain areas away from the city. Very interesting picture and history.

raf said...

Very interesting post about that early post office. Have often enjoyed the Astoria area while visiting or heading down the coast. Thanks for stopping by, Tapirgirl, and commenting. Welcome to the CDP community!

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