San Diego’s First 160 Years of the Postal Service.

Now that we are operating once again here in San Diego, we would like to share the history of the postal service.The first post office in San Diego opened in 1850 in Old Town plaza on April  9, 1850 with a population of 650. San Diego appointed its first postmaster, Richard Rust, where he held the job until replaced by Dr. Jacob Allen on December 23, 1869.By this time San Diego’s population had grown to just over 2000 residents and the hobby of collecting stamps started to develop and drive the Postal service. It wasn’t until 1885 when things really started to flourish.

The following chronological timeline reflects the growth of the postal service and the subsequent development of stamp collection in San Diego: 

With the population now at 35,000 residents, San Diego welcomed the first transcontinental train delivering mail from the East Coast.

Two years later in October of 1887,  free delivery was inaugurated in San Diego with four uniformed carriers delivering mail throughout San Diego neighborhoods.

In 1890 the famous St James Hotel became home of the downtown post office. Below is a chronological timeline of the further

1913: The first facility built for the sole purpose of being a post office in San Diego is finished and located at 325 West F St.


1923:  The San Diego Stamp club is established and is the talk of the town.1938: The main post office moves to Sixth Avenue and E Street in downtown San Diego.

In 1969, San Diego held its largest stamp show at the, then new, San Diego Convention Center with over 50,000 visitors over the 2 day weekend.


In the late 1970s the first Philatelic library is opened which remains open till this day.

Aug. 19, 1972: The Midway Processing and Distribution Center opens at 2535 Midway Drive as San Diego’s main post office.


1993: The Carmel Mountain Ranch processing facility opens at 1251 Rancho Carmel Dr.


2006: The USPS experiences a significant drop in mail volume. The change is attributed to a faltering economy and increased use of technology for bill paying and communication.


2010: The USPS lists the Midway Post Office for sale and then takes it off the market when no viable buyer comes forward.

Dec. 5, 2011: The USPS announces it needs to consolidate operations by 2015 to save $20 billion. The Midway Post Office is among 252 facilities nationwide eyed for closure.


The content of this article is freely licensed under the terms of Nicholas Vespucci.
Nick’s Stamps was established in 2002 and is Located in San Diego California.
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I found my first stamp collection 13 years ago at a Salvation Army in San Diego and I was hooked from day one! I began to amass more collections and spent a few years researching the stamp market.I started advertising and making offers on stamp collections.

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  1. Rajan Varughese

    I am interested to read stamps literature

    • Rick Huffman

      I have been given collection some of which my dad was given in 1942 as his part in an estate they go back into the 1800s. I have been looking at them until my hair catches fire. Where and how do I proceed.

  2. Jeannie Risinger

    Have many stamps (American & foreign), some are mint & some are used. No one I have talked to had an interest in them. My father collected them but was killed in a car wreck in 1964 & I have had them since. My husband got laid off in September from his job after 25 years & I was hoping to to sell them for our living expenses. I could send pictures of some of them if u r interested.
    Jeannie Risinger
    Monroe, LA

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