Photos by Cheryl Landes
A tiny empty building that looks like a weathered shed stands at the side of Mineral Hill Road one mile north of the small town of Mineral, Washington. That might not sound impressive, but this tiny building has a big history. It’s considered the smallest post office in the United States.
The eight-foot by eight-foot sructure was built in 1898 by August Ahlstrand, an early settler. He and his wife provided every family and single settler in the area with a post office box in the tiny building.
This post office closed after a new building opened in the town of Mineral. The Mineral Lake Lions Club restored the tiny building with permission from the Berglunds, the current property owners. Mrs. Berglund is a niece of Mrs. Ahlstrand and lived with the Alhstrands for many years, according to the wooden placard tacked to the tiny pioneer post office.
The smallest post office in operation today is in Ochopee, in the Florida Everglades. The Ochopee site is an old irrigation shed that was converted into a combination post office-Trailways bus station. Read more about the Ochopee post office in this armchair photo tour.