This month, Beulah’s Post Office is celebrating a whopping 150 years of service! The longevity is a testatment to a hearty line of postmasters, clerks, mail carriers, horses, and vehicles that saw the mail was delivered to all citizens in our rural location.
Colorado’s first post offices were established in 1859 in Denver and Platteville; thereafter, locations were transient, guided by the location of general stores, cross roads or mining town. Beulah post office’s were generally operated in connection with some other business, a means to supplement income. Post office locations in Beulah were found in the general stores with the exception of Harry McKibben who had a clock and shoe repair shop; and Gladys Herdman who operated the “Central Telephone Switchboard” alongside postal duties.
Mace’s Hole, received official designation as a United States Post Office on April 23, 1873. After the community adopted the name Beulah, a new designation was made on October 25, 1876 by the state of Colorado.
Curiously, Osage Avenue at 3R Ranch was designated just a week prior to the Beulah post office on April 16, 1873 with Peter Dotson as postmaster. The location was renamed ‘Osage’ in 1884 and served customers until 1888. The name was a result of the line of Osage trees that led up to the post office, planted close together to create a barrier for cattle, prior to barbed wire.
In Beulah Valley, Aquila Davis is recognized as Beulah’s first unofficial postmaster, serving the mining and timber trade out of his general store on North Creek. The first official postmaster was Lewis Boggs, who served customers in the heart of Beulah. The early mail route was described in a 1934 interview of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Townsend...
Early in the 1870s the mail was carried to Beulah by a roundabout way. Twice a week the mail was delivered to the settlers of the valley. The mail was carried from Canon City by horseback, to Greenhorn, which is about 120 miles round trip. The route went from Canon City, along Hardscrabble, over North Creek, through Mace’s Hole, out of the valley to Dotson’s ranch (Osage), and on to Greenhorn. If the weather was bad a week was required to the trip as there was nothing but a trail to these places.
Remarkably, the original post office building—once located on the north side of Middle Creek approximately 1/4 mile west of the intersection of Central and Pennsylvania—floated all the way down to the intersection and settled on the bank after a 1901 flood. The building eventually turned into a barn, and still utilized today by the Purvis family. This story never gets old.
Just up the mountain from Beulah at Second Mace, the Fairview post office was established in 1893, situated in the same location as the Baver-Li Lodge.
William F. Goodpasture was appointed Beulah’s postmaster in 1893, having fulfilled the same role at Muddy Creek in 1879. Goodpasture helped Lee Roper learn the duties of a Postmaster, and in 1900 Roper showed his appreciation by naming the new post office and community “Goodpasture”.
In 1895, a post office was established in the residence of John H. Murphy on Siloam Road. The site was known as Murphy’s Corner, and was located near Wales Canyon. When the home burned, the post office was moved to the Roper General Store.
The Post Office at Rock Creek was designated in 1909 and located on the north side of the highway (SH-78), near the base of Rock Creek Hill. Many from Beulah never went further up to Pueblo, because they did all their trading and meeting at this location.
In the early 1920s Alice Traeber was postmaster based out of Traeber Store and served the community for a remarkable 48 years. The original 1935 issue of postal boxes utilized in the store is exhibited at the History Center. The carefully labeled boxes still bear the names of local families of that era.
Today, the daunting task of connecting the people of Beulah to the world via post falls to three people with extensive experience. Karyl Frank (25 years), Jay Lord (20 years and soon to be retired, see his interview on page 4) and Curtis Perkins (20 years) make the mail move every day but Sunday. Jay logs approximately 56 miles per day reaching 514 customers, and Curtis traveling 120 miles per day to reach 43 customers. Karyl covers central operations delivering mail to 174 customers via post office boxes. As well, she receives mail from the entire community to ship to Pueblo. She fills out a whopping 27 reports each day.
With 23 years working for the U.S. Post Office, Karyl has seen a few things. Like the customer (when she was working in Pueblo) who sincerely inquired about mailing a miniature poodle to New Mexico.
Karyl is a natural at connecting people, and not just with her delicious homemade pies. She listens and enjoys helping out and solving problems.
Each day Karyl manages a host of situations. Sometimes its crickets to feed reptiles or newly hatched chicks. Former postmaster Sandy Taylor describes hearing the chirping before getting through the door. “They can be pretty loud, and listening to them all day can give you a headache.”
Karyl’s pleasant demeanor, big heart and patience serve her well in the position. One customer inquired the cost of a penny stamp. Karyl gently replied “one cent”, to which the customer doubled down and further inquired the total for 50 of the penny stamps.
The math for keeping our post office central and convenient is even more simple, use it or lose it. It is vital that our community utilize the services (purchase your postage in Beulah and mail all your post in Beulah) in order to continue the run. Cheers to the Beulah Post Office for making rural living easier, and continually serving our community for 150 years. [Standing ovation.] v