Chandler Heights Trading Post

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Trading Post Sign

During the 1930s, Chandler Heights was a bustling little community.  Stretching seven miles along the Hunt Highway at the base of the San Tan Mountains, it offered perfect soil for citrus trees, a mostly mild climate, methods of crop irrigation and beautiful views.

There was one important thing missing, however: a Post Office.  Rural mail service from Higley was not meeting the needs of its residents.  So on Jan. 24, 1938, John R. Murdock, an Arizona Congressman; P.G. Spillsbury, a Washington D.C. resident and Chandler Heights grove owner; Dr. A.J. Chandler, the founder of Chandler Heights Citrus Tracts; and, Teresa (Tess) M. Binner established the Chandler Heights, Arizona Post Office.[1]

Tess also became the first Postmaster.  She conducted business in a four by six foot corner of the Chandler Heights Trading Post, located in the garage of the Binner home on South Lime. Used mail boxes were purchased from Olberg, an Indian Trading Post on the Gila River Reservation just south of the San Tan Mountains.[2] Tess received the daily cancellations as her pay. A 3 cent stamp took a letter anywhere in the United States. Postcards went for 1 cent. Tess’ pay was often less than $1 a day, and no rent was paid for the space occupied within the Trading Post.

Trading PostWhen the trading post was moved to its current location on the southwest corner of San Tan Boulevard and Power Road in the summer of 1946, the Post Office moved with it. Tess served as Postmaster until 1953, when she sold the store and retired.

This is still a popular spot to pick up a few groceries, a lottery ticket, or to just talk with a neighbor about their day.  It offers that special atmosphere that’s only found in small town America.

Excerpts from the following were used for this article:
[1] Chandler Heights Monthly, Feb. 20, 1988
[2] Histories & Precious Memories of the Queen Creek Area, Arizona by Frances Pickett