Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Lost Post Offices of Magoffin County, Kentucky

Once in a while a collection of post office photos truly astounds me. This was the case when Postlandia friend John Gallagher—45-year postal tourist of 35,000+ post offices—sent me photos from one day in rural, Appalachian Kentucky in the 1970s. The vast majority of the photos were taken in population-13,000 Magoffin County.

When John and Alan Patera visited the area in May 1978, Magoffin County was home to a whopping 36 post offices. Today it has two. Mash Fork, Wonnie, Fritz, Gypsy, and Lickburg are just a handful of the many unincorporated rural communities that housed post offices, since discontinued. Several were in rundown shacks that could compete for title of Smallest U.S. Post Office. Many stood proud with rustic, unique, and utterly stunning hand-painted signs; others were barely identified at all. All contribute to this snapshot of a piece of Appalachia since lost.

Here are a handful of images to whet your appetite:

Printer, KY post office:
Printer, KY post office

Wheelersburg, KY post office:
Wheelersburg, KY post office

Waldo, KY post office:
Waldo, KY post office

View the full album of images here. There are 36 photos in all, and they are all fantastic.

The images are randomly sorted. Dates of discontinuation are included with the images, as known. The two post office still operating—Salyersville and Falcon—have since relocated. The PMCC's online post office photo collection has the images of the present sites as well.


  1. What a fabulous collection of photos! I highly recommend scrolling through the whole group!!

  2. It's so incredible that some of these structures were post offices!