With the holiday season here, it is the time we think about mailing cards and packages. These days we expect things to get where we want them to go with no problem and pretty fast, even the next day.
The first mail service to Forks was on foot and back, from Pysht around Cape Flattery. It was a six-week round trip for the lone carrier. Later on with a trail through Clallam Bay, pack horses were used, fording the rivers and swimming during high water. Packages were limited to four pounds. One time Mr. Ford received a pair of boots in two separate mailings with intervals of several months between each boot.
Once many small post offices were prevalent on the West End. Some of the names still are with us but many are long forgotten.
Some of the post offices that formerly functioned but were eventually discontinued include places like Shillabaugh, near Burnt Mountain, Old Sappho, near the Guy Lesure home, Shuwah, some distance from the Lake Creek Bridge, Pins on the Hoh River, eight miles up from the mouth, were all discontinued over 100 years ago.
Bogachiel, near the site of an old suspension foot bridge, Bucyrus, on Dickey Lake, and Seims-Carey near where the Beaver Post office is today were discontinued in the 19-teens.
Quillayute, near the Quillayute Cemetery, Mora, where the Dickey River empties in to the Quillayute River, Hoh, at the Charles Anderson home on the lower Hoh, Spruce at the John Fletcher home on the upper Hoh, were all discontinued in the 1930s.
Even the Forks post office has been in multiple locations over the years, in an old cabin at the south end of town, next to the Forks Trading Company, in the Olympic Pharmacy building, in the variety store building and even in a home on Calawah Way.
So get those packages in the mail, and if something comes damaged, at least the delivery person can’t use the excuse it “fell in the river.” But that is a good one …