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United States/Covers & Postmarks : DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

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pigdoc
23 Jan 2018
06:13:04pm
After THOROUGHLY enjoying the philately exhibit at the Chester County (PA) Historical Society last Saturday (with Vince and Tom), I have become enthralled with DPO covers. These are from post offices where service has been discontinued. I've purchased a few items this week so far, 'covering' (ha, ha) Highland township, in Chester County, where I lived from 1985 through 2006. Highland township is the second-least populated township in the county, and (still) has no incorporated villages in it. In 'the day', it was covered by 5 post offices, 3 of which are now discontinued. Those 3 were replaced by the Coatesville PO, after RFD.

First up, here's one from the Gum Tree PO:
Image Not Found
This one is a beaut, complete with enclosure expressing apology for being late on a payment, dated May 14, 1870. Gum Tree PO was established on March 21, 1823, and I don't have the date it was discontinued - USPS records do not include it.

The neat thing about this cover (to me) is that I actually lived in the building that housed the Gum Tree PO - it was my first residence in PA. Here's an image of the building:
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Next up is Doe Run, actually located in the adjoining township (West Marlborough), but which served the southeast corner of Highland township:
Image Not Found
Doe Run PO was established February 27, 1827. Again, I don't when it was discoed. USPS records do not show it. I drove right past the building that housed this PO every day from 1988-1992 and again from 1994-2001, when I worked at New Bolton Center. Cover has a November 17, 1887 backstamp, "Parkesburgh", which is the archaic spelling of that PO...

Finally, here's Buck Run:
Image Not Found
This one was just down the hill from my second residence in Highland township, in the location now known as Pomeroy. The PO was opened in 1864. Don't know when it was discontinued, but where it stood is now an empty field. This cover is back-stamped Pomeroy, September 20, 1888, and is alleged to be the earliest known. This bears further research! By the way, Marshallton, PA is also a DPO!

Now, I'm working on Jackson County, Iowa (where I was born and raised), and Berks County, PA (where I live now).

Isn't history fascinating?


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Webpaper
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23 Jan 2018
08:01:36pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

A bit more information gleaned from Helbock's United States Post Offices and Jim Forte's site.

Gum Tree closed in 1895 and reopened in 1909 - only to close permanently in 1916.

Doe Run also closed in 1895 and reopened in 1905 - permanently closed in 1916.

Buck Run (Salisbury) closed in 1866.

Busk Run (E. Falloowfield) opened in 1888 and closed permanently in 1921, although it appears it may have had a period where it was closed sometime in those years.

Hope that helps

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pigdoc
24 Jan 2018
09:09:18am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Ah, HA!

I had been confused about Buck Run. (There are several places colloquially named "Buck Run" in the contiguous townships in this area.)

The reference I had, an old history of Chester County that I found on googlebooks, stated that the name "Buck Run" was used for the Pomeroy station until 1865. I would presume that this information pertains to the Buck Run in Salisbury township. So, I was confused that the Buck Run CDS would have been used for this location as late as 1888. Interestingly, this cover also has a Pomeroy backstamp! Old maps show the location of the PO on the southeast corner of Old Stottsville Rd and Strasburg (Valley) Rd. My address used to be 251 Old Stottsville Rd. While I was living there, this plot was an empty field. Now, I see that someone has built a brand new house there...(sigh)...

I'll have to do some more sleuthing to determine where the East Fallowfield Buck Run PO was located.

I'm also keen to chase down some postal history around the "Pomeroy and Newark (Delaware) RR" which passed within a few hundred yards of all three of these DPOs (Gum Tree, Doe Run, and Pomeroy/Buck Run). I used to walk on the old rail bed for some time with nature...Anyway, I think it was a branch of the PP&R (Philadelphia, Pomeroy, and Reading). The railbed is still quite obvious where it is crossed by modern roads, and there are a few bridges (over Buck and Doe Runs) still standing. Old timers remember when it was used to move cattle between pastures. In the day, a large proportion of West Marlborough township grazed cattle... Would be a neat collecting area if that line was used to transport mail, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was so. Doubt it would have had an RPO, though...More research to do!

I found Jim Forte's site: postalhistory.com.

THANKS, Webpaper!

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Webpaper
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24 Jan 2018
09:35:33am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

There is an absolute wealth of information on the Pomeroy & Newark RR including spur lines to town and industries here:

something went wrong when I copied the link - be right back


https://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~choess/railroads/pomeroy.html

For some reason when I make a link it shows an error when opened - just copy it and paste it. It also has a great listing of items for further research.

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pigdoc
24 Jan 2018
09:58:03am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Very cool!
That will keep me busy!

THANKS!

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philb
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24 Jan 2018
02:18:50pm

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re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I have this guy, and several local Columbia County,N.Y. post offices.Image Not Found

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"If a man would be anything, he must be himself."
pigdoc
24 Jan 2018
03:56:33pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Cool!

I just snagged a "Last Day Cover" from Jim Forte's site. Image is gone, so I'll have to wait until I receive it to post it.

Also, I have to dig out a Last Day Cover I made for Chatham, PA, which closed in 2011. At the time, I had PO Box at that office!

Thanks for your posting philb!

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philb
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24 Jan 2018
05:10:38pm

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re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

No problem i have a business sized envelope from Clermont, N.Y. where i grew up..the cachet is "death of a post office". i will post later.

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Pogopossum
24 Jan 2018
06:06:41pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I've been interested in collecting covers from the DPO's of the four lost towns of Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts: Enfield, Greenwich, Prescott, and Dana. Some of my wife's family is from Enfield. I posted about this before. Being in MN I don't see a lot of New England covers, and I have so many other collecting interests I am not sure I can add another one. But if anyone is familiar with these towns, I'd be interested in chatting.

Geoff

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keesindy
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25 Jan 2018
12:59:02am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Postal history is fascinating! And DPO histories even more so.

Dad introduced me to his small postal collection shortly before he died. His focus was on the county where he, his dad and I all grew up. Many were DPOs. He had mounted several items and framed them behind glass and instructed me to see that the framed group was donated to the county historical society museum. I followed his instructions, but only after taking the display apart and scanning the contents. I'm glad I did because I also joined the Indiana Postal History Society (IPHS) for the purpose of learning about what Dad had. He had a couple of DPOs that members had never heard of and others that they'd never seen. Unfortunately, some were lost to future collectors when they were donated to the museum, but I've been able to get others into the hands of postal history collectors who appreciate them. I also had the opportunity to write articles about some of the most interesting pieces for the IPHS newsletter. It has been a good way to learn more about local history and has provided lots of opportunities to share that knowledge with others.

Tom

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philb
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25 Jan 2018
10:45:39am

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re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Heres my D.P.O for Clermont N.YImage Not Found.

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keesindy
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25 Jan 2018
03:29:01pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Back in the 1960s, Dad's uncle made it easier for anyone interested in local postal history and DPOs to pursue their passion. The booklet contained information about each post office, including name changes that were especially confusing for novice collectors. Uncle Willard, Dad and I all grew up in Randolph County, but I was more interested in digitizing and sharing the information they gathered than forming my own collection.

Image Not Found Image Not Found

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philb
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25 Jan 2018
05:13:48pm

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re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I am starting to believe there are books on everything. Roy Ahlquist a retired teacher and member of our club for many years before he passed researched the post offices of Columbia county he has listed 98 postoffices since 1786. When i was going to school in the 1950 there were less than 30 thousand people in the whole county. Then New York city came up the Taconic parkway and bought cheap land for their Mcmansions >Image Not Found

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pigdoc
25 Jan 2018
05:22:36pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Speaking of confusing name changes, I've been working on Buck Run, PA, which was actually in two different locations about 2.5 miles apart along the same creek, and railroad - the Pomeroy and Newark. This is in Chester County, PA - Highland Twp. My interest in this locale is apparent from the first posting of this thread.

At the risk of getting too far down in the weeds for the interest of the group, here goes.

Both Buck Runs were located just outside of Highland Twp, but the both served it.
Anyway, the FIRST Buck Run was in Sadsbury Twp, just a few yards N of its boundary with Highland Twp. It was established on December 13, 1864. The name of this PO was changed to Pomeroy on January 17, 1866.

The SECOND Buck Run was a station on the railroad, in East Fallowfield Twp, just a few yards E of Highland Twp, on the property of D.S.Young. Young's Paper Mill was on the creek known as Buck Run, just a few yards from the RR station. This station/PO opened on June 21, 1888. George Young was the first PM.

Here's where it gets REALLY confusing. On old maps, this railroad station is named Gum Tree Station. On the very same map, 1 mile to the W, on the same road is "Gum Tree Post Office".

I can only conclude that the second Buck Run/Gum Tree station served to receive mail, but I (as yet) have no covers addressed TO Buck Run after the first Buck Run became Pomeroy. And I will be looking for evidence that mail traveled to this station by train!

The cover cancelled Buck Run above in this thread appears to me to have been dropped off at the Buck Run station, cancelled there, and then forwarded to Pomeroy, where it got a "Rec'd" back stamp at 7AM, September 20, 1888. It is not a stretch to conclude that the cover traveled from Buck Run to Pomeroy by train. There is another West Chester backstamp at 11AM the same day. West Chester is 16 miles by road straight E of Pomeroy. Those 16 miles in 4 hours would have been an example of 'Express Mail' in the day!

Another interesting bit: I have another cover addressed to an Edwin Walton, Timicula, PA that is cancelled Buck Run, February 26, 1908. Edwin Walton's place was across the creek from the railroad, about a mile N of Buck Run station. The cover also has a Pomeroy backstamp, 5PM the same day. Very curious.

Timicula (a PA ghost town halfway between the two Buck Runs) is a another story.

DPO history is very rich!

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keesindy
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26 Jan 2018
01:12:12am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

That Columbia County book reminded me that the Indiana Postal History Society has produced similarly bound books for most of the 92 Indiana counties. Each book contains some post office images, many close-up sections of antique maps, postmaster lists, covers and numerous cropped examples of cancellations. The only one I have is Randolph County. It's not a very populous county (mostly agricultural), but this 8½ x 11 format book is 114 color photocopy pages. Clearly , a lot of work went into producing these books.

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pigdoc
26 Jan 2018
07:14:32am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I can't wait for my next visit to the Chester County Historical Society, for the talk by Allen Warren: Postal Markings Prior to Adhesive Postage.

While I'm there, I'm going to spend a couple of hours checking out the reference material on postal history of the County that might be in their collections. I'm even thinking of extensively documenting the interaction of this railroad (the Pomeroy and Newark, a short line of about 63 miles) with distribution of the mails - it is, after all, an apparently smallish pond, and thus, maybe not too daunting. That's presuming that it hasn't already been done, which is a fair possibility...

What I have so far is tentative evidence that a RR station and PO were co-located. But, there do not seem to be any RPO markings, in the classical sense.

Frankly, I've been surprised at the volume of material from Chester County there still is out there in the marketplace today. Seems to contrast with the other regions of the country I'm currently exploring - eastern Iowa and Berks County. I asked Bill Fisher (covermuseumannex) where he got all the stuff I've been buying from him (some 25-30 items in the last months) and he told me that there had been a Postal History auction that was heavy in Chester County stuff....(drool)...

Q: When did the system for cancellations that documented the railroads' contribution to mail distribution (as in, "RPO") become institutionalized?

Q2: Were RPO markings only applied when mail was being cancelled ON trains?




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pigdoc
26 Jan 2018
07:38:14am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

This is in respone to keesindy's posting of the Indiana postal history reference book.

The open page resembles a "plat book".

My dad was a 'country veterinarian', who spent his career (1955-1985) chasing down sick animals out in the eastern Iowa boonies. He carried with him plat books for all 5 of the counties he frequented: Jackson, Jones, Cedar, Clinton, and Dubuque. These books had a page for each township, showing Sections, Ranges, and landowner names. They could be purchased locally, their cost partially underwritten by advertisers.

I have been using similar maps in my Chester County research, downloaded from ancestortracks.com. It's been interesting to plot the locations of addressees and senders of old covers relative to the locations of the DPOs, which are shown on the old maps. Gives a real appreciation for the logistical challenges of sending and receiving mail, considerations that we don't give a second thought to today. It's fun to put myself in their shoes to think up innovative solutions to those challenges!

Would I pay 50 cents a letter to avoid having to harness the horse, hook up the carriage and drive 20 miles (RT) to get my mail? ABSOLUTELY!

It's also been interesting to note that frequently, senders were not very far away from their addressees, sometimes only a few miles. But, in the days before internal combustion and telephones...

Another good resource for historical maps is davidrumsey.com. You can download "very very large" hi-res images (like, 10 Mb) for free.



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Tom in Exton, PA
26 Jan 2018
10:06:18am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Paul, per your mention of letters being sent to addresses a few miles apart, in my own postal era of 1903-1908 I have many penny postcards with quick notes between people sometimes in the same towns. I can think of at least one example I have where it appears the rural route carrier picked up a card, manuscript cancelled it and delivered it himself.

The messages of these cards are very interesting. Things like a card from Newark to Jersey City, NJ asking the recipient to meet him at the train station at 6:30pm the next day. "I'll come visit you on Saturday", "I will arrive to fix your stone wall on Tuesday or Wednesday".

I have a letter between two lawyers, sent from Newark, NJ to Brooklyn, NY in 1905 "I will come for a meeting in your office at 2pm tomorrow". I can see this attorney relying on train service to travel, and it took some faith to believe that the message was received and the other party was indeed available at the proposed time.

Of course this was before phone service was normal, and certainly the type of messages we would send via email or even text today, and receive instant confirmation!

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pigdoc
02 Feb 2018
08:03:40am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Linus' posting of the Hong Kong PC had me scan this one in:
Image Not Found
It's a card that is part of my new postal history collection centered on the Pomeroy & Newark Railway.

I was motivated to post it, because it is another data point on German printing of postcards in the early 20th century.

Note that the sender is the publisher of the card.

The main reason I acquired this card is that David Brinton was the first (and maybe only?) postmaster of the Timicula DPO, from 1890-1912. The old settlement of Timicula is/was on the Buck Run, and the area is now called Glen Rose. I have a close acquaintance who owns the property that was David Brinton's. I need to catch up with her again soon...

Also, I am becoming more and more amazed at how prompt mail service was in the horse-and-buggy era...West Chester is 16 miles from Pomeroy, yet the two CDSes are only 2 hours apart. And, it was forwarded on down to Timicula (another 1.5 miles) yet the same day. That last leg by train? (Answering that Q is a major quest for me...) The P&N line ran right through David Brinton's property.

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pigdoc
02 Feb 2018
08:20:16am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

ooo, I just noticed that the Pomeroy receiver PM looks like "POMEROY HEIGHTS", with HEIGHTS misspelled HEGHTS. (Wouldn't be the first time I've seen a misspelled CDS!) There was a Pomeroy Heights, but I didn't know it had a PO. I do know that the PO moved from near the old Strasburg Road about a half-mile North to be next to the train station on the Penn mainline, but I haven't tried to figure out when.

I wonder if the new PO was known as Heights for awhile...
Nothing on Jim Forte's site. More research called for!

Isn't postal history INTERESTING?!?!

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Stampme
02 Feb 2018
08:47:36am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Geoff,

I could be wrong about the Quabbin Reservoir towns under the water but isn't Heath also one of the towns?

Bruce

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StamperMA
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02 Feb 2018
12:20:57pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I'm new to this subject of DPOs and I found this thread fascinating. After reading it I started to look into DPOs for my town (Charlestown, MA). My short research has raised some questions so I hope you will help me with a simple issue I don't understand.

I found the website www.postalhistory.com and that site lists three POs for Charlestown:
1) 1816-1873
2) 1873-1895
3) 1897-Date

How do I interpret this list? I'm assuming it means the first Charlestown PO operated to 1873. Then it moved to a new location with no break in service and continued there until 1895. Then there was a period of ~1 year when Charlestown had no PO. Then one opened again in 1897 and continues to this day. Is that correct?

I guess my basic question is: If a town lists multiple POs then the different dates correspond to a physical relocation of the PO; is that correct? Thanks,

Dennis

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pigdoc
02 Feb 2018
01:02:54pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

If you look closely at the names shown at postalhistory.com, you'll see that the name changed from Charlestown to Charlestown Sta. in 1873. Not sure why there's a separate listing from 1895 and later...

But, I don't think location changes are tracked.

If you can find an old history volume online, try searching in it for "post offices". I searched History of Chester County, Pennsylvania (1881), and found a list of over 100 post offices, many of them now DPOs. They were all shown with their establishment dates, first postmasters, and also a few name changes. Old maps can also be found online that show post offices, and, if you're lucky, their catchment areas!

USPS.com has a list of post offices, but a large number of DPOs are missing completely from their list. It's fun to find the locations on googlemaps and see what remains!

I've run into several DPOs that I cannot locate - the towns have disappeared. But, often, there's a road leading to where that town used to be with the town's name, at least in PA.

I was just searching for Blue Rock, PA this morning with absolutely no luck. I have a cover postmarked BLUE ROCK, PENNA., AUG 1, 1883. It's shown at postalhistory.com, and in the History book, but I cannot find the place. Pretty sure it's in Chester County, because there are THREE other placenames mentioned in the enclosure, including another DPO (Marsh, PA) all clustered pretty tightly.

It seems like many of the early POs were opened on speculation by their first postmasters. I have read of a couple that closed due to lack of business.

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Webpaper
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02 Feb 2018
02:13:07pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Most of the answers can be found in a book titled Pennsylvania Postal History by John Kay and Chester Smith.

It is a companion to New York Post History which I have and found invaluable in researching small NY towns. As with all research works there will be detail differences with other sources (at least in the New York book) but it is a wealth of information.

Abe has several copies under $10 plus shipping.

abebooks.com

Once again when I try to make a link it loops back into SOR. You will have to cut and paste into your browser - sorry.


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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
02 Feb 2018
02:22:43pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Paul raises an interesting element: business.

Early POs were classified 1 through 4, by volume of mail, and post masters paid accordingly.

One PO i visted often in western PA, in Kossuth (yes, named after that Hungarian revolutionary, of all people), had odd hours inside a part-time butcher's shop and "deli" that raised their own bisons. My meandering point is that, even today, many POs are essentially on the fringe.

David


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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Feb 2018
02:47:06pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Quote:

"Most of the answers can be found in a book titled Pennsylvania Postal History by John Kay and Chester Smith.

It is a companion to New York Post History which I have and found invaluable in researching small NY towns. As with all research works there will be detail differences with other sources (at least in the New York book) but it is a wealth of information. "



A funny thing... I sent Paul a link to an eBay Buy It Now for $11 postpaid earlier today for that same book. I have based my NJ collection on their "New Jersey Postal History".

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keesindy
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02 Feb 2018
03:29:52pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Pigdoc said:

Quote:

"This is in respone to keesindy's posting of the Indiana postal history reference book.

The open page resembles a "plat book"."



I agree wholeheartedly with Pigdoc re the value of those late 19th and early 20th century plat books/atlases that were produced for so many counties, at least here in Indiana. They're handy for genealogy research and postal history research. I'm a map geek and love maps of all types.

As far as using the plat books and atlases, it's a matter of scanning sections of the large format maps, which can be a challenge without a second pair of hands. I began scanning sections of the maps a few years ago to help viewers of vintage postcards relate the postcard scenes to what exists today. This first example is from my home town. I rotated the map from the traditional orientation so that the map better represented the direction and view of view of the photographer and his camera.

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

This second example was prepared when I was writing an article for the APS about the Lynn post office. It's a different section of the same map and was designed simply as a location map for readers of the article. I reduced the size for the purpose of posting here and it's not as legible as the copy in the article.

Image Not Found

My third example is from the same plat book and was for another article that involved my home town of Lynn and postal history. Dad had a 1906 cover with three backstamps on it. One was Lynn and two were nearby DPO Doane cancels. The Spartanburg Doane cancel is the LKU from that DPO. Coincidentally, after writing that article several years ago, I discovered Dad had a second cover related to the recipient of the first cover. The second cover had been sent by that recipient to his son at college. These are the only two covers Dad had from that family and the second cover, from 1904, is the EKU for the Spartanburg Doane device. Again, I reduced the size of the map for posting here, making it somewhat less readable. That circle near the map's center identifies the location of the family that received and sent these two covers.

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

Just another aspect of postal history that makes it more interesting. By the way, if you're interested, both articles I've mentioned are posted at Scribd. However, they've since become a subscription service and you now need to be a member to join. I've experimented with Dropbox as an alternative for sharing documents and share quite a bit of local history at Facebook, but need to do more research on an alternative to Scribd.
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keesindy
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02 Feb 2018
03:46:02pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Tom wrote:

Quote:

"I have a letter between two lawyers, sent from Newark, NJ to Brooklyn, NY in 1905 "I will come for a meeting in your office at 2pm tomorrow". I can see this attorney relying on train service to travel, and it took some faith to believe that the message was received and the other party was indeed available at the proposed time. "



Tom, I've scanned postcards sent back home to families by traveling salesmen, letting them knowing where they are at present and where they're headed and when they expect to be back home. I've also seen one where a passenger was writing about being on a train stuck in the snow and getting into the next stop several hours late.

The speed with which these postcards were delivered back then, at least within the state, was amazing, but then train wrecks were not uncommon and some mail never arrived at all. The railway mail clerk jobs were somewhat hazardous.

Tom also mentioned telephones. In Indiana around 1910, they were still very scarce except in the medium and large cities. In smaller cities and towns and villages, I frequently see in postcard scenes the Bell Telephone signs hanging outside a few businesses, advertising the availability of a public phone inside the premises.

Telegraph company offices were still very common and the railway guides of that era identified which depots/stations had telegraph capability. Most did have telegraph capability, even beyond 1910.

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Linus
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02 Feb 2018
04:05:07pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Keesindy and pigdoc, those rural plat books are still produced today. I get a new one mailed to me free of charge every year for my county in Iowa, courtesy of Farm & Home Publishers.

Linus

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keesindy
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02 Feb 2018
04:11:32pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Dennis asked:

Quote:

"I guess my basic question is: If a town lists multiple POs then the different dates correspond to a physical relocation of the PO; is that correct?"



Dennis, is there a MA equivalent to our Indiana Postal History Society here in Indiana? Our IPHS developed a database many years ago of all the known post offices, past and current, in the state. It's a very hand tool, showing just about everything except postmasters. As in your example, many post offices closed and then reopened and others had name changes, sometimes just changing Spartanburgh to Spartanburg. However, all of those changes are represented by entries in the database for each post office. Another example is the closing of a post office. The database shows what nearby post office took on the responsibility of mail delivery for the closed post office. Oh, the database includes EKU and LKU dates as well. It's an amazing piece of work!

I know that developing this database involved an incredible amount of work and it has saved us relative newcomers a lot of time.

As far as location changes are concerned, I don't know that anyone has (or could have) kept track of all those changes. If you look at the postmaster listings for a typical small town, and remember that most of those post offices were managed by small business owners in their stores or offices, you'll realize that the post office locations often moved from place to place in town as new postmasters were appointed. Another aspect of this was the sale of a business by the owner who happened also to be the postmaster. I don't know how often this happened, but the new business owner sometimes was appointed as the new postmaster. In other cases, I've seen sons take over the family businesses and at the same time receive appointments as the new replacement postmasters.

It can be very difficult to track all of these changes.
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keesindy
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02 Feb 2018
04:14:30pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Linus wrote:

Quote:

"I get a new one mailed to me free of charge every year"



I'm surprised! That has to be an expensive undertaking! I haven't seen a modern version, but assume there must be a lot of advertising to cover the cost and then hopefully make a profit.

Tom
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"I no longer collect, but will never abandon the hobby"
Linus
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02 Feb 2018
04:25:43pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

My current copy has 88 pages of pulp-style paper, like an old phone book, with all kinds of ads aimed at the farmer, for grain elevators, banks, tiling and bulldozer contractors, and ag equipment. They have a website at www.farmandhomepublishers.com.


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keesindy
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02 Feb 2018
04:27:13pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Dennis wrote:

Quote:

"It seems like many of the early POs were opened on speculation by their first postmasters"



I've seen a lot of that in Indiana when researching and writing about the early 20th century postcards and some postal history. More often than not, it seems the primary basis for the speculation was planned railroads or at least the anticipation that a railroad might be planned to come by. Sometimes (maybe often), it was just a landowner who was hoping to see the planned railroad built so he could subdivide his property and create a new community. Sometimes there was a handful of homes already in existence at a rural crossroads and maybe even a store. Sometimes not. If the railroad was built, the chances of the community's success increased; if it wasn't built, the communities often stagnated and many disappeared. The railroad companies, of course, knew this and routes were sometimes adjusted in the planning phase to favor one contending community or landowner over another. A lot of money and local prestige was at stake. It wasn't necessarily a clean process.

Tom
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pigdoc
02 Feb 2018
04:47:04pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Here's a Gold Mine:

http://www.usgwarchives.net/

All kinds of history in there, but I did find some very obscure information on the Rosenvick (PA) and Derbydown (Springdell, PA) DPOs.

Happy digging!

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Pogopossum
03 Feb 2018
10:58:35am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Geoff,

I could be wrong about the Quabbin Reservoir towns under the water but isn't Heath also one of the towns?

Bruce

Bruce,

I don't think so, Heath is north of Rte 2 so it wouldn't have been affected by the flooding.

Geoff

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pigdoc
03 Feb 2018
11:11:53am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Well, I spent about an hour surfing around that website:

http://www.usgwarchives.net/

Honestly, NOT a whole lot there in the postal history realm.

But, I'll share the goodie that lit me up yesterday. It's kinda long, but LOADED with exactly the kind of postal history I crave. FANTASTIC insight into the motivations for opening post offices in embryonic Post Office Department:
____________________________________
Various Derbydown Post Office Records; Chester County, PA

1) Derby Down
From: Topographical Division)

Application dated Oct. 25, 1892 signed by John H. Webb proposed P.M. Shows the
proposed office was to be called Spring Dell. This is crossed out and Derby
Down written in. Office will be on east side of Pomeroy & Newark R.R. 50 yards
distant. 50 inhabitants of village, 200 population to be served.

2) Article from Daily Local News 3/26/1893

Derrytown, located at Springdale, on the Pomeroy and Newark Railroad, is the
newest post office in Chester county. The commission of ‘Squire John H. Webb,
who is in charge, was signed by Postmaster General John Wanamaker, on the third
of March, the last day of the Republican administration.
(handwritten under the article was “W. Marlboro”

3) Article from Daily Local News 4/27/1893

West Grove and Vicinity.
From the Independent,
--Chester county has another plum for Congressman Robinson to interest himself
in and a chance to secure a “worker.” It is a new post office, Derbytown by
name, located a short distance from Rosenvick, in West Marlborough, secured
through the influence of Milton Darlington.

4) Typewritten info

DERBYDOWN, CHESTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
POSTMASTER DATE APPOINTED
John H. Webb March 3, 1893 (Established)
William H. Smale May 6, 1899
Sarah Matilda Turner January 17, 1903
J. Howard Humpton April 4, 1904
John S. Ogden July 16, 1908
Discontinued March 31, 1910. Mail to Chatham.

5) Typewritten.

Writes Robert F. Brinton, under date of May 1935:

Morris Canan, former Post Master of Steeleville, told me he knew how Derbydown
got its name. He says John Mullen was at meeting when the name of Post Office
was to be chosen. He said that a number of names had been discussed and were
either in use or rejected. After some time somebody’s hat fell off the table
and some one said “there, that is what we will call the Post Office….we will
call it DERBYDOWN.” The name was sent to Washington and approved.
Derby hats were in style at the time.

6) Coatesville Record 7/14/1944

Chester County post offices, many of which passed out of existence with the
coming of rural free delivery of mail, got their names in peculiar ways in many
instances, according to the Chester County Historical Society.

At sometime there was in the southeast corner of Highland township a settlement
around Ogden’s Mills on Doe Run Creek. It is now largely ruins. About seventy-
five years ago John C. Ferron moved in and opened a general store. He had big
ideas and wanted also a port-office. So after talking about it for a year or
two he circulated a petition and secured the government’s blessing. He received
the P. M. Commission and the office was opened in his store under date of July
26, 1872. But strange to relate it was called Rosenvick. The Ferron family
loved this name. It was a town in Ireland near their ancestral home.
There were only 15 or 20 families to be served and the P. O. Department never
got any profit from this office since the Postmaster got all the money he
received from the sale of stamps as his salary. After three years John C.
Ferron was succeeded as P.M. by James Ogden, a member of the family owning the
mills, and on his death in 1894 Martha J. Ogden succeeded. Here commission was
dated May 16, 1894. She acted for eleven years and then Samuel E. Waters became
Postmaster on May 10, 1905. About this time the first P. M., Mr. Ferron, after
farming for a time became one of the County Commissioners.
The demise of Rosenvick post-office occurred at the end of August in 1907 and
mail then went to Springdell, another village where the post-office was
differently named.
And this gives rise to another odd tale.
Early in 1893 the Springdell folks thought that if Ogden’s Mills and Doe Run,
located on either side of them, could have post-offices, why couldn’t they have
one of their own? So they set out to get it. They were told that there were
dozens of post-offices with names like theirs and some other name would have to
be used. So at a meeting to decide on a name, every resident had his own
preference and they could not agree. They were about to give it up and leave
when a hat fell off the table. Some one said “there is the name for us—
Derbydown.” So it was agreed and proposed to the P. O. Department, and the name
was adopted.
Derbydown post-office was established with John H. Webb as Post-master. His
commission was signed P.M.G. John Wanamaker on March 3rd, 1893, the last day of
his administration. There were five incumbents in the postmastership of
Derbydown and then, in 1910 this post-office, like so many small offices in the
early part of this century, was discontinued and their patrons served by Rural
Delivery.
Both Derbydown and Rosenvick postmarks are scarce. The Chester County
Historical Society’s collection has a few and needs many more. One of the
latter office was recently donated and is highly appreciated.
______________________________________

Nice when you can benefit from someone else's research!


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pigdoc
03 Feb 2018
11:22:25am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Hey keysindy,

In your exhibits uou've been doing exactly what I'm beginning to aspire to do:

Create a collection of covers that documents the DPOs in a particular (small) area.

I have been considering creating an exhibit with each panel a section of map, embedding the items on areas of the map that are not of interest. It would be great to have the individual panels match up with each other to be part of a map underlying the entire exhibit. I also thought about overlaying the older historical maps (showing individual property owners) in a transparency over a current satellite image (such as you see get on googlemaps), to create a kind of "that was then, this is now" effect. Might be too busy...

But, at the very least, it would be really neat to point each item to the individual property owner, relating them also to the DPO to create an impression of what it was like to send and receive mail in the days before RFD.


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pigdoc
03 Feb 2018
11:30:17am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

One more response, to muse on my interest in connecting DPOs with the intertwining railroad.

I am convinced that the local mails in the area I'm studying depended upon the railroad for local delivery, even though that railroad did not operate an RPO in the conventional sense. Logistically, it would have made perfect sense to rely on the railroad for distributing mail from the terminal POs (Pomeroy and Newark) to the smaller stations up and down the line. I am keenly on the lookout for items that could document this practice.

There are subtle hints of the practice in the Derbydown posting above.

What I also need to do is to research the railroad financial records. If the railroad WAS distributing the mails, presumably there was a contract with the POD and the railroad's balance sheet would show receipt of those payments.

Any other ideas?


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StamperMA
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04 Feb 2018
08:17:09am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Quote:

"Dennis, is there a MA equivalent to our Indiana Postal History Society here in Indiana?"



I've only lived in MA a few months so in response to your question I googled around and discovered two resources which should keep me busy for years:

The Massachusetts Postal Research Society:
http://www.nefed.org/MPRS/images/MaPRS.pdf

and the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History:
https://www.spellmanmuseum.org/

The latter is only about 10 miles from my home. Thanks for the suggestion Tom!

Dennis
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keesindy
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04 Feb 2018
03:16:36pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Pigdoc, said:

Quote:

"But, at the very least, it would be really neat to point each item to the individual property owner, relating them also to the DPO to create an impression of what it was like to send and receive mail in the days before RFD."



My cartography prof would have loved that idea! It's something he would never have seen before. I'd love to see it someday, too!

I think in most Indiana counties, atlases/plat books were only published every few years at best for individual counties. Some counties only have two or three from the 19th and early 20th century. Hopefully, you'll have more choices than that.

Separately, regarding local railroad delivery to smaller stations, would the trains necessarily stop to make such deliveries? I occasionally see postmasters or clerks in early 20th century postcard scenes standing on station platforms with mail bags as the trains were arriving. Those trains were obviously stopping, but may have been RPO routes. If stops were necessary on non-RPO routes to make deliveries/pickups, then the RR timetables from that era may be helpful, but I think DPOs were less likely to be on the rail lines. At least, that was the case in Indiana. So I'm not sure how many DPOs would show up in the timetables. In any case, here are a couple of links to RR timetable publications.

https://books.google.com/books?id=jpM1AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=kLgbTCc-AOcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Hope this helps!

Tom

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keesindy
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04 Feb 2018
03:23:25pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Dennis wrote:

Quote:

"I googled around and discovered two resources which should keep me busy for years:"



You're welcome, Dennis. I just hope that, after you've devoted many years to this endeavor, you don't come to regret my having made the suggestion! Winking

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pigdoc
05 Feb 2018
09:49:39am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Thanks for the response, keesindy!

To respond to a couple of your points, as far as map resources, I'm VERY well served by the Chester County Historical Society. They have a complete collection of 1881 township maps available for downloading. These not only show the landowners and POs, they also show the PO coverage, ie, which PO served each individual landowner. And, these maps show the railroad line, the stations, and the POs. Resolution is just good enough to read the landowner names without much difficulty. For the exhibit, I may need to rescan the originals, which I'm sure I can get my hands on at the CCHS, which is located less than an hour from where I live. I have also seen reprints of these very maps for sale on eBay, but they go for $25 a page and up. By the way, one of the first things I want to do is add some colored lines to these old maps to show the boundaries of the POs' respective 'jurisdictions'.

For my geographic area of interest, I've already documented the POs and their physical locations and dates of operation. What I have to contend with is 11 POs that are directly associated with the railroad in some way, 8 of them are DPOs. There are another 6 railroad stations that I know of that were not apparently associated with a PO. Many of those were not much more than whistle stops, apparently. And, I know of one "flag stop" that is between two PO/stations. I have a hunch that this was used to flag down the train to exchange outgoing/incoming mail, among other purposes. Some of these POs were apparently located mere yards from the line itself. Also there are another 3 POs that were close enough to the line, though not close enough to be directly associated with RR stations, that to me, seem likely to have depended upon the railroad for mail distribution. (Gum Tree, Rosenvick, and Kaolin). Probably what I need to do soon is plot the actual distances between the railroad stations and the associated POs. Sometimes, I have to just presume that the RR station was located where the road crossed the railroad line. I am tentatively locating 3 of the stations on roads that even today, bear the actual name of the long-gone station: Baker's Station Rd, Yeatman's Station Rd, New Garden Station Rd. Yeatman's Station Road has been removed where it crossed the RR line (it's now part of a publicly-owned Nature Preserve), but I have a 1937 aerial photo that shows the intact road! I want to get out there on foot to see if I can find any remnants of the station foundations...

There may have been more railroad stations that I cannot yet fully document. I have an 1873 Annual Report for the Pomeroy & Newark that shows 22 passenger stations and 18 freight stations, though not individually by name. This may represent some wishful thinking, because operations of the railroad were just beginning in 1873. Interestingly, in Chatham (one of the PO/RR stations), BOTH the passenger station and the freight station are still standing. They are located about 200 yards apart, one on either side of the Gap-Newport Pike, if you want to look at them on googlemaps...

I think, if we take the speculative nature of aspiring postmasters to capture a future dividend from expected economic development at face value, it makes perfect sense that POs would be directly associated with the railroad itself, because the railroad was the catalyst for the economic development. Like I said earlier, if I can document that the railroad was receiving payments from the POD, that's pretty hard evidence! In some of these POD reports, the amounts paid to individual postmasters are shown. I presume that these amounts could be correlated to the mail volume handled at their POs. That too, I think, will be revealing in comparison, especially if I can get data for individual POs across time. Oh, and I have documented that the POD was paying a Mail Courier in Chatham. Interestingly, in this town, the PO was located a couple hundred yards south of the train stations. That, and other random observations, provide very suggestive evidence that, in the 1880s, Chatham was a bustling center of commerce. Today, there are just ghosts evidencing that activity...Quite poignant to me...

By the way, for six years, I lived on a farm whose land adjoined the rail line. It's the first place north of Chatham on the east side of Gap-Newport Pike, at the corner of it and Mosquito Lane. Those big trees right along the road? I planted them.

So far, I have seven covers that seem to me to be likely to have been carried by the RR based on the locations of the POs marked on them. But, I have nothing that definitively proves that, yet.

Stay Tuned!
I have been bit HARD by the postal history bug...


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Webpaper
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05 Feb 2018
10:22:44am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I think you can determine if a post office was served by the RR by a process of elimination. This of course does not mean that an RPO cancel was used, only the method of converyence of the mailbags (very heavy waxed canvas bags - my grandmother was a postmistress when I was growing up in the 50's).

Back in the 1800s most of the mail traveled by railroad, stagecoach or water (riverboats, canal boats or lake boats). If the post office was not adjacent to a navigable body of water that only leaves two options. If it was not located on a stage route than the mail came by railroad if nearby. There were exceptions I am sure, especially in the winter, but it is a starting point.

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pigdoc
05 Feb 2018
03:08:49pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I appreciate that, webpaper.

The area of Chester County, PA that I am researching was some of the earliest settled territory in colonial Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. Mid-eighteenth century. So, by the time these POs were established (1803-1890), roads were in a serviceable state of development. The railroad I'm working on was johnny-come-lately, not engaged in operations before 1872. So, reliance on rail for communications would have been secondary or supplemental, in the immediate area. It would have had to have the advantage of convenience, which is why I am thinking about proximity of POs to RR stations. Indeed, I am noting transit times between POs (as evidenced by times in CDSes) indicating travel times up to 8-10 MPH on the roads between them. This, for routes not able to take advantage of any rail service. Most of the POs under my consideration were well-served by roadways. That said, it looks like a couple of the railroad stations I am looking at DID service (cancel) individual pieces of mail. It is clear that these were taken to the railroad station by nearby residents for dispatch. It probably behooves me to consider the state of development of roads serving each individual PO.

So, I am reticent to attributing too much responsibility to the Pomeroy & Newark branch railroad for mail distribution. It may have been by favor rather than by contract. After all, the railroad must have been engaged in promotional activities, to grow the business. For much of its existence, it must have been struggling financially - attempting to service some $600,000 in debt with a 26-mile line. Call mine a conservative approach to a radical proposition.

Maybe, I must start delving into stagecoach routes/schedules...

By the way, $600,000 in debt in 1872 dollars is about $38 million today. Whew, that's a burden! In today's dollars, the railroad would have had to be earning about $150,000 per mile per year, just to keep ahead of the interest! Or, alternatively, to provide a reasonable rate of return to stockholders.

Really appreciate your insights!!!

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pigdoc
14 Aug 2018
01:59:35pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Bump!

I have been trying to find this cover in my 'files' for quite some time:
Image Not Found

The PO itself had been installed in the front room of a residence. Shortly after discontinuance, it reverted to the front room of a residence.

The vignette is a photo I took of the single window, and the all the PO boxes. Note the other part of the vignette in the upper right, next to the stamp. ;-) The cancellation is a bit weak, but the overall neatness of the cover is prominent. That was dumb luck that I left enough space across the bottom for the barcode to be in the clear. The addresses are self-explanatory. Suffice to say that I didn't move. I made 4 or 5 of these, and I can only find the one I sent to myself, and one that I retrieved from a friend in Iowa.

I want to travel around to pursue more of these kinds of covers for myself, and others.
Vignettes would capture some authentic artifact associated with each.

Something like this:
Image Not Found


My new postal history pal Bill from West Chester asserts that some 30 POs in Chester county alone are on the chopping blocks. I would LOVE to know the when/where of USPS plans.
How to find these?

Last time I was at the tiny PO in Limekiln, PA:
Image Not Found

...I asked the young clerk if they were closing soon, and she had no idea what I was talking about. BTW, this PO is only a few miles from the Boone homestead. Just think of the possibilities!

-Paul

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smauggie
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14 Aug 2018
06:08:48pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Aldal
Garfield Township
Polk County
Minnesota
1881-1887

". . . post office in Garfield Township was located in the store built by Edward H. COrnelius, first postmaster. . ."

From: Minnesota Place Names by Warren Upham (Third Edition)

Image Not Found

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
14 Aug 2018
08:59:59pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Neat stuff Paul!

Question out to the herd- is there a way to find out what post offices are closing in advance? I'd love to get a heads up for my NJ collection. The postal bulletin only gives the ones already closed.


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Bobstamp
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14 Aug 2018
10:54:56pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Here's my DPO: Arenas Valley, New Mexico.

My family moved to Arenas Valley from Savona, New York State, in 1949. Arenas Valley is an unincorporated village six miles east of Silver City in Southwestern New Mexico. There were perhaps 30 or 40 families living there at the time of our arrival. I soon met Ernest Harper, who lived a hundred yards or so up Arenas Valley Road from my house; we became friends partly because we learned that he'd been born on January 11, while my birthday was January 14. Ernest's mom, Olga, was postmaster at the time. She worked out of an addition the Harpers had built onto their house. Here's a photograph, showing the location of their house and the post office; that's my dad in the photo:

Image Not Found

Olga had been appointed postmaster on December 13, 1946, a day after the official creation of the post office. Here is an official cover that she posted on October 1, 1947:

Image Not Found

Olga held the position for five years, after which a local man named Joe Moore was named postmaster and the post office was moved another hundred yards or so up the road. Here's a photo showing the new location:

Image Not Found

Postmaster Joe was suffering from TB, and looked it: I remember him as a kind, thin, emaciated man. After he died in 1952, his wife, Hazel, assumed duties as postmaster and did a wonderful job catering to my early interests in stamp collecting. Some years later, after my family had moved into Silver City, the post office was moved again, out to the "new" highway connecting Silver City with Central (now Santa Clara), Bayard, and the Mining District. The post office remained open until April 20, 1987.

Hardly anyone called Arenas Valley by its official name. Most of us called it Whiskey Creek; our understanding was that, years before, heavy rains in the Piños Altos Mountains to the north had flooded a still, and barrels of whiskey came floating down the arroyo behind our house. I have no idea if that is true, but the Post Office Department didn't want to have any relationship with a town called Whiskey Creek and insisted on a name change before agreeing to open a post office. I have no idea who had authority to change the name. Perhaps officials of Grant County?

Bob

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StampWrangler
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14 Aug 2018
10:56:05pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Check out this list of post offices "Identified for Full Study" and possible closure:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/post-offices.html

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smauggie
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15 Aug 2018
07:21:25am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

This one I have worked up on page.
Image Not Found

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smauggie
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15 Aug 2018
02:02:32pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Plain View,
Wabasha County, MN
1857-1879
(Mailed in 1865)

Image Not Found

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pigdoc
15 Aug 2018
03:50:34pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

One of my favorites, from a DPO about 5 miles from where I live:

Image Not Found

It has a Reading CDS on the reverse, January 13, 11AM. Yellow House is a village, known for the Yellow House Hotel (1801) in which this DPO was housed, 1866-1974. Just plug in "Yellow House Hotel, Douglassville, PA" in googlemaps, and it there it still stands, on the SW corner. We go through that intersection every time we go to Philadelphia.

The Reading PO is 10 miles to the West of Yellow House. Seems as if the letter made it there within hours of its mailing. Probably beats service today by a bunch. Thing is, Manatawny (1851-1968) is only 4.5 miles North of Yellow House. The routing.

The stamps ain't too shabby either on this cover!

-Paul

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Tom in Exton, PA
15 Aug 2018
07:52:54pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

DPOs are my life. As I drive around New Jersey I see road names and creeks with names of DPOs on them and know exactly where I am!

Image Not Found

Barnegat Park, Ocean County 1888-1898. Open 10 years which is why I accepted this stained and mouse chewed cover! I may never see another one. Irony- I've been looking for Barnegat City, which was open 50 years and cannot find a cover!

Image Not Found

Long Branch Village, Monmouth County 1882-1886. Open 4 years.

Image Not Found

Brick Church, Essex County 1882-1887. Open 5 years.

Image Not Found

Camp Dix Branch of Wrightstown, Burlington County 1935-1939 Open 4 years. This is Fort Dix, which is still in existence today, but this postal arrangement lasted 4 years.

Image Not Found

Raritan Arsenal Branch of New Brunswick, Middlesex Count 1918-1919 Open less than 2 years. This was a WWI training camp. It was later reopened for WWII but did not have a unique post office.

Image Not Found

Spring Valley, Bergen County 1848-1850. Open 2 years.

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smauggie
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16 Aug 2018
03:35:59pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Queen
Polk County, MN
1899-1910

Image Not Found

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pigdoc
17 Aug 2018
08:03:37am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Stony Creek Mills is 3 miles from where I live. The old PO there (1905-1953) was exactly between my house and my current PO:

Image Not Found

I bought the one in the upper right/lower left images because it was a comic card and a local DPO (a TWOFOR!). Then, I saw the other one. Weird obverse, but the two cancellations look like they could have been applied 2 seconds apart. Instead they were applied almost 2 years apart! Same device, same 'hand'. Even the stamps on both are upside down, applied by the PM, I'd bet!

I always research the addressees of these locals for hits on the community history. Nothing yet on these...

-Paul

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smauggie
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17 Aug 2018
11:17:52am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Lawndale
Wilkin County, Minnesota
1892-1953

The postal card has a type-written cachet indicating it is the last day of operation.

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

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pigdoc
17 Aug 2018
12:33:30pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Barrytown, NY (1830-1978). CDS is poor, but "Po'keepsie" is in Duchess county, NY and so is (was) Barrytown.

Image Not Found

This little item was the size of a business card before it was reduced on the left side. Still cute. Comic/DPO twofor.

-Paul

PS, the story I'm making up about this one is that it's a guy apologizing to his GF, who got pissed when he tied one on.

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smauggie
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17 Aug 2018
12:56:41pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

That is funny. I have never heard that joke before.

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pigdoc
17 Aug 2018
01:01:07pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I coulda shoulda sent this very same item about 10 times in my past. I probably would have filled in the blank with "the Hell".

Laughing
-Paul

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smauggie
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17 Aug 2018
01:04:33pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Bianca
Wright County, Minnesota
1858-1864

This town, like a number I have already listed (Aldal, Queen, etc) no longer exists. Looks like the postmaster decided not to invest in a cancelling device.

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pigdoc
17 Aug 2018
01:30:33pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

From the 1886 Official Postal Guide:

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smauggie
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17 Aug 2018
01:36:41pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I think some of these were sold to Minnesota post offices. I think I have a few like these. Cool image.

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smauggie
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17 Aug 2018
07:25:23pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Howard,
Wright County, Minnesota
1870 - 1892

A lovely large circular date stamp and target killer. This is another one of those towns that have disappeared from the map.

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smauggie
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18 Aug 2018
11:21:26pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Averill
Clay County, Minnesota
1899 - 1969

Averill is still on the map, but it is so small that the US Census does not include this town in the census.

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pigdoc
20 Aug 2018
02:55:08pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Did just a little digging at usps.com, and found this:

http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/facility-closures.htm

Seems to be all the information you could need to do some Last Day of Service covers, but a little cumbersome to wade through, unsurprisingly.

Whoops, I should have looked closer. Nothing in there newer than 2011!

Here's a link to the Postal Bulletin:
http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/pb2018.htm

Didn't find anything announcing impending discontinuances, but I did find a list of pictorial cancellations coming up on the back pages. Exciting!

OK. Go to the 6-21-18 issue of the Postal Bulletin, and then go down to Page 9: Organizational Information, Address Management, Post Office Changes. There are a whole SLEW of DPOs shown there. Problem is that the info is a month late by the time it is published in the Bulletin. The ones reported in this issue all happened at about the same time.

-Paul

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smauggie
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20 Aug 2018
04:49:43pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Regarding Bianca, Wright County, Minnesota

The following information was provided to me by the Wright County Historical Society.

Quote:

"Bianca was a Post Office located on the property of Moses Goodrich, a Universalist Minister, in Silver Creek Township. It was not a town (ship) or platted entity. WCHS does not have a plat map early enough to locate the property of Mr. Goodrich and he is not on the BLM list of patent holders to Wright County land.

According to Farnham’s history of Wright county as published in the Delano Eagle in 1881 and republished by WCHS there is the following information under Silver Creek Township:

Churches…

There has never been a resident lawyer or physician in town, and but one minister, Rev. Moses Goodrich, and he did not preach in Silver Creek."




Apparently the Bianca Post office was created in a preacher's home who had the idea of making a little extra income by having his own post office.
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smauggie
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20 Aug 2018
05:08:16pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Downer
Clay County, Minnesota

Speaking of the last day of operation, here is such a cancel on a reply card. The bonus for me is the auxiliary marking of scratching out the address and the writing down of a new street address.

The Downer post office was actually downgraded to a postal station, which meant that there was no longer a local postmaster, and a postmaster for a nearby larger town would take responsibility for it. The rural station was closed in 1960.

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smauggie
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21 Aug 2018
10:44:12am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Weme
Clearwater County, Minnesota
1902 - 1912

One of Minnesota's shorter-lived post offices. It was established in a non-incorporated town called Weme named after Hank Weme, who was also the first and only postmaster.

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pigdoc
21 Aug 2018
01:46:16pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Back at ye, smauggie!

Nashville, Iowa is about 3 miles West of where I grew up, halfway to Baldwin. Have a close HS friend who grew up there:
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Mr. Frandsen was the father of one of my father's clients.

I guess ol' Hugo from Big City Frisco knew well-enough when the Nashville PO was going Tango Uniform! Because, I'm betting that ol' Hugo sent a stack of these to PM Frandsen to sign and cancel.

-Paul

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pigdoc
21 Aug 2018
01:58:47pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

...and, one more, cuz these two like to live together. Lost Nation, Iowa is about 5 miles directly south of Nashville:
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If it's not *quite* a DPO yet, it certainly will be soon. Have a very close HS classmate who lives in The Nation. She is contracted as caretaker of the city park.

This cover also works as a comic cover. A twofor!

-Paul


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smauggie
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21 Aug 2018
03:15:53pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Gunflint
Cook County, Minnesota
May 16, 1950 - July 31, 1950

I am pretty sure this is Minnesota's shortest-lived post office, though to be fair the closing of the post office was to reopen it the next day with a new name. As you can tell, this postal card was cancelled on the last day of operation of the post office.

Gunflint was meant to be a post office on the Gunflint Trail, which was originally a footpath linking the city of Grand Marais on the shore of Lake Superior and a series of inland lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. The trail was later paved and is now County Road 12.

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smauggie
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21 Aug 2018
06:25:15pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Gunflint Trail
Cook COunty, Minnesota
1950-1953

They renamed the above the above Gunflint post office to the Gunflint Trail post office, and this is postmarked on the first day of operation.

I think the Post Office Department thought it would be a neat feature if vacationers could send back their postcards and mail to family members while on their fishing/canoeing trip. I also think it was an idea that just didn't work out.

Getting a cover mailed from either post office is not hard as there was a large amount of philatelic interest in the post offices (if not that much general public interest).

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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
21 Aug 2018
07:01:18pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

And Antonio, here is one on the last day of the Gunflint Trail Post Office.

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smauggie
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22 Aug 2018
09:45:09am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Dykeman
Crow WIng County, Minnesota
1904 - 1925

Dykeman is no longer on the map, but the coordinates of the old post office will take you to a small group of homes in the middle of farmland.

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smauggie
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22 Aug 2018
05:36:24pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Pequot
Crow Wing County, Minnesota
1896 - 1940

In 1940 the city of Pequot changed it's name to Pequot Lakes. The town is surrounded by lakes, none of which have the name Pequot. The nearby lakes include cute Cloverleaf Lake and most notably Sibley Lake, the largest at 444 acres.

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smauggie
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23 Aug 2018
12:57:45pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Dodge Centre
Dodge County, Minnesota
1867 - 1893

Dodge Centre and Dodge county are named after Henry Dodge who was a lawmaker and territorial governor of Wisconsin Territory (which encompassed what is now the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa).

The post office closure was so that the name of the town could be changed to Dodge Center. I recall that for much of the history of the use of the written English language in North America that the written language was not judged by the spelling of words, but by the clarity of the handwriting.

I suspect that as the proliferation of the printed word begins to happen toward the end of the 19th century that standards in spelling begin to be enforced. Thus Dodge Centre changed their name to Dodge Center which is now considered the appropriate way to spell the word "center" in the United States.

Dodge Centre's origin as a town to support a train station. It was a place where farmers bring and sell their grain to the grain elevator companies who would then transport it by rail to customers in other towns and states.

Thankfully the recipient of the envelope wrote on the back the date that he received it which was October 6, 1868.

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pigdoc
23 Aug 2018
02:05:58pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

smauggie, I had to read Henry Dodge's history. FASCINATING! One of those larger-than-life people... Fort Dodge, Iowa is named for him also. "Little Chicago" is not up for discontinuation anytime soon...

Also had to see if Henry was related to Grenville, for whom Camp Dodge, Iowa is named. They're different generations, but may have had a common ancestor back in Massachusetts or Connecticut...

And now, sent from a DPO to a DPO:

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Paxson is still a prominent name in Chester county. I love the write-in date in the CDS! Jennersville (1814-1904) was visited by IkeyPikey in another recent posting, of his Red Rose Inn postcard. The PO was kitty-corner from the Red Rose Inn, in a building that now houses a realty agency:
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Black Horse (1825-1895), formerly Black Horse Tavern (1816-1825) had a similar trajectory in time as Jennersville. Today, they are similar places, but Black Horse hasn't quite kept up the historical presence. Black Horse was located about 3 miles from where I lived for 20 years. The last PO building still stands, at 4857 US30, Parkesburg, PA. Here's what it looked like back in the 1920's, I guess.:

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Let the fun continue!
-Paul

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smauggie
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23 Aug 2018
08:42:35pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Melby
Douglas County, Minnesota
1888 - 1980

There appears to be some difference on what date the post office closed. The 1980 postal bulletin below indicates 1980, and Jim Forte Postal History dealer in his database states that the Melby post office was closed in 1978.

US Postal Bulletin - January 31 1980

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keesindy
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24 Aug 2018
01:09:24am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Dad collected postal history of the area where he, his dad and I grew up in east central Indiana. His collection was relatively small, but contained some very interesting covers and other items. After his death 18 years ago, I joined the Indiana Postal History Society to get some help in understanding what Dad's collection contained. I think the thing that generated the most excitement was a pair of Clark (Clarke) manuscript cancels. This was a DPO. The post office was open between 1871 and 1907, but no one had ever seen a cover from this post office. Dad had two, one with a clear 1877 manuscript cancel and the other with a manuscript cancel where the year wasn't clear.

Near the beginning of this thread, I posted images of a 1963 postal history booklet from Randolph County Indiana. One of the images is a county map showing "Clarke" in the north central portion of the county map.

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smauggie
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24 Aug 2018
07:37:13pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Inver Grove
Dakota County, Minnesota
1950 - 1965

This is but one iteration of a strange story of the town name changes that took place over the decades. The area around the town was settled by the Irish and the Germans. The Irish preferred the name Inver, an Irish town where they came from. The Germans preferred Grove as the German town they came from.

In a spirit of unity the town was named Inver Grove. The first Inver Grove post office opened in 1886. Fifteen years later it was decided to change the name to Invergrove.

Then in 1950 the change was made back to Inver Grove, which is the postmark we have below.

The name was changed again in the 1960's, and I know what you are expecting, but no, the name was changed to Inver Grove Heights at which point it no longer had a post office!

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pigdoc
25 Aug 2018
10:01:47am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

This pair of covers are prized by myself and others. Thompson, DE (1875-1905):

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Here was the postmaster's/mistress's annual revenue:
1880 Thompson, Annie $27.53
1888 Thompson, H $42.93
1892 Thompson, H $43.93
1900 Thompson, Beulah $109.97
1902 Thompson, Beulah $71.39
1904 Thompson, Beulah $39.19

Beulah remained postmistress until the end. A prominent Delaware postal historian told me that Thompson covers are uncommon. I think we see why from the figures above.

The bottom cover is addressed to Gilbert Cope (1840-1928), a West Chester native, and famed geneologist and historian who followed in his father Joseph's footsteps. George Cope (1855-1929), the famous artist, was also born in West Chester, but I can find no connection between George and Gilbert (haven't looked very hard yet).

Thompson was on my want list, because the PO was co-located with a RR station for the Pomeroy and Newark, a 45-mile short line that flourished 1883-1916 and along which I lived for 20-some years. I like to say that, within that period, I lived within earshot of at least two grade crossings (three different locations).

In my quest to document this RR's involvement with the POD, I am still searching for reported payments that would prove it was under contract to carry the mails. These are given in the Official Registers, but they are shown under PRR (the parent company), and only by route number, not by name (this route was not one of the RMS routes). Cannot find a key for these route numbers.

-Paul

PS, my best buddy is a Thompson. An Embreeville Thompson, not related...




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smaier
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Sally
25 Aug 2018
10:35:12am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Regarding the Thompson covers and the "DE" part of the name - who does the DE belong to? No one with those initials is listed in your timeline of postmasters and I am curious. Were other family members employed in the Post Office and allowed to cancel the mail? I am sure I am missing something obvious here.

Thanks for posting these. They are very interesting.

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smauggie
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26 Aug 2018
11:02:57am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Lake Addie
McLeod County, Minnesota
1868 - 1879

As I understand the story, it was the visit of a beautiful young woman named Addie Hong to the area that inspired the naming of the nearby lake as Lake Addie. A newby settlement was established at the time also called lake Addie. Two brothers who were neighbors to them with the last name of Brown. Eventually the town of Brownton grew to envelop Lake Addie which is now just the name of a neighborhood in Brownton.

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pigdoc
26 Aug 2018
06:59:50pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Sally,

DE = Delaware.

Sorry,
Paul

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pigdoc
26 Aug 2018
07:02:43pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

ooo, smauggie.

Have a listen to John Prine's Lake Louise. Eerily similar to your story about Lake Addie.

-Paul

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smaier
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Sally
26 Aug 2018
11:28:49pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Thanks Paul. I knew it had to be a simple explanation, duh!!

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keesindy
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27 Aug 2018
12:14:51am
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Smauggie, your Lake Addie DPO cover was also addressed to a DPO. Perrysburg(h) is listed in the Indiana Postal History Society database as having opened in 1838; it closed in 1907.

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"I no longer collect, but will never abandon the hobby"
pigdoc
10 Dec 2018
08:17:13pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Bump!

Picked this one up yesterday:
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Berlin was discontinued June 12, 1918, and the name was changed to Lincoln. I suspect this was in response to strong anti-German sentiment during WWI. It's in the NW corner of Tama County, a few miles S of Grundy Center, in Grundy County.

The day after I found this card, I heard this segment on NPR:
Speaking Freely: The Future Of The First Amendment

"In 1919, the Supreme Court ruled in Schenck v. United States that speech could be limited if it presented a “clear and present danger” to the country."

Schenck was appealing a conviction under the Espionage Act of 1917. A unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., concluded that defendants who distributed fliers to draft-age men, urging resistance to induction, could be convicted of an attempt to obstruct the draft, a criminal offense.

There is discussion of the history of Supreme Court opinions on the First Amendment, which, surprisingly, were non-existent until this case. Seems like we hear of challenges to limitations on free speech on a regular basis these days...

-Paul

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pigdoc
21 Feb 2019
09:54:44pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Here's an interesting pair, apparently connected:

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The pair tell an interesting story about a farmer (Potts) apparently interested in something Mr. Hill has, presumably cattle. Potts' farm was a few miles from where I lived for 20 years.

I cannot locate Ward, Delaware County (1881-1972).
But, there is a Concord Township, in southern Delaware County.
The spelling, Parkesburgh, is archaic (1836-1894). It's now Parkesburg.

Oxford and Parkesburg are about 20 miles apart. Oxford to Parkesburg, via Philadelphia, is nearly 100 miles. Must have been carried by railroad to make it in one day!

-Paul

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Webpaper
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22 Feb 2019
08:14:14pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

I'm always looking for oddball manuscript cancels and found this one on Ebay many years ago. Lousy picture but it did look like it was a partial wrapper only and I bid accordingly - but I had never seen another before or since.

Chief Warrior (Erie County NY) was a 3 year post office (1848-1851) located on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation. Helbock rates it an RF8. I can't decipher any significance to the back but have included a jpeg just in case someone can..

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keesindy
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23 Feb 2019
02:35:26pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

The community of Paul, Tennessee doesn't seem to exist today according to Google. I found one list presented by the Tennessee Secretary of State that listed Paul in Lawrence County with a post office in operation from 1891 to 1903. The back stamps are Pleasant Point, also in Lawrence County, TN, and Winchester, IN. The Pleasant Point PO was in operation from 1874 to 1930 according to the secretary of state's list. The Winchester PO is still in operation today.

The envelope was addressed to my g-g-g-grandfather's cousin.

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Addressed the same individual, but mailed from Harrisville, located just a few miles east of Winchester, Randolph County, Indiana. The Harrisville PO operated from 1854-1855 and 1856 to 1920 according to the Indiana Postal History database.

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"I no longer collect, but will never abandon the hobby"
pigdoc
10 Aug 2019
08:44:19pm
re: DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices)

Today, we went to the Goschenhoppen Folk Festival, about 20 miles from where we live. The Goschenhoppen is a cultural area in northern Montgomery county, and one of the centers of Pennsylvania German society, dating back to 1743. There was a paper vendor there, and I picked up a couple of interesting DPO postcards, from Berks county, where I live:
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Rather poignant messages on both. I forgot to erase the "3.-" before scanning them. Yep, $3 each.

Walter's Park was founded in 1876 by Dr. Robert Walter and DPOed in 1919. Dr. Walter was an interesting character. This is some of what he had to say about his method of treatment in 1909: "THE TRUE SANATORY IDEA, the power of life derivable from the patient is the only power of cure. All medicaments which appear to increase this power, do instead reduce it through expenditure and tend to prevent recovery, all the while they appear to be promoting it."

Here is the ad corner from another item postmarked 1902, currently up at Jim Forte's site:
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EX NIHIL NIL FIT is Latin for: From Nothing Comes Nothing. A little creepy, I'd say, for a therapeutic institution.

Apparently the 5 story, 300 foot-long building still stands, owned by a Philadelphia textile manufacturer...

-Paul

PS, you know, as I read the description of THE TRUE SANATORY IDEA, I can't escape the feeling that 'what is old is new again'.

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