THE POST OFFICE
There have been several post offices on Sanibel. The first one appears to have been the Nutt home, Gray Gables, where Laetitia Nutt handled mail as post mistress from 1889 until 1895. She picked up the mail at the lighthouse pier. George Cooper also collected mail at St. James City on Pine Island. From 1891 to 1895 he dropped it off on his wife’s sewing machine at their home (could you call her sewing machine the second post office?), now known as the Old House Store.
The third post office was the front porch of the bay-front, two-story Reed home, and Will Reed became post master, a job he held until 1940. Rural delivery was established in 1900 and the mail was delivered each day to Reed’s Landing. During the hurricane of 1926, the Reed home was destroyed. Debris was recovered from the bay and used to build a one-story home and this small post office (the fourth post office). Look up and notice that the boards don’t match.
Will Reed was a member of the 1910 Caloosahatchee Valley championship baseball team, the Sanibel Tomato Pickers. His daughter, Hazel Reed Goddard, was post mistress after him.
- The fifth post office was built on Ferry Road, run by Scotia Bryant; it soon proved too small.
- The sixth, used until 1964, became a private home on Ferry Road.
- The seventh is now a restaurant near the Cooper Home in the Old Sanibel Shoppes (The Over Easy).
- No. 8 is the present post office on Tarpon Bay Road.
- There was also a post office in the Wulfert area operated by post mistress Jennie Doane in the early 1900s.
- The different sizes and widths of wood used in the building – because they were salvaged.
- The number of postal patrons whose names are on a letter of appreciation to Scotia Bryant, post mistress.