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Vashon Island beginnings: Portage Post Office opens on May 18, 1903.

HistoryLink.org Essay 581 : Printer-Friendly Format

On May 18, 1903 Portage Post Office opens. Charles F. Van Olinda is appointed the first postmaster. Portage is located on Vashon Island four miles northeast of Dockton.

Pushed Rudely To One Side

In their history of Vashon-Maury Island, Roland Cary and Van Olinda tell us:

"In 1903 C. F. Van Olinda purchased a tract of land on the Portage between Vashon and Maury and erected a small combination residence and store building and, on June 17 opened a general store. Then the Portage post office was established and opened in the same building, with C. F. Van Olinda as Postmaster, on July 15. Increasing business made these quarters too small and in 1910 he pushed the old building rudely to one side and erected a large two-story building, which is still in use."
The first Rural Free Delivery service on the island started from the Portage post office on June 15, 1905. Fred Kingsbury was the carrier.

The post office closed during last half of 1968 or the first half of 1969.

Sources:
Guy Reed Ramsey, "Postmarked Washington, 1850-1960," Microfilm (Olympia: Washington State Library, February, 1966), 670-671; Roland Carey and Van Olinda, History of Vashon-Maury Island (Seattle: Alderbook Publishing Company, 1985) 46, 48; Roland Carey, Isle of the Sea Breezers (Seattle: Alderbrook Publishing Co., 1985) 122.


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Portage Post Office, C. F. Van Olinda, left, Vashon Island, July 1903
Photo by LeRoy Buck, Courtesy UW Special Collections (Neg.WAS0760)


 
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