Updated: May 27
The Eureka Springs Post Office was established on October 21, 1879 with Aaron McCarty being the first postmaster. The post office moved several times during the early years primarily due to the frequency of downtown fires.
During the 1880s, it was located on the Second Floor of the Montgomery Building — as was the Daily Herald Newspaper Office. This Main Street location burned during the 1890 Fire that started in the nearby Perry House and was not replaced when street widening took priority after the downtown fires.
The Flatiron Building housed the post office for a few years until it was moved in 1902 to the Ellis-Rosewater Building.
The Ellis-Rosewater Building was built to provide the expanding need for postal services by the partnership of Dr. C.A. Ellis and Postmaster Benjamin J. Rosewater in 1900.
Over 100 years ago, in 1918, the post office was moved to its present location at 101 Spring Street.
When post office services needed more space in 1971, the building was doubled in size and a parking area was built to its rear. (The arched columns which were back of the building now mark the line between the old and the new sections.)
Due to its historic significance, the post office maintained its original glass front customer mail boxes. Such boxes were removed from post offices nationwide for security reasons.
During renovations, the post office leased space at 9 N. Main for six months — only a 20 minute interruption of services existed upon returning to the newly enlarged building on Spring Street.
In 1973, mail was delivered to two urban routes and two rural routes by eleven employees.
The Federal government’s attempt to close and relocate the post office yielded to local citizen preservationists —as phrased by the U.S. Postmaster General, “due to public interest and inability to find a suitable relocation site . . .”
L.J. Kalklosch wrote The Healing Fountain that was published in 1881. He wrote, "many early settlers found refuge in caves and lived in them for some time. The entrances being very large are closed with boards, making very comfortable dwelling places. One has seven rooms and is used as a boarding house. Some of the rooms have rock floors, rock walls and rock top. This writer engaged one of these romantic rooms in which to finish this work."
According to L.J. Kalklosch, because visitors to the springs were experiencing an extended stay in the hills and gulches --- they petitioned for a Post Office in order to get mail. Kalklosch, in 1887, also stated that the first Postmaster, Dr. Aaron W. McCarty, was jailed for Fraud in 1880.
Photographer Steven Foster took a photo next to one of the Gingko trees in downtown Eureka Springs, which as you can see here is growing right against the back side of the Eureka Springs Post Office.
The Ginkgo is one of the rarest trees on Earth. We have four of them in Eureka Springs, three on the Post Office grounds and one, a “female” tree producing fruit, can be found on the property adjacent to the Sweet Spring park.
This tree, of Chinese origin, is said to be the oldest tree in history. Botanists tell us that the fern is older than the tree. The Ginkgo with its fern-like leaves appears to be a link between the two. The fruit matures in late summer and has an offensive odor. The seed is bitter, but it is said that the Chinese roast them as we do peanuts and use them for food.
Our stately post office has old-style P.O. boxes.
The Eureka Springs Post Office received a complete renovation that restored the building and preserved historical authenticity, according to Sam Bolen, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.
The extensive renovation project completed in September 2018.
Bolen said the project was paid for by a $550,000 renovation grant. Initial phase of the project included plaster repairs, interior and exterior painting/waterproofing, and baluster installation. (Balusters are the middle part of a rail that was part of the distinctive roof line.)
One of the more expensive undertakings was the replacement of the metal roof.
We love our post office.
We love Eureka Springs.
It's no coincidence that this is the new forever stamp launched for 2020.