Saturday, October 23, 2010

Post Offices of Artesia; Geocache marks the spot.

Once upon a time there was a little township called Artesia. As with any town it had its own post office which not only served as place to distribute mail but also a place for the citizens to get together and share local news.

The last remaining Post Office of Artesia and perhaps the last remaining vesitage of this little township is a small cinder block structure on North Atlantic Ave in present day Cape Canaveral. This little building replaced the original Artesia wooden post office built in 1891. The original postmaster of this little structure was Elizabeth Holmes.

The history of these Post Offices is well documented with Library Of Congress archives. The original Artesia Post Office's application was made April 1891 by J.H. Hogan to the postmaster of Canaveral. The document was recorded May 17, 1891 and reported the nearest post office as Courtenay but the Canaveral Post office was the main link. The Artesia office was 7/8 miles in a northerly direction to continue route 16233. The nearest creek was Banana Creek and nearest river Banana River. Population of Artesia at time of application was listed about 30 persons. Application was signed by Henry Wilson the postmaster at the Canaveral Post office.

The next postmaster to serve was Elizabeth B. Eberwein. A form she filled out listed the office as East side of the Florida East Coast Railroad and at a distance of ten miles from the track. The railroad station name was Eau Gauie Fd in a document dated February 26, 1915. Elizabeth J. Holmes daughter of the previous post master made application January 31st to change the location. The proposed change of the location of the office was one mile North of the present location. The nearest office on the same route was Cocoa Beach.

A photo a woman delivering a letter in Artesia's 9 by 12 foot post office was published in a Miami Herald article dated 4-13-1952. The article entitled "Woman follows mother in job." The caption mentions that Elizabeth Holmes succeeded her mother as postmaster. "It may be the smallest in the state or even the nation - but Mrs. Holmes doubts it. The articles ends with announcements that this post office will have to be relocated because of plans for the development of the Long Range Missile Range. After it was relocated a concrete slab building was built to replace it. Site is a location along the Cape Canaveral Heritage Trail.

Florida Master Site file number is BR02570.
GPS coordinates N 28 24.193 W 80 36.251