Chatsworth, one of the of the earliest settlements in the San Fernando Valley, has had a United States Post Office since 1890.
The photograph shown is of a poster of the various locations of the Post Office made by a former Chatsworth woman, Mrs. Elsa Braun. It was made for the opening of the Post Office when it was located on Topanga Canyon Boulevard just north of Devonshire Street in the 1950s. The poster shows the list of Postmasters and shows where the Post Office was located during their terms of office.
The information only goes from the beginning until Trustin P. Jennings who began his term on July 1, 1952. The photograph is on loan from the Chatsworth Historical Society for this one article.
A long line of Postmasters and locations has ensued since that first Post Office was started. As you can see from the poster, the first Postmaster was Joseph A. Nelson and he served a short time from April 3 until June 5, 1890.
The location of that first post office was on the stage line at the foot of the Santa Susana Mountains on the northern boundary of Oakwood Memorial Park. And it was not far from the stagecoach marker that can be seen from Chatsworth Park South. That area is now a part of the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park. And the history of the area will be preserved by the State of California.
Levi Lovelock was the second Postmaster beginning his term on June 5, 1890 and continuing until Frank H. Coffeen began his term of office on June 30, 1895.
The Post Office remained in the same location at the foot of the Santa Susanas. But beginning in Lovelock's second term it was moved to its second location on Santa Susana Avenue about 700 feet north of Devonshire Street. Which brings up a point you should know—north of Devonshire Street it was Santa Susana Avenue until it
was changed to Topanga Canyon Boulevard in the '50s, I believe.
Levi Lovelock was Postmaster again from the end of Frank H. Coffeen's term of June 30, 1895 until Albert L. Phillips took over on Jan. 14, 1898.
Phillips was in charge during the third move of the Post Office. The mail stop was changed to be located on Topanga Canyon Boulevard about 150 feet south of
This location was about where the Country Deli is today. It was the center of town about 1900, The Graves and Hill Store owned by Jess Graves, one-time sheriff of Chatsworth, and Lovell Hill, Minnie Hill Palmer's older brother . He lived
with his family on property known to Chatsworth today as The Homestead Acre at 10385 Shadow Oak Drive.
Most everyone in Chatsworth had a charge account at the store. And one of the best selling items was apples. Apple trees were not native to California and many of the people were from the middle west such as Illinois and bought apples. Other big sellers were candy and tobacco. One could also hire a group of workers—a crew to help with planting, harvesting and other farming duties. Also horses and mules could be hired from the store.
James Nelson served in that Chatsworth location from July 31, 1906 until Lovell Hill became Postmaster on July 11, 1912 and then Albert Clements took over on
March, 22, 1915.
The Post Office was moved again to the west of the Southern Pacific Railroad about 300 feet south of Devonshire Street. And it was moved again to the southeast corner of Devonshire Street and Owensmouth Avenue to the Civic Center Buiding.
Four women served as Postmaster for the next few years. And, by the way, it is always proper to say Postmaster, as the title is used for either male or female Postmasters.
Chatsworth was growing and Mrs. Lori Cowgill was appointed Postmaster on April 8, 1924. The Post Office was moved across the street for a short while and then moved to the newer Lombardi Building, a brick building on the Southwest corner of Devonshire Street and Owensmouth Avenue. The Lombardi building also housed the local library and the Chatsworth Women's Club met there in the '20s.
Mrs. Blanch White became Postmaster on Dec. 24, 1926 and the Post Office was moved to the Chrisler Building at the corner of Devonshire Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. She served until Mrs. Marie G. Turner was appointed on June 30, 1945 and Mrs. Caroline Frost was appointed Postmaster on March 31,1951.
Trusten P. Jennings was the Postmaster on July 1, 1952. That is the end of the information that is shown in the poster/map. The Post Office has moved twice since the poster was made. Once to Topanga Canyon Boulvard just to the north on the east side of the boulevard, and again to its present location at 21606 Devonshire St.
If you would like to learn more about people from the past, you may visit the local museum at The Homestead Acre, 10385 Shadow Oak Drive, within Chatsworth Park South at the west end of Devonshire Street. The museum is open the first Sunday of every month from 1-4 p.m. There is no charge and plenty of free parking.