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What do Ochopee, Florida; Muddy, Illinois; Ojo Feliz , New Mexico and two communities in North Carolina have in common? In the early part of the last century, small towns across the nation advertised their diminutive post offices with postcards. It was (and still is) a draw for the tourist traveling in automobiles from coast to coast. From the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina was home to two “smallest post offices” in the country.
On the coast, a group of three Native American villages known as Chicamacomico was renamed Clark or Clarksville by white settlers. During the Civil War a passing Union frigate could not find a name on the map for the small settlement. The captain ordered a cannon “salvo” (a greeting) and a ship’s mate hastily noted the position of the community as Salvo on the map. Forty years later, the town officially renamed itself as Salvo and in 1901 opened its first U.S. Post Office.
Barely 100 square feet in size, the original post office burned down in the 1990’s and a new post office was built. Now a replica of the small building stands proudly alongside NC 12 in zip code 27972.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains the post office of Grimshawes boasted of being the smallest post office in the world. In operation from 1903 to 1953, the structure still stands on Whiteside Cove Road, where it once served the rural community between Cashiers and Highlands.
I discovered a one-cent, direct mail postal card for Rose Brothers Lumber & Supply CO. in St. Paul, Minnesota. It bears the National Recovery Administration logo along with advertising on the wares the company sold. The card was mailed to customers in the St. Paul area. Note the special cancellation on the reverse of the card. Also note the dimensions of the small building: 33 square feet!
Post by Terry Taylor, Friends of the North Carolina Room board member.