Vashon Island beginnings: Portage Post Office opens on May 18, 1903.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/01/1999
  • Essay 581
On May 18, 1903 Portage Post Office opens. Charles F. Van Olinda is appointed the first postmaster. Portage is located on Vashon Island four miles northeast of Dockton.

Pushed Rudely To One Side

In their history of Vashon-Maury Island, Roland Cary and Van Olinda tell us:

"In 1903 C. F. Van Olinda purchased a tract of land on the Portage between Vashon and Maury and erected a small combination residence and store building and, on June 17 opened a general store. Then the Portage post office was established and opened in the same building, with C. F. Van Olinda as Postmaster, on July 15. Increasing business made these quarters too small and in 1910 he pushed the old building rudely to one side and erected a large two-story building, which is still in use."
The first Rural Free Delivery service on the island started from the Portage post office on June 15, 1905. Fred Kingsbury was the carrier.

The post office closed during last half of 1968 or the first half of 1969.

Sources: Guy Reed Ramsey, "Postmarked Washington, 1850-1960," Microfilm (Olympia: Washington State Library, February, 1966), 670-671; Roland Carey and Van Olinda, History of Vashon-Maury Island (Seattle: Alderbook Publishing Company, 1985) 46, 48; Roland Carey, Isle of the Sea Breezers (Seattle: Alderbrook Publishing Co., 1985) 122.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You