The Balboa Island Post Office in the 1950s (courtesy the Orange County Archives).

The Balboa Island Post Office in the 1950s (courtesy the Orange County Archives).

Balboa Island Post Office

(November 16, 1928 – June 30, 1955)

Balboa Island’s post office was originally named Balisle. It was the fourth post office established in the City of Newport Beach. “Two of the offices have been started here during the past year,” the Los Angeles Times reported (2-7-1927). “The fourth was opened the first of the month by Walter Kaufmann of Balboa Island…. When the application was sent in for the office the department stipulated that a different name was to be given Balboa Island before the department would consider establishing it. The postal authorities stated that the name Balboa Island was confusing and too long and asked for a new one-word name. Kaufmann asked a number of island residents who signed a petition for a post office to submit names and Balisle, which is a combination of Balboa Island, was selected. Mr. Kaufmann has already sent to Chicago for the boxes and will commence building an addition to his grocery this week to accommodate the post office. The office here will help relieve the congestion in the Balboa office in summer time, when so many people are staying in the beach towns. The petition for the office was sent in about a year ago but the matter was held up partly because of the matter of a suitable.” The Balboa Island Post Office was reduced to a station of Newport Beach in 1955. 


Walter L. Kaufmann, 1928-1933

Walter Kaufmann came to Orange County as a boy. At the time he was postmaster he had a store on the island. His obituary (L.A. Times, 3-3-1954) described him as a “former long-time spotlight manufacturer in Santa Ana and a former postmaster at Balboa Island.” He was 54. 

M. Evalyn Rider, 1933-1947 

Hamilton P. Smith, 1947-1949

Hamilton Smith was working in the drug store across the street for the Balboa Island Post Office by the mid-1930s. 

Hilda C. (Briscoe) Watkins, 1949-1955

(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)