JULY 1st – National Postal Worker Day…THANK YOU To Those Who Keep Our Mail Moving

© Jerry F. Couch 2020

Remember the heavy snowfalls of a couple of years ago?  There were days very few cars passed by my house at Mew.  But the mail carrier was on the job in weather that was keeping most of us at home.

And what about COVID-19?  Our mail has continued to arrive right on schedule.

Being a postal worker is not an easy job.  I hope the carrier who delivers mail to my house and the employees who work behind the counter at our local post offices know I appreciate them.  But just in case I have forgotten to say so, here it is…in writing:


Today, in recognition of our local postal service employees, we are featuring some current and past photos we hope you’ll enjoy.   Scroll down and take a look.

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ST. PAUL POST OFFICE —- Postmaster Debra Riddle.  Not pictured, Jessica Hale.  June 30, 2020

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CASTLEWOOD POST OFFICE —- Pictured above, Darlene Mann.  Not pictured, Postmaster Shannon Compton.  RURAL CARRIERS:  Felicia Smith, Heather Kiser, Jeremy McCarty, Christy Skeens, Katie Chisenhall, Kayla Fields, and Ryan Milgrim.  June 30, 2020

The following article is from the July 8, 1971 edition of the Clinch Valley Times…


July 1, 1971 (2)

PICTURED ABOVE —-Trammel Postmistress Jean Sutherland poses beside the refreshments while Lois Phillips and Robert Sutherland prepare to serve, July 1, 1971.

Last Thursday the United States Post Office Department became history after nearly 200 years of service to the American people.  In its place is a new organization, the United States Postal Service, an independent establishment of the government formed to meet the changing needs of the growing society.

Post offices in the St. Paul area as well as across the nation observed National Postal Service day – honoring both the contributions of the Post Office Department and the inauguration of the Postal Service.

July 1, 1971 (16)

PICTURED ABOVE —- Hazel Farr and Ruth Milton, Officer In Charge, showing off their sign at the Castlewood Post Office, July 1, 1971.

A new eight-cent stamp was issued to mark the inauguration date. Also, the Postal Service had a limited number of souvenir envelopes available free.

The new organization has come into being in response to an overwhelming need. The postal system has been staggering under a flood of mail amounting to more than 82 billion pieces – almost as much as all the rest of the world put together.

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PICTURED ABOVE —- “The Downbeats,” a popular local band, provided their own special brand of music for Postal Service Day at the Castlewood Post Office.  July 1, 1971

To handle the rising tide of mail, the Postal Service has the authority to raise its own capital, to order new machinery, to build new facilities it needs, and to institute new programs as it sees fit.

One new program currently getting underway involves providing for next day delivery for a minimum of 95 percent of all airmail letters destined for principal cities within a 600 mile radius. The letters must be properly ZIP coded and deposited in a specially marked airmail box or airmail collection point before 4:00 p.m.

July 1, 1971 (19) St. Paul Post Office

PICTURED ABOVE —- Postmaster LeRoy Hilton with St. Paul Police Chief Charles Hawkins and Rev. Ben Baird at the St. Paul Post Office.  July 1, 1971

The program is designed to keep airmail separate so it can move ahead of the regular mail and get on earlier flights. Ordinary mail traveling long distances is also airlifted but only when space is available after airmail, passengers, and freight.

The Postal Service also announced last Monday it is adding 39 new air taxi routes between now and the end of July at an annual cost of $5.9 million.

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PICTURED ABOVE —- Alfred Austin presents James Hale with the First Day Cover while local businessman Fred Meade samples a complimentary cup of coffee at the St. Paul Post Office.  July 1, 1971

Air taxis are generally small planes under contract to the Postal Service to carry up to 4,000 pounds of mail and operating on round-trip schedules to permit overnight delivery of mail between the start end end of its route.

One of the new routes – serving Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and the Tri-Cities areas was inaugurated Tuesday, facilitating first class mail delivery overnight between these cities. Mail for the airlift will leave Tri-Cities Airport at 9:15 p.m. and incoming mail will arrive at the airport at 4:05 a.m. in time for delivery the same day.

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PICTURED ABOVE —- Glenn Litton, Patty Surber, and Beulah Worley at the Dante Post Office,  July 1, 1971.

In addition, the existing route serving the Tri-Cities, Bluefield, Charleston, and Columbus will be extended to serve Cleveland, Ohio.

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PICTURED ABOVE —- An inside view of the Castlewood Post Office showing the refreshment area.  July 1, 1971

One thought on “JULY 1st – National Postal Worker Day…THANK YOU To Those Who Keep Our Mail Moving

  1. I have an old pic of some Dante folks, including the Honto’s and my younger brother Bill- If you wish I can email them… but don’t have your email address?

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