The first post office established in what is now the city of Harlan was opened September 19, 1828. Originally known as Mount Pleasant, Kentucky, the post office was established as Harlan Court House due to the fact that there was already another Mount Pleasant, Kentucky post office in Carter County, near Boone Furnace.
In 1865, the post office was renamed Harlan and, although the community was formally incorporated by the Kentucky General Assembly as Mount Pleasant on April. 15, 1884, the town was already usually called Harlan Court House or Harlan Town by its inhabitants. The city’s terms of incorporation were amended to change the name to Harlan on March 13, 1912.
The Current Post Office is located near the center of town on North First Street.