By Elverhoj Museum Staff
Solvang residents were awakened around 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 4, 1926, by a series of explosions as four professional “cracksmen” blew open the post office safe. The robbers had broken in by crawling through a rear window. They then stole the postmaster’s strong box and rolled the small safe to a waiting automobile where it was tied to the running board with a large rope!
Evidently the rope broke before they had gone far and the safe fell to the side of Lompoc Road just at the outskirts of Solvang (present day Mission Drive near Nykobing). Holes were drilled in the lock and the holes were loaded with nitroglycerin. It took three attempts before the door gave way in an explosion that carried the door 115 feet from the scene and destroyed the safe contents meaning the thieves got virtually nothing for all their efforts.
Having a Post Office was an essential step in the official recognition of the town of Solvang. The town was founded in January 1911 and on March 17, 1912, the first Post Office officially opened. Like the Solvang Library, it started small and was initially located in a corner of the Solvang Hotel lobby where it served as a vital link with the outside world.
The Post Office was eventually moved from the hotel into the new bank building on Main Street at First Street. It remained there until 1925 when the bank building was destroyed by a fire. The Post Office temporarily relocated into a residence south of Solvang Drug Store until a dedicated building was erected in 1925 (see photo).
The current Post Office on Alisal Road opened in September 1962. Town delivery was inaugurated in July of 1963. It is the only Danish-style Post Office in the country.
The Postal Service remains an essential link, transporting and delivering mail and critical goods on a daily basis during the COVID-19 outbreak. Postal workers are the eyes and ears in our neighborhoods, and a crucial factor in facilitating the national census, vote-by-mail efforts, and distributing information on protecting health.
Photographs below are the second Post Office from 1925 that was robbed and the current “half-timber” design Solvang 93463 Post Office. Photographs copyright of #Elverhoj Museum of History & Art and are from our new book “The Spirit of Solvang” which is available from the museum for pick-up or shipping in the continental U.S.
Want to learn more about the history of Solvang?
The Spirit of Solvang book is available for shipping or curbside pick-up. Call 805-686-1211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order.