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THEN: 525 Third Ave. in Longmont (photo courtesy Longmont Museum)

The post office’s first permanent location in Longmont

By Lisa Truesdale

As one of the original members of the 1871 Chicago-Colorado Colony that later became Longmont, Ira L. Herron was pretty invested in the success of the community. He served as the town’s mayor from 1889-90, and in the early 1890s, he was one of the officers of the local Masonic Lodge.

Herron was appointed postmaster in 1905, and his first order of business was moving everything to the post office’s first permanent location in Longmont, a “neoclassical structure with sandstone trim” that had just been built at 525 Third Avenue. The site was chosen because the intersection at Third and Main was Longmont’s busiest (and it’s still one of the most-traveled-through today). In December of that year, free home delivery of mail was introduced in Longmont, with letter carriers often assisting rural customers with emergencies or delivering urgent messages from town.

Herron served as postmaster until 1913, and during that time, he implemented what very well may have been Longmont’s first “Take Your Daughter to Work Day”—he appointed his daughter, Amy, as assistant postmaster. She held the position during the tenures of the two successive postmasters as well, until she eloped in 1926 and moved to Tulsa. On the subject of her nuptials, the newspaper reported that “Announcement of this wedding comes as a complete surprise to relatives and friends, and was communicated to the parents of the bride over long distance telephone.”

The post office shared the first floor with a drug store and City News, with a number of fraternal organizations occupying the second floor. In 1936, the post office moved to 501 Fifth St., and then to its current location at Second Avenue and Coffman Street in 1976.

NOW: 525 Third Ave. in Longmont (photo by Lisa Truesdale)
NOW: 525 Third Ave. in Longmont (photo by Lisa Truesdale)

In 1994, the building at 525 Third Ave. was designated a landmark by Longmont’s Historic Preservation Commission; in order to preserve history, once the designation is earned, it’s extremely difficult to get approval for alterations that change the exterior.

One of the current tenants, however, is doing her part to preserve history. Gale Taylor opened Recycled Records LP three years ago on the east side of the first floor. The store sells new and used albums and CDs, and Taylor says record collectors come from all over the metro area to buy and sell their round vinyl pieces of history.

Like the folks who chose the site for the building in 1905, Taylor selected her store’s location because of its high visibility downtown. “I also like the big windows and the ‘funky chicken’ interior,” she says.