TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Postal History Foundation is joining in on the draw of the Gem and Mineral show with a new exhibit "Prospectors and Postmen: Mail Delivery in the Boom Days of Mining". It highlights the early days of mining in the American west (in particular Arizona) and the delivery of mail.
"Prospectors and Postmen" exhibit is located in the Peggy J. Slusser Memorial Library at the Postal History Foundation, 920 North First Avenue in Tucson, between First and Second Street, southwest of Speedway and Euclid. Admission and parking are free. Slusser Library hours are Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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.