Corona del Mar Post Office
(July 29, 1926 – )
Early residents of Corona del Mar had to get their mail in Balboa, so in 1926 they petitioned for post office of their own. “A post office for Corona del Mar is now an assured fact, as approval has come from headquarters at Washington, D.C. Mrs. C. Stukey is to be in charge, with the office in the Stukey grocery on the state highway near Marguerite avenue.” (Register, 7-30-1926) Corona del Mar remained a 4th class post office (the lowest rating) for many years, so the postmasters were appointed directly by the Postmaster General, did not require Senate confirmation, “and are for indefinite terms, subject only to removal by the department for cause.” “Like other fourth class offices, the Corona del Mar post office pays its postmaster a salary based on stamp cancellations and money order sales at the office instead of a fixed yearly rate.” (Santa Ana Register, 2-27-1937) In 1949 it was proposed to merge all four post offices in the city under the Newport Beach Post Office “as an economy move.” But after protests from the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, it remained a separate office after Balboa and Balboa Island were consolidated.
For the purists, the Corona del Mar Post Office was originally named Corona Del Mar and was not renamed Corona del Mar until May 1, 1950. “No one quite remembers how long the ‘D’ has been capitalized but the down style has been given postal approval. Stamp collectors already have indicated an interest in getting letters cancelled on March 31 and April 1 to show both spellings and [postmaster Verne] Watson expects a philatelic rush for cancellations.” (L.A. Times, 2-25-1950)
Edna L. Stukey, 1926-1927
Edna Stukey’s husband, Chris Stukey, ran a grocery store on the Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Edna Stukey managed an apartment house in Balboa before joining him in the business. Their son, Glessner S. Gallinger, later recalled that his parents were living in Balboa when the Coast Hwy went through and ChrisStukey decided to build a grocery store in Corona del Mar. “Their store and a real estate office were the only buildings on the highway…. The men in the real estate office persuaded my mother to apply for a post office to be located in the store. She agreed and … was duly appointed postmaster and I have a copy of her appointment, dated July 29, 1926…. I am 80 years old and this bit of history will soon be forgotten if not recorded.” (L.A. Times, 9-20-1981) The Stukeys remained in Corona del Mar only a short time before moving away. Edna Stukey was still living in Westminster in 1969 at age 97.
Samuel A. Scott, 1927-1934
Sam Scott bought the Stukey store early in 1927 and became postmaster as well. In 1934 he sold the business and moved to Corona.
Wanda S. Nimmo, 1934-1937
Wanda Nimmo (also listed as Sarah Wanda Nimmo) grew up Garden Grove, where she graduated from high school in 1931. In 1937 she married Kenneth W. Fowler of Corona del Mar.
Florence W. Anderson, 1937-1940
Florence Anderson was initially appointed acting postmaster. President Roosevelt had recently ordered that all postmasters take a civil service exam, and four people applied for the job. “The new acting postmaster will serve until a permanent postmaster has been appointed by the postmaster general, following an examination of candidates by the civil service commission.” (Register, 4-21-1937) Anderson was still living in Corona del Mar in the late 1940s.
Harry Ross King, 1940-1949
Verne H. Watson, 1949-1970
Verne Watson was also active in community affairs during his long tenure as postmaster. In 1951 he served as president of the Corona del Mar Civic Association.
A. Grant Howald, 1971-1974
(You can find more about Orange County’s post offices and postmasters here)