The Postal History Foundation reviews the connection between the early days of mining in the American west and the delivery of the mail in the exhibit, “Prospectors and Postmen: Mail Delivery in the Boom Days of Mining.”
Most prospectors didn’t “strike it rich,” and some turned to other industries that supported others’ mining efforts. Camps and towns grew and spread out. Mercantile stores, saloons, restaurants, churches, and schools were established as the population grew. The most important of these industries, and on which all the others were dependent, was mail delivery.
“Prospectors and Postmen” presents photographs, contemporaneous mail, and other documents to tell the story of early mail and freight transportation methods, with particular emphasis on Arizona. The exhibit includes information on Colorado River steamboats, pack animals, wagons, coaches, buckboards, and “pony express” style horseback mail delivery.