The Post Office is an integral part of America’s history, dating back to July 26, 1775, when the U.S. postal system was established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) as its first postmaster general.
Until the end of 1800s, Kenmore area residents picked up their mail from the Bothell depot. The area was named “Kenmore” in 1901 by John McMaster who had moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1889. On November 12, 1903, first post office opened in Kenmore and John McMaster’s son, Willam McMaster became the first postmaster. Willam’s brother Ed and sister Theodosia also became postmasters later. Mail to Kenmore was delivered by Northern Pacific Railroad but it was discontinued in 1915 with Kenmore residents relying on distribution of mail from Bothell.
The McMaster Family
(Theodosia in the back row left, William in the back row middle, John in the front left (father) and Ed in the front row middle)
The Kenmore post office reopened in 1934 by grocer Joseph Horrigan in his store, and he became the new postmaster. Mail was still delivered to platform by Northern Pacific train. The size of the office, employees, routes, revenue, number of PO boxes, types of services and other factors determine what level a post office is (usually 1 to 4). In the 1940s with the area’s growth and the introduction of mail to individual homes the post office raised Kenmore’s status to third class. The post office became second class in 1957 and moved to the location where it still stands today. It reached the first-class status in 1961.
Picture taken by Arvin Shrestha, 2/6/22, 2:00 pm
- Kenmore History Timeline: https://kenmoreheritagesociety.com/
- Kenmore by the Lake, A Community History, by Kenmore Heritage Society
- Railway Mail Car: Image courtesy of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum online exhibit
The Kenmore Post Office today isn’t a carbon copy of what it was back in 1903, but it still remains as one of the key components of long-distance communication, serving nearly 25,000 residents. Social media proliferation and developments in telecommunication have not diminished the importance of mail system. The post office building is currently located at 6700 NE 181st St. It serves the zip code 98028 and an area of about 7.2 square miles.