On a recent trip to South Florida, I had the pleasure of discovering the smallest Post Office in the United States.
I had been in Miami and was taking the scenic route west to see some of the area before I started to venture back north. I had no idea I was going to encounter a historical landmark along the way.
Located in a very small building not much bigger than a storage closet in Collier County along the Tamiami Trail, the tiny Post Office in Ochopee, FL began its operation in 1953.
At the time of my visit, there was just one man working in the building sorting through the day’s mail, and it appears that there is only room for one employee to work there at any given time.
RoadsideAmerica.com offered a review of the historical landmark in which it said that Shannon Mitchell, an employee who works there, said she “has the coolest job in the world.”
“She has a phone, a computer, an air conditioner, a fluorescent tube for light, and a pair of tiny sliding screen doors to keep out the giant horseflies. Everything that she needs is obviously within reach. The job is quiet, as you might expect, although she does get occasional visits from people from all over the world who stop by to get something postmarked,” according to the review.
Buses filled with tourists anxious to see the tiny Post Office and mail something from it are a regular occurrence though to help break up her quiet time at work.
A historical landmark sign located beside the tiny Post Office reads:
Considered to be the smallest Post Office in the United States, this building was formerly an irrigation pipe shed belonging to the J.T. Gaunt Company tomato farm. It was hurriedly pressed into service by the Postmaster Sidney Brown after a disastrous night fire in 1953 burned Ochopee’s general store and post office. The present structure has been in continuous use ever since – as both a post office and ticket station for Trailways bus lines – and still services residents in a three-county area, including deliveries to Seminole and Miccosukee Indians living in the region. Daily business often includes requests from tourists and stamp collectors the world over for the famed Ochopee post mark. The property was acquired by the Wooten Family in 1992.Collier County Board of County Commissioners September 27, 1994
If you are ever passing through this rural part of South Florida, it’s worth a stop to get a photo of this unique historical landmark.