Seattle Beginnings: first Seattle Post Office opens on October 12, 1852.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 11/24/1998
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 384
On October 12, 1852, the first Seattle Post Office is established. Arthur A. Denny (1822-1899) is appointed postmaster. The post office is located at the northeast corner of Front Street (renamed 1st Avenue) and Marion Street. It is the first post office to open in King County.

More than 60 years later a reporter for The Seattle Times interviewed Louisa C. Frye, daughter of Arthur Denny, who as a small child watched her father sorted Seattle's first mail. At the time of the 1917 article, Louisa Frye was the city's oldest resident, and had in her possession the desk with its small cubbyholes that served as the post office in the Denny home. The article relates that Louisa Frye

"used to sit on the table and watch her father sort the mail when a boat came in. Being postmaster wasn't a very monumental task in those days because there was very little mail coming or going" (The Seattle Times).

Sources: Guy Reed Ramsey, "Postmarked Washington, 1850-1960," Microfilm (Olympia: Washington State Library, February, 1966), 533-551; "City's First Postoffice Intact," The Seattle Times, July 15, 1917, p. 1-J.
Note: This file was expanded on April 23, 2005.

Related Topics:   Cities & Towns | Firsts | Government & Politics | Infrastructure

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