Historical Society member to give talk on history of Whately mail

  • Whately Postmaster Beverly Sanderson works in the post office in this 1983 photo. Staff FILE PHOTO

Recorder Staff
Published: 11/5/2019 6:00:03 PM

WHATELY — If you need to stop by a post office in Whately, you’ve got no choice but to head to 196 Chestnut Plain Road. But that hasn’t always been the case.

Early post offices were inside places of assembly — stores or taverns — and on well-traveled paths, as well as near ferries and docks. Mail was originally moved on horseback and then by stagecoach. After the advent of the train, post offices moved near train tracks, and mail delivery was cheaper and more frequent. All this is according to Whately Historical Society member Judy Markland, who plans to deliver an educational talk Thursday about Whately, and how changes in transportation altered life in town and mail delivery. The talk is slated to begin at 7 p.m. in Whately Town Hall.

Guests are asked to use the back entrance, as the front door will be closed to allow restoration work to continue on the safe in the front hall.

Markland said cars eventually replaced trains, and delivery to residences resulted in people having less dependence on the brick-and-mortar post office.

“And you can trace all this through the various places that served as post offices in Whately,” Markland said.

There will be postal objects on display in the Town Hall museum after the presentation, as well as refreshments.

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