A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg
Prior to 1909, the nearest post office for Homestead residents was in downtown Mill Valley. Some residents preferred to walk to the train station on Miller and take the train to town. Others walked all the way or used a horse and buggy. From the upper end of the valley, there were steps, lanes and paths that went over the ridge to town.
The December 2, 1908 Mill Valley Record-Enterprise reported, “A petition bearing the signatures of nearly one hundred residents of Homestead Valley is now being circulated in that district with the objective of securing a post office for that growing and progressive community. Homestead needs a post office badly. Between three and four hundred people live in Homestead.
“The new post office at Homestead will be one of the fourth class, and what is generally known as a ‘cancellation’ office – that is, the postmaster will receive no stipulated salary, but will be compensated according to the number of letters or stamps canceled at his office.”
Two months later, Miss Florence Ezekiel took the oath of office to become postmistress. The appointment of Miss Ezekiel was made by president Teddy Roosevelt at the recommendation of State Senator Martinelli and Congressman McKinlay. Her sureties were Alfred L. Worley [a prominent attorney who lived next door to the Ezekiels on Laverne -ed.] and Jacob Gardner [a prominent Mill Valley citizen who in the 1880’s had been superintendent of Rancho Sausalito residing at The Homestead – ed.].
No location had been agreed upon. It was expected that it would be located in one of the stores near Locust train station, although some of the residents favored placing it farther back in the Valley.
The new post office finally opened in October, 1909 in Cooper’s Grocery store on what is now Linden Lane. It was named LaVerne, California. Twice a day, Miss Ezekiel, a rather slight woman, was seen lugging heavy sacks of mail to and from Locust train station.
The post office was closed in 1914 with the advent of Rural Free Delivery when mail to Homestead residents was addressed to the street, RFD #1, Sausalito. House numbers were rare.
If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.