The Cotesfield Post Office building served the village of Cotesfield from 1920 to 1996 and was moved to the Historical Village in 1997. It was donated to the Society by Maxine and Joe Coufal. In the four counties of Greeley, Howard, Sherman, and Valley, 98 different post offices were established, with only St. Paul and Gage Valley older than Cotesfield (1871).
The current building was built in 1920 by Jess Sautter. It contains the original postmaster’s counter, a safe, a desk, and several other items. as well as artifacts from a variety of county post offices, including an extensive collection from the Elba post office.
Volunteers raised funds for the move and renovation of rotted sills and foundation, deteriorated siding, screen door, exterior lighting, brick steps, painting, window screens, authentic interior doors, refinished floors, removal of suspended ceiling, carpet, linoleum and paneling. Trim was recreated around doors, windows, and mopboards. In all cases,
guidelines from the National Trust for Historic Preservation were followed, with material used that was correct to the era of restoration.
- Replaced exterior and interior doors with ones from correct time period
- Primed and painted all interior walls and woodwork
- Sanded, stained, and varnished floors
- Removed suspended ceiling
- Removed carpet
- Removed linoleum
- Removed paneling
- Removed unnecessary wiring
- Replaced rotted interior wall
- Recreated trim around doors (2), windows (2), and mopboards
- Painted ceiling
- Found vintage light fixtures
- Found vintage wainscoting
- Replaced front threshold
- Replaced back threshold
- Minor plaster work to the chimney area
- Replaced formica counter top with wooden one
- Plastered minor holes
Part of our motivation in preserving these buildings is so we can give our community. especially our children. a “hands on” history lesson. Our second motivation comes from a speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt on the Antiquities Act of 1906:
“Here is your country. Do not let anyone take it or its glory away from you. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its history, its architecture, or its romance. The world, the future, and your children shall judge you accordingly as you deal with this sacred trust.”