Located in the main building of the Postal History Foundation in Tucson, the historic post office structure from Naco, Arizona, is prominent. This dates from about 1895, and was the active post office in this border town for some 30 years. In those days, when a postmaster needed a post office, kits were available to order. This structure was assembled from such a kit and was in a Wells Fargo freight office building. When Naco got a new post office, the structure was disassembled and conserved, installed in a bar in Tombstone for awhile, and after the Western Postal History Museum was established in the Arizona Historical Society Museum in 1960, placed there. In the seventies, the church building that now is the main building for the Postal History Foundation was acquired, and the historic post office was relocated to its present location.
Naco was one of a few post offices that served to exchange mail between the United States and Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution in the early part of the 20th century. This structure would have physically been the exchange point.
Today, the Postal History Foundation utilizes this space to display postal memorabilia from a number of historic sources. These include:
In the Peggy Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library, there is a display of postal scales from several decades, together with some early cast metal mailboxes.
Archival records from several post offices in Arizona, and from Tyrone, New Mexico, are stored in the basement and are available for research on request from the library staff. These records include photographs and other historical information about many of these post offices.
A small display of memorabilia from the estate of the Weill Brothers, whose stamp shop in the New Orleans French Quarter was important for years, includes the original wooden sign that graced the street and was featured in a familiar watercolor advertisement on many magazine covers.
A preserved and framed copy of a New York City newspaper announcing the assassination of President Lincoln, is proudly displayed on a wall.
There are five original oil paintings by Cal Peters, commissioned for the museum, that illustrate early Arizona postal history subjects. This same artist also did at least five dioramas; these are in several sites of the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson and in Yuma.
In the main building, the Carl Lemar John Exhibit Room contains six of the "standard" APS exhibit frames. These display rotating exhibits from the Postal History Foundation archives, or from items that are pertinent to special activities ongoing at the foundation.
There are also two frames with displays from the Education Department including examples of our worksheets, populated with the stamps that we make available to the students. Other exhibits in those frames include entries and winners in our annual contest for students to design a stamp to celebrate Tucson's birthday. The citywide celebration counts the years since 1775.
Still two more frames contain examples of some of the souvenir cacheted covers that have been created through the years by the Postal History Foundation, together with a sale list for these; a display of privately created cacheted covers is also often presented.
In the Peggy Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library, exhibit cases often contain examples of the Civil War memorabilia collected by Miss Slusser, which were donated to the Postal History Foundation upon her passing some years ago.
These exhibits also change, depending upon special events at the Postal History Foundation. Examples of exhibits that have been displayed here include: