HeardTell: The North Carolina Room, Pack Memorial Library

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You’ve Got Mail!

You’ve Got Mail!

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.

Salvo, North Carolina. Elizabeth City News Co., Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Plastichrome by COLOURPICTURE, Boston, Mass. 02130

Salvo, North Carolina. Elizabeth City News Co., Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Plastichrome by COLOURPICTURE, Boston, Mass. 02130

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.

Post Office of Grimshaws (sic),  N.C., said to be the Smallest in the World near High Hampton Inn and Country Club     Cashiers, N.C.  The Finest American Made View Cards-The Albertype CO, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Post Office of Grimshaws (sic), N.C., said to be the Smallest in the World near High Hampton Inn and Country Club Cashiers, N.C. The Finest American Made View Cards-The Albertype CO, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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.

Post Office, Grimshawes, N.C. Smallest Post Office in the U.S.A.  Published by Asheville Post Card CO., Asheville, N.C.

Post Office, Grimshawes, N.C. Smallest Post Office in the U.S.A. Published by Asheville Post Card CO., Asheville, N.C.

 

 

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!

U.S. Postal Card

U.S. Postal Card

 

Post by Terry Taylor, Friends of the North Carolina Room board member.

2 comments on “You’ve Got Mail!

  1. William a. Hart, Jr.
    May 3, 2015

    The Grimshaw post office photo was taken by George Masa in 1925. It was re-photographed by John Leebrick and featured In “Coming to Light ~ The Western North Carolina Re-photographis Project” featured as the Asheville Art Museum several years ago.

  2. William a. Hart, Jr.
    May 3, 2015

    Sorry! That should have been Gil Leebrick.

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This entry was posted on April 3, 2015 by in Buildings, Post Card Collection and tagged , .

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