Coyote Post Office, Historic Landmark 10-193

Coyote Post Office at History Park

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This building was located on Monterey Road, between San José and Morgan Hill. It served as the Coyote Post Office from 1907 to 1974, when it was moved to History Park. The post office began as the Burnett Post Office in 1862, named after the surrounding township. It was part of the Twelve Mile House, one of many lodges along Monterey Road when it served as a cattle trail and stage route. In the 1860s, the post office served as a way station for the Overland Mail (later Wells Fargo Express). John Barry, the inn-keeper, is listed in government records as the first Postmaster.

On March 13, 1882, the name “Coyote” officially replaced “Burnett.” A dispute erupted between Postmaster Frank S. Dassel and U.S. Postal Inspectors over a $1.00 financial discrepancy. Since only a wall separated the Post Office from the Twelve Mile House, the inspectors enacted an archaic postal regulation prohibiting a postal office in or near proximity to a saloon. The Post Office moved next door to this building, built by Fiacro Fisher, the building’s first Postmaster.

In this once rural area, the Coyote Post Office was more than a mail depot; it also served as a community meeting place. By 1973, the Coyote Post Office had outgrown this building and moved again to a new building, still in operation, on Monterey Road.

The Coyote Post Office was refurbished in 2010/2011 through a generous grant by the Santa Clara County Historical Heritage Commission.

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