Old post offices are scattered across rural America and show a unique perspective of historic American life. Alaska recently suffered from a localized post office closure, because one rural community lost their Post Master. Post offices are often the lifeline for rural communities. Ron Campbell, an artist recently featured in the Globe Gazette who visited more than 300 post offices across the country to look at government-commissioned murals, found the historic Forest City post office, which still has a mural painted from the 1940s on the wall. Across America, post offices are valued for their often rich historic charm.
Pictured above, the Wiseman, Alaska post office served the small mining community which is located in the Brooks Range of Alaska. The town was founded by gold miners around 1919. Robert Marshall wrote a book, “Arctic Village,” about his stay in Wiseman in the 1930’s. The author said of the home of this post office that it was “the happiest civilization of which I have knowledge.” The town didn’t have access to the Dalton Highway until the early 1990s. This old, log post office is pictured at about that same time. The old post office has been sinking in to the ground for the last hundred years and was pictures a couple of feet below ground level.
Norene was was once called “Henderson’s Cross Roads” by the local post office. The town remains an unincorporated community in Wilson County. The community has a general store, churches and this tiny post office. The town was officially renamed in 1915. By 1916, it was one of the eight largest villages in its county with a whopping 100 people.
This old post office was built in Mooresville, Alabama 1840. The building is the oldest operational post office in the state. Mooresville was incorporated while Alabama was still a territory. The entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The old post office features call boxes built before the American Civil War. The town is a part of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the town had a population of 59.
Chicken, Alaska, is the home of this log post office. The town of Chicken had a population of seven people at the 2010 census. Throughout the year though, the mining crews increase the population to 17 people. Chicken was settled in the late 1800s. In 1902 the local post office was established, which meant the town needed a name. Residents wanted to name it after the ptarmigan that were prevalent in the area, but no one was sure how to spell it. In order to avoid embarrassment, the residents decided to settle on the grouse’s edible cousin and called their town “Chicken, Alaska” instead.
If you like historic American buildings like old post offices, check out the Inquisitr report of Aladdin, a small Wyoming town that was up for sale this summer for less than two million bucks!