Reviving History, Building Leaders: BHI’s Restoration of the Old Ashley Post Office

The Old Ashley Post Office, located at 1333 West 2000 North in Vernal, Utah, stands as a quaint yet stoic reminder of the resilience and ingenuity of early settlers. Constructed by Wilbur C. Britt, the first postmaster, this structure originally served dual purposes: a postal facility and a community gathering spot. Crafted with logs from nearby forests and assembled with wooden pegs and square nails, the structure showcases the resourcefulness of its builders. A simple yet functional partition divided the post office from a store, reflecting the multifunctional nature of buildings from that era.

The post office was more than just a building, it was a lifeline for the Ashley Valley settlers. Once a week, carriers undertook the daunting task of delivering mail to and from Green River, Wyoming, traversing rugged terrains on horseback or by snowshoes. This challenging journey highlighted the isolation of the community while reaffirming the post office’s crucial role in connecting it with the wider world. As the 20th century dawned, technological advancements and demographic shifts led to the discontinuation of mail service at the Old Ashley Post Office in 1899.

Now under the stewardship of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, this building was designated as Utah Historic Marker #313 in 1965, and was placed on the Uintah County Historic Preservation Commission in 1989. Its preservation is crucial for remembering not just the pioneering spirit that shaped Utah but also the everyday lives of those who built and relied on this humble structure.

Inspired by the building’s storied past, BHI’s founder, Brad Haslem, saw a dual-purpose opportunity: to contribute to the preservation of this historic site while simultaneously bolstering BHI’s leadership training program. The project, which included replacing decayed timbers, foundation repairs, drainage improvements, and roof repairs, served as a hands-on platform for BHI employees to refine leadership, management, and planning skills through practical application and the use of software tools.  

Leading the initiative two days ago, BHI’s Director of Training, Mike Peden, highlighted the dual focus of the project on enhancing leadership, management, and planning skills while aligning with BHI’s dedication to community service and historical preservation. “Our aim was to increase everyone’s leadership skills,” Peden remarked, expressing satisfaction with the project’s outcome. He added, “We are happy to have assisted a great organization like the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers in helping preserve a key piece of history in this valley and simultaneously provided our employees with opportunities for leadership development,” showcasing the project’s successful blend of service and professional growth.

About BHI 

At BHI, our commitment to service deeply permeates our approach to enriching the communities we serve. This dedication is manifested in our efforts to create job opportunities and construct infrastructure that strengthens the fabric of America. We actively engage in initiatives that contribute positively to community welfare, always seeking innovative ways to give back. 

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