Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Before there was the City of Cape Canaveral, there was a township of Artesia. It was thought to be named for the many artesian water springs in the area. The supply of potable water drew settlers, so soon, like every small town, Artesia had its own post office first in a wooden structure and then in the small cinder block building depicted in the picture.

An application to create the original post office for Artesia was made over 100 years ago, on April 1891 by J.H. Hogan, to Henry Wilson, the Postmaster of the town of Canaveral. At the time, the Canaveral Post Office was the main link for postal delivery in the region. There was a thriving artist’s colony and plans were underway to build resorts in Artesia. According to Library of Congress archives of postal records, Artesia already had a population of 30 people when the application was made.

Little is know of the first Postmaster of Artesia. The second was Postmaster Elizabeth Eberwein, originally from Michigan. She and her husband John carved a life for their family in the Canaveral wilderness.

A photo of a woman sorting mail in Artesia’s 9-foot by 12-foot Post Office was published in a Miami Herald April 13, 1952, with an article entitled, “Woman follows mother in job” The caption mentioned that Elizabeth Holmes succeeded her mother as Postmistress of the Artesia Post Office. “It may be the smallest in the state or even the nation - but Mrs. Holmes doubts it.” The articles announced that the Artesia Post Office would need to be relocated impending development of the Long Range Missile Range. In 1940, soon after its relocation, a concrete-slab building was constructed to replace the wooden structure.

Artesia grew economically because of the Missile Range and the expanding Port of Canaveral. As Artesia grew a new town was birthed in 1962, the new City of Cape Canaveral. Next to the little cinder block post office, a larger post office facility was built to serve this growing community. This building was later sold and is now the current Sea Farers Ministry.

N 28° 24.186 W 080° 36.238

Photo Credit: Doug Hendriksen Collection