An efficient and reliable means of sending and receiving mail is a necessity for any growing settlement. The establishment of a well-run postal service can, therefore, be seen as extremely important in the establishment of a self-sufficient town or city. As the town of Lancaster became more well established a locally based postal service soon became vital for the growing community. The first Lancaster post office was established in 1884 and was run out of a small house located off the northwest corner of Milling Street and Antelope Avenue. This first postal office was run by William Baylis who was appointed as the Antelope Valley’s first postmaster. This office would later be run by Lancaster’s first postmistress, Abbie Dunning.
Miss Dunning was later succeeded by J.F. Dunsmoor in 1897. Dunsmoor had previously served as a state-appointed inspector in public elections. Dunsmoor chose to run the post office out of a room in his own home which was located off of Tenth Street. Crowds would often form outside of Dunsmoor’s home every day at 6:00 pm in anticipation of the arrival of postage to the office. Dunsmoor served as postmaster until 1913. In 1914, local business owner and civic leader Leo Harris took control of the local postal service and moved the office into his general goods store. The position of postmaster was then granted to Lancaster resident William Redman, who would retain the position until 1922.
As Lancaster continued to grow in both size and population, the store-based postal office became inadequate for dealing with the ever-increasing mail flow through the valley. In 1925 the post office was moved yet again. This time, the postal office was run out of its own building and coincidentally located just adjacent to the home of former postmaster J.F. Dunsmoor. In the 1930s, the post office would again switch locations before the sixth Lancaster Post Office was built on the northeastern corner of Cedar Avenue and Lancaster Boulevard. This sixth office would prove much more permanent than the preceding five offices and remains in operation to this day.
"Gurba, Norma H. Lancaster. Arcadia, 2005.
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections"