Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Post: village’

I admit, I struggled with Jake’s latest topic. I think of villages as something they have in other countries, not the United States where we have towns and cities. To that end, I went to the “shoe box” to try to find a photo from an old trip to Europe that I could scan –nothing I liked. Then I thought a little harder. Within our small towns, there are areas of a few streets or a few blocks with their own names; these areas used to be “villages.”

I took this photo a year ago with the intention of showing the note on the window. (I don’t want to give away why…one of these days I will get a good shot; that’s for another blog post.) I took the photo from my car as I rode by, so I didn’t get the quality I wanted, but this little post office is important for another reason. It has historical significance; it is part of an area within our town called Elmwood.

The Elmwood church, kitty-corner across the street, recently closed and will be torn down. It used to be a bustling place where people gathered, and it also housed community theater. There’s a tribute at the library describing this. As for this post office, as far as I know, it still has post office boxes, but I think with recent post office cutbacks, they let the postmaster go. A local historian named Thomas Turner explained its connection to Abraham Lincoln in a 2009 interview:

Lincoln came back through the area in 1861 when his son Robert was attending Philips Exeter Academy in Andover. Robert continued his schooling at Harvard during the Civil War.

The Elmwood section of East Bridgewater was a very busy shoe factory area during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln sent a request to the factory to have their own post office so they could ship the shoes directly to the Union soldiers.

Turner believes the little post office is still in use.

“Most places don’t have a small post office anymore,” Turner said. “In most other towns it would have been long gone.”

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