Marshall Gold Discovery SHP is Unfurling the Colors at One of the Longest Operating Post Offices in the State
A small, nondescript white building sits along Highway 49 nestled between the Monroe House and the Argonaut Cafe in the middle of Marshall Gold Discovery SHP. The bright blue mailbox out front provides a clue as to the business that is transacted within. And, now a beautiful new flagpole flies the stars and stripes over the building, which has housed the Coloma branch of the U.S. Post Office since 1949.
In November 1849, John T. Little was appointed, against his wishes, as the first postmaster of Coloma. The postmark read “Culloma, California Territory,” since California was not yet a state. The mark changed to Coloma, California in 1851. Little, who ran the postal service out of his store, paid a clerk $400 a month to run the post office, a very handsome sum for the times.
Letters from friends and relatives and newspapers and publications from the states were the only connection miners had to their families back east, were much anticipated, and could take months to arrive. Mail that came by ship to San Francisco arrived by horseback in remote gold rush towns where miners paid up to $1 per letter to receive these precious missives.
The Coloma post office moved around town as new postmasters were appointed and, for the most part, ran the postal service out of an existing business establishment. Buildings that still stand in Coloma and once housed the post office include Bell’s Store, the Kane House, and the Old Post Office building.
The current postal building is leased to the US Postal Service by the department of parks and recreation. Recently, Park Maintenance Supervisor Patrick Metcalf noticed that the flagpole outside the post office was in need of some TLC. In removing the old flagpole, the maintenance team realized that it was beyond an easy repair and needed to be replaced. Pat took on the project, going above and beyond by adding a blue stripe with 50 stars running up the side of the flagpole and refurbishing the gold ball atop the pole.
On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, a bucket truck came up from headquarters to help with the installation of the new flagpole. The entire maintenance team was there to lend a hand, and with little fanfare the pole was raised, secured, and the flag unfurled.
Top right-Park Maintenance Supervisor Pat Metcalf gives the thumbs up as the crew prepares to raise the new flagpole.
Bottom right - With the help of a bucket truck the maintenance team raises the new flagpole.