100 year birthday for Boyes Post Office
MIKE ACKER power-washes the block around the Boyes Hot Springs post office on Saturday in preparation for the post office's 100th anniversary celebration this coming Friday and Saturday.
Mike Acker and a small group of Springs residents are making sure that the 100th anniversary of the Boyes Hot Springs post office doesn't go unnoticed.
The post office, which is located on Highway 12 and Boyes Boulevard, turns 100 on Friday, July 8, and the group has put together a two-day celebration that includes an open house, an exhibit of historical photos, entertainment and refreshments. And what would a celebration be without the obligatory speeches by politicians. First District Supervisor Valerie Brown will speak during Saturday's festivities as will a member of Rep. Lynn Woolsey's, D-Petaluma, office. The event will also be getting a congressional certificate courtesy of Woolsey's office.
Acker, a local artist, designed a commemorative postmark and commemorative envelope that will be available at the post office only on Friday, July 8, the actual day of the 100th anniversary.
A half-dozen members of the Springs Community Alliance were out at the site Saturday cleaning up, weeding and power-washing the building and the block around the post office. A banner went up Sunday and Acker said they'll be hanging 2-foot-by-3-foot historical photos later in the week. Acker had 16 of the historical photos mounted and he's hoping to use as many as possible.
The event, organized by a committee of the Springs Community Alliance, recognizes the importance of the post office in an area where many residences have no mail delivery. "The immigrant population relies on the post office for communication with their families back home. The postal workers are known and loved by everybody," Acker said, explaining the significance of the celebration. The event also celebrates the history of the area and gives a look into possibilities for the future.
The committee originally envisioned a large two-day event with a street party on Saturday, but after discovering what it would cost to close off streets and get permits, organizers scaled back the celebration.
They raised $1,625 online through 31 individual contributions ranging from $5 to $75 through the fundraising organization www.kickstarter.com. And the group raised another $800 from donors who sent their contributions right to the Springs Community Alliance.
It wasn't just individuals though, as a number of businesses also backed the project, including the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa and Mary's Pizza Shack. "The Sonoma Mission Inn repainted and replanted the planter boxes at the post office," Acker said.
The open house starts at 9 a.m. Friday and includes the photo display and drawings of the proposed Boyes plaza that could be created when the county closes the orphan stretch of Boyes Boulevard as part of the Highway 12 improvement work. The commemorative envelopes and postmarks will also be available that day. Acker said the group will be giving the envelopes away.
On Saturday, the event will run from about 10 a.m. until about 1 p.m. as a band, the Hot Flashes, will be singing songs about the post office starting around 10:15 a.m. Brown will speak at 10:50 and a representative from Woolsey's office will talk at 11. There will be refreshments available both days.
The post office was originally located at Graham's Cash Store near the train depot on Boyes Boulevard close to Sonoma Highway. That building was lost in the fire of 1923, along with most of the town. After rapid rebuilding in 1923, the post office was located in the Woodleaf Grocery Store, where it stayed until 1951. The post office moved across Boyes Boulevard to the Plaza Center building, the current site, when it was built in 1951. The Woodleaf building is now the Big Three Diner, part of the adjacent Sonoma Mission Inn.
For more information about the Springs Community Alliance, see springscommunityalliance.org.