In the United States many post offices have been said to be the ‘smallest post office’. Since this notoriety carries with it increased marketing value, competition for this title has been notable over the years. The following list is a compilation of post offices which have been declared the ‘smallest post office’ over time. Note that there are sometimes various qualifiers used in conjunction with the ‘smallest post office’ label. These qualifiers include criteria such as ‘smallest complete post office’ or ‘smallest full service post office’. For the purposes of the following list, these qualifiers were ignored and the list is based solely upon the square footage of the structure.
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The Moosa California post office operated from 1881 until 1912. It was designated as the “World’s Smallest Post Office” in the 1909 “The Postmasters Advocate”; a monthly newsletter published by the U.S. Postal Service. Mail was delivered and picked up three time a week via a stagecoach. Moosa had three postmasters; Mathew Tomlins, Washington E. Irving, and Isaac Frazee. Isaac Frazee, also known as the ‘Moosa Poet’ moved the post office building to his nearby property after it closed in 1912.
Square Feet: 10.3
Wawasee (Lake) Indiana was a small village where the town of Syracuse currently is; it located near the southeast corner of Lake Wabee. It was named after a native American Miami chief who lived in what is now Kosciusko County, Indiana, in the United States. He was brother to Miami chief Papakeecha. The village was originally named Cedar Beach and the post office was established under this name in 1879. In 1893 the town was renamed Wawasee and this small PO was built on the grounds of the Sargent Hotel.
Square Feet: 22.5
Located near Cashiers North Carolina, Grimshawes is named after Thomas Grimshawe. Thomas migrated to the mountains of Western North Carolina in 1874. Opening in 1909, the 5' x 6' Grimshawes post office replaced the Whiteside Cove NC post office which had existed from 1878-1909. The Grimshawes post office operated until 1953.This post office building was restored by local folks and can still be visited; its current location is on Whiteside Cove Road near Cashiers NC.
Square Feet: 33.0
Wheeler Blumberg, who founded Wheeler's Hot Springs in 1891 and for a number of years it was a successful resort, with guest cabins, swimming pool, fishing, camping, and the hot springs. Wilcox built the small post office next to his Webb Wilcox Cafe in the mid-1930s after the Maricopa Highway was built. The Post Office was designated by Ripley's Believe it or Not as the smallest Post Office in the U.S.A. In 1962 Wilcox died and Wheeler Springs lost its status as a U.S. Post Office.
Square Feet: 36.9
Mountain Ranch CA was established during the California gold rush and the first post office was established in 1858. The early post offices were a part of citizens homes but in 1923 the small dedicated post office shown here was built. An article in Washington D.C. Star newspaper stated this was the smallest post office in the country. It served approximately 250 residents and May Javeaux was postmaster.
Square Feet: 48.0
William 'Bill" Wakefield was the owner of a restaurant in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Pennsylvania called Bill’s Place. In a marketing stroke of genius, Bill added and opened a small post office on May 22, 1935. Advertised with billboards along the Lincoln Highway as the "Smallest Post Office in the U.S.", many travelers stopped in for a meal and a postmarked postcard or cachet cover. The post office was closed in 1953.
Square Feet: 48.0
Cooley New York was located in Sullivan County, New York. The post office was first established in 1896 and was discontinued in 1919. Its first postmaster was Henry Cox. It currently is a populated place located within the Town of Liberty. The tiny post office was replaced with the one shown at right around 1908.
Square Feet: 48.0 est.
By the late 1870s homesteaders began settling in the area around the foot of the Santa Ana California mountains. Within a few years a small store and post office was established providing service to the local ranchers. A significant flood occurred in 1916 that destroyed the existing post office and the one shown here was built on higher ground. Often said to be the ‘smallest operational post office in the United States’ until it was finally closed on February 28, 1955.
Square Feet: 49.0
In 1928 the Tamiami Trail was opened and James Gaunt purchased 250 acres of land for $100 per acre along the highway. Gaunt built a tomato farming settlement with a number of wooden buildings eventually including a store, post office, and boarding house. In 1953 a boarding house visitor’s room caught fire and much of the town burned before Everglades firemen could arrive. The existing store, post office and boarding house all burned to the ground. The next day the mail arrived without the post office, but quick thinking folks moved an irrigation pipe shed into place to serve as the post office. A new ‘smallest PO’ was born and remains in operation today.
Square Feet: 58.3
Silver Lake WV is a small town located on a man-made lake built in 1928 at the headwaters of the Youghiogheny River. Previously this town was known as Breedlove and was the southern terminal at that time of the Preston Railroad. In 1958 Mr. and Mrs. P.L. Milkint built a tiny Roman Catholic church in honor of their parents and billed it as the 'smallest church in the USA'. It appears they built the 'the world's smallest mailing office' a few years later. Sign above PO windows states there is outgoing mail daily, but window service is only available on Friday 13th. Parcel post service is available on Feb 29th.
Square Feet: 64
Salvo Post Office is a historic post office building located at Salvo, Dare County, North Carolina. It was built about 1910, and is a small frame building measuring 8 feet by 12 feet. The interior consists of the post office lobby and the postmaster's workroom. This post office was built as a portable building so it could be purchased by succeeding postmasters and moved to their respective properties. Is currrently the second smallest PO in the US.
Square Feet: 96