Floriston post office closes: The end of an era

Amy Edgett
Sierra Sun
Amy Edgett/Sierra SunJoan Alioto, takes a last look as Floriston post master before her retirement and subsequent closing of the Floriston post office April 30, 2011.

FLORISTON, Calif. and#8212; On Oct. 1, 1872 the Bronco post office opened on the rail line 12 miles east of Truckee. The tiny town of Bronco, Calif., ultimately became Floriston, which in 1899 was a booming affair with seven mill buildings, 14 original homes, a hotel, and a hospital, where the Floriston Pulp and Paper Company operated the second largest paper mill in the world.

April 30, 2011, was the last day the Floriston post office served the town of 42 homes.

and#8220;This is not a joyous day by any means,and#8221; said David Rupert, a postal spokesperson who understands ties to community and the small-town Floriston history.

The U.S. Postal Service dates back to 1775, when Benjamin Franklin appointed the first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress. In Floriston, Joan Alioto has been post master for 31 years, out of a rebuilt section of her residence. Alioto applied for the position when the post office was to move out of the and#8220;yellow house.and#8221; She carried out the six-day a week job, in addition to a 30-year position at Boomtown. Despite the responsibility, Alioto said sheand#8217;s going to miss it.

and#8220;When I first started, a lot of people met and visited,and#8221; said Alioto. and#8220;Now people are so busy, they donand#8217;t stop like they used to, and so many things are done online now.and#8221;

The gathering place, where residents used to congregate and see seasonal changes with Aliotoand#8217;s American flags, harvest scarecrows and corn stalks, turkey motifs and candy cane lights, greeted by several barking and#8220;wiener dogs,and#8221; is closed.

Cluster boxes now stand at the entrance of Floriston, how post office officials determined how to best maintain services through another means. and#8220;Brick and mortar is hard to maintain,and#8221; said Rupert. In tough economic times, when the volume-driven postal business is down 20 percent over the last three years, the days of the walking mailman and old-time post offices are disappearing.

Itand#8217;s a shift to maintain viable postal service in the world of changing communication.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.