Main PageShopBuilding Tracker DirectoryResearch LinksRussy Baby Productions

Gunnison History Tracker
314 Elk Avenue
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Regular delivery of mail did not occur until the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad finally laid tracks to Crested Butte in 1881. In "A Crested Butte Primer" the mail is described as the following, "When Crested Butte was a young town, the federal government's responsibility for getting the mail through to small towns seemed to end once it had hired a postmaster for the community and delivered the mail into his hands. The place and method of distribution were largely left up to the postmaster himself." The post office popped up wherever the postmaster considered convenient.

Rudy Verzuh began working as the Crested Butte Post Master in 1935 after working at his family's store. He ran the post office at 314 Elk Avenue (the Chocolate Factory today) for 37 years, during which he witnessed the most drastic changes in the community. For many years, Tony Mihelich would pick up the mail freight from the D&RG and bring it over to the post office.

Rudy witnessed the Big Mine close and spent much of his time redirecting the mail as many families moved away. The population dropped to less than 300 residents and the post office relied on stamp sales to tourists in order to bring in revenue. After the ski area opened in 1961, the "hippie" generation began to move into the area. For these newcomers, Rudy was one of the first "old timers" they would meet as everyone had to have a post office box.

A new post office was built in 1965 as the population of Crested Butte began to grow. By 1973, this new post office was already too small for the incoming population. The post office we know today opened in 1976 and continues to serve the community.

Courtesy of the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum