Glen Haven’s postal service began with our first postmaster William Neal. Before having a true post office, residents would come to collect their mail from the covered wagon mail service one day a week. Service was discontinued two years later in 1919, with Glen Haven mail diverted to Drake. In 1922, service was reestablished with postmaster Clarence Alber. Two years later, service to the area was terminated again. Glen Haven did not have permanent mail service until 1926. Since that time, the post office has held several locations before finding its home at 7420 County Road 43. For a brief period the mailroom could be found at the Inn of Glen Haven, Wild Bill’s Cook Shack (lost in the flood of 2013), a house on 43 with a single-car garage, and also at Calico Kate’s (a local business also lost in the 2013 flood). We have also enjoyed working with nine different postmasters over the course of the Glen Haven Post Office history, in addition to various officers-in-charge (OIC). Our post office has in recent history been downgraded by headquarters and is now managed by the postmaster in Estes Park.

I spoke with four former Glen Haven post office employees to learn more about what it’s like to run the mail service at our special laidback, mountain location. All described it as an extraordinary experience to serve our small, friendly community at the foot of the switchbacks.

Bob Clarke, record-holder for longest serving postmaster of Glen Haven at 17 years sits in front of his retirement business custom carving signs

What is your history with the post office system before Glen Haven?

I started back in 1970 in Fort Worth, Texas. I transferred to Estes Park in 1982 as a clerk. Then, I was the OIC of Glen Haven for a couple months before becoming the postmaster. I ran the Drake office when their postmaster retired while my clerk ran the Glen Haven post office in my absence. I ran the Allenspark office when their postmaster died while my clerk ran the Glen Haven office in my absence again. After they found a permanent postmaster, I returned full time to the office in Glen Haven. Marion Nolen was my clerk from 1991 until I retired in 2004. She was the best clerk I ever had!

It was a real treat to run this office! I was able to wear all the hats: postmaster, janitor, confessor, financial advisor... I was part of a big family! There used to be a group of locals who’d hang out on the back retaining wall behind the office swapping stories while I was working.

What challenges did you face working the office in Glen Haven?

Sometimes just getting the mail is a challenge when there’s a couple feet of snow on the ground. Mountain issues. During winter it could be a challenge sometimes to keep a plausible schedule.Another challenge can be small town mailing addresses. There would be times when someone might just write the description of a resident’s cabin location instead of a proper address. For the most part, you do know most of the people so you can make that work. But not always! Government regulations dictate that mail addressed like this be marked ‘insufficient address’ and returned to sender. Speaking of government regulations and challenges working in Glen Haven, some people really don’t like to put postage on mail being delivered to someone else in Glen Haven! I have had people throw money across the counter it made them so mad. But, it is a mail delivery and regulations require that postage be paid.

Glen Haven needs patrons to support it with their business, buying stamps and otherwise generating revenue. The post office was downgraded to ‘remotely managed’ by headquarter recently. That means no more post master at the Glen Haven location -- my record as the longest-serving postmaster of Glen Haven stands!

Do you have any standout moments working the post office here?

One crisp morning, I went out to hang the flag and saw Greg Martin, a 6’4” former Marine, shuffling awkwardly down the road toward the post office. I wondered what was wrong with him. I didn’t have to wonder long because he came straight to the post office and asked me, ‘Bob, do you remember how to skip??’ He’d been trying to remember on the walk over to the post office!

Bert Johansen of North Fork Road retired after four years with the post office of Glen Haven.

What was your postal service experience before Glen Haven?

I worked at two other satellites of the Estes Park post office (Drake and Allenspark) before landing in Glen Haven. All three locations are considered ‘rural post offices’ and only operate 4-6 hours per day. Allenspark has approx. 250 mailboxes. Drake has over 300, and Glen Haven has about 200. Each of these offices are fairly similar to each other.

What were some of your favorite parts of serving Glen Haven through the post office?

You really couldn’t find better people than the wonderful people of this neighborhood.It was a pleasure getting to meet the neighbors and coming to know everyone as the final step in the mail cycle.

Do you have any particular moments that stand out for you?

There was one time I was called into duty down in Drake at Christmas due to a lack of personnel in Estes Park. People in Glen Haven weren’t getting their mail, which included a lot of Christmas gifts. The post office in Glen Haven was mostly closed, but I worked hard to ensure that families with little kids had their Christmas packages delivered for the holidays. That’s an example of something I loved -- helping to make sure things worked for the people of this community.

What’s special about working in a post office?

The post office is a great equalizer. It levels the playing field. We have doctors, attorneys, professors -- all kinds of accomplished people living in our town. With mail service, though, everyone becomes ‘people’. They’re not served according to their titles. I enjoyed getting to know people that way.

Were there any challenges working at the post office in Glen Haven?

The HR situation is pretty bad, as everyone in Glen Haven is well aware. The supervisor and postmaster at the post office in Estes Park are extremely hard to work with, and I eventually opted for retirement rather than work with them any longer.

Are there any exceptional moments/people within the community you’d like to mention?

Lana McCallum. She lives down on County Road 43 and was a career nurse. She’s responsible for the beautiful garden at the post office! She planted it 12 years ago and has regularly maintained it ever since. Isn’t that awesome??

Keile Altair, OIC from August 2018 until April 2019 pictured at his current location in Drake, CO

How did you come to work at the post office in Glen Haven?

They de-commissioned the post office location in Drake, so I moved to the Glen Haven post office to manage both Glen Haven and Drake postal service on an interim basis until they could find an adequate new building for the Drake service.

How long have you worked with the post office, Keile?

It’s been four years.

What was your favorite part of working at the post office in Glen Haven?

The people. I enjoyed them all. Glen Haven has so many friendly people. I loved having the regulars come in and chat me up! In the winter, Glen Haven residents would share holiday cookies -- I must have eaten about 60 dozen cookies! I think I gained 20 pounds over Christmas.

Were there any special challenges you had to deal with during your time in Glen Haven?

I was there running two post offices’ worth of mail (Drake and Glen Haven) out of the Glen Haven location. Over Christmas. I put in some long days over an extended period!

Paul Westerh, OIC March 2019 until present pictured in Glen Haven PO

How long have you worked with the post office, Paul?

I just celebrated my first anniversary. In March I began working with the Glen Haven post office in addition to my duties in Estes Park. So, I begin my day early in Estes and drive down here around 11am.

What was your favorite part of working at the post office in Glen Haven?

It’s nicer, quieter here. Estes Park serves thousands of people. Here it is a much smaller community and I know all of them. I enjoy meeting the regulars who come in, too.

Were there any special challenges you had to deal with during your time in Glen Haven?

Some of the packages go astray because the post office requires the post office box number be included in the address. If not, the mail is returned to sender with insufficient address. I’m essentially the face that residents complain to in that case, and it can be challenging.

NOTE: Paul suggests writing your physical address followed by PO box number to help avoid this inconvenience, eg

‘500 Fox Creek Road, #500’