A discontinued post office
is an American postal term for a post office
A post office is a facility forming part of a postal system for the posting, receipt, sorting, handling, transmission or delivery of mail.Post offices offer mail-related services such as post office boxes, postage and packaging supplies...
which has been discontinued. Some are in ghost town
A ghost town is an abandoned town or city. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, or nuclear disasters...
s, some victims of consolidation of mail service as small post offices are closed or a city expands. The introduction of Rural Free Delivery
Rural delivery service refers to the delivery of mail in what are traditionally considered rural areas. In the United States, rural letter carriers began service with the experiments with Rural Free Delivery in 1891...
, RFD, in 1902 led to the closure of many post offices, which peaked in 1901 at 76,945. In the United States, which was mostly rural, mail previously had been picked up in rural areas at small local post offices, home delivery being limited to urban areas until experimentation with rural delivery began in 1890.
Covers, that is letters, wrappers, or postmark
thumb|USS TexasA postmark is a postal marking made on a letter, package, postcard or the like indicating the date and time that the item was delivered into the care of the postal service...
s from discontinued post officers are of interest to students of postal history
Postal history is the study of postal systems and how they operate and, or, the study of postage stamps and covers and associated material illustrating historical episodes of postal systems...
. As one example, in Saguache County, Colorado
Saguache County is the seventh most extensive of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county name comes from a Ute language word meaning “blue earth” or “water at blue earth”. The county population was 5,917 at U.S. Census 2000...
there are over 50 discontinued post offices.
Examples of references from the postal history of Colorado:
- Bauer, William H.; Ozment, James L.; and Willard, John H., Colorado Post Offices, 1859-1989: A Comprehensive Listing of Post Offices, Stations, and Branches, Colorado Railroad Museum (May 1990), hardcover, 280 pages, ISBN 978-0918654427
- Helbock, Richard W., A Checklist of Colorado Post Offices 1858-1988
- Jarrett, David L., Colorado Territorial and Pre-Territorial Postmarks, Collector Club of Chicago (January 1, 1976), hardcover
- Meschter, Daniel Y., Pre-Territorial Colorado Postal History, La Posta Publications (1994), 91 pages
- Segerstrom, Kenneth Colorado Illustrated Covers La Posta Publications (1988), paperback, 100 pages