Sunday, January 5, 2020

2019 Postal Summary

It's hard to imagine that this blog was founded nearly a decade ago, and that this is my TENTH Postal Summary. I didn't write a lot here this past year... it's not because I haven't been up to anything (quite the contrary!), but I've been focusing more of my energies on the quicker 'n easier Instagram world. Postlandia has a popular, growing Instagram feed. I posted more than 400 (mostly) postal-related photos in 2019, including at least three P.O.s from every U.S. state.

(As always, my prior summaries can be found at these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Starting next year I'm just gonna link to this page with entries tagged "annual postal summary," heh. Let's go!)

2019 was an exciting year. I visited a decent 708 new, active postal operations this year across 18 states (in addition to re-visiting classics in New York). After correcting for a handful of errors in my spreadsheet, my grand total is now 9,994 post offices.

This year's travels included three major trips:
1. Puerto Rico / the U.S. Virgin Islands (17 days, all 144 post offices)
2. Ohio Valley / South (21 days, 351 new POs)
3. Delmarva Peninsula / eastern Virginia (13 days, 213 new POs)

Here I am at the San Antonio, Puerto Rico post office—my last in the territory, 11 days after my first. I'm holding a big, paper AAA map with every post office in Puerto circled (and highlighted, once I visited them); my finger is pointing to the San Antonio post office in the upper left corner:

Me at the Frederiksted, V.I. post office—my last in the territory, at the end of two days visiting its three main islands:

I was fortunate to be able to attend the First Day ceremony of the Post Office Murals stamps in Piggott, Arkansas on April 10, stopping at a forum: Postal Places, at Carnegie Mellon University on April 26, an event with an impressive roster of guests from postal circles. Sadly I can't find a link to the four amazing grad student-developed projects online, but here is a link to the course online.

Piggott, AR: Post Office Murals stamp ceremony

During my trip to Delmarva [Delaware / Maryland / Virginia] I took a couple of side trips into Chesapeake Bay to visit the two post offices at Smith Island, Maryland, as well as the post office in Tangier Island, Virginia. Here I am at the latter:

Thank you to the dozens of people who purchased the 2020 Postlandia calendar! Your support is always greatly appreciated. This has always been a passion project, and I don't get paid a dime to do any of this.

I had some fun mailing packages in 2019...
I have too many stamps...
As always, the counts in this post include active 'standard' post offices, Contract Postal Units (CPUs), carrier annexes, and mail processing plants. They do not include former sites (e.g. historic post office buildings), places I've previously been to but revisited (say, to take a better photo), or previously discontinued operations. Here are some assorted photos from various operations I've visited this year:

CataƱo, Puerto Rico Detached Mail Delivery Unit
Catano, PR Detached Mail Delivery Unit

Virginia Beach, Virginia: McDonald Garden Center CPU
McDonald Garden Center, Virginia Beach, VA

North Little Rock, Arkansas (former site, now library)
Old post office, North Little Rock, Arkansas

Paducah, Kentucky Carrier Annex
Paducah, Kentucky carrier annex

I continued documenting the U.S. Postal Service's New Deal treasures as well, for example:

Eutaw, Alabama: "The Countryside," by Robert Gwathmey (1941)
Eutaw, Alabama post office mural

2019 By the Numbers

I visited as many as 34 post offices (of which 31 were new) in one day this year (in the Delmarva Peninsula portion of Virginia). State by state—and territory by territory:

Puerto Rico: 132 post offices
Focus/Foci: [All post offices in the territory]

Virginia: 118 post offices
Eastern counties of the Delmarva Peninsula; Hampton Roads; Richmond

Arkansas: 79 post offices
Northeast corner; Little Rock south to El Dorado

Louisiana: 70 post offices
North central Louisiana; Alexandria

Maryland: 58 post offices
Eastern Shore

Kentucky: 47 post offices
Ohio River Valley (western counties); Berea

Delaware: 34 post offices
North of Wilmington; eastern shore; Sussex County

Missouri: 32 post offices
Southeastern corner

Alabama: 27 post offices
Birmingham; northeast corner

Pennsylvania: 21 post offices
North of Pittsburgh

Tennessee: 19 post offices
Chattanooga; Cleveland; Jellico

Mississippi: 17 post offices
East of Jackson to Meridian

Indiana: 12 post offices
Evansville, to wit:

U.S. Virgin Islands: 12 post offices
[All post offices in the territory]

West Virginia: 12 post offices
Huntington; Charleston north

Massachusetts: 7 post offices
South of Quabbin Reservoir

Ohio: 5 post offices
Random Akron to Columbus; Marietta north

Georgia: 3 post offices
Dade County (NW corner)

Illinois: 2 post offices
Brookport; Cairo

North Carolina: 1 post offices
Knotts Island

This year I finished visiting every post office in Delaware, even getting to visit the post office at Dover Air Force Base. The impetus for the trip was the 58th annual Post Mark Collectors Club (PMCC) Convention, which took place in Dover, Delaware back in late September.

The "kids' table," PMCC convention:

Me at Talleyville Branch, Wilmington, DE, my final post office in the First State:

Counting Counties:
I visited 100 new counties in 2019. They are the dark blue counties east of Texas and south of New York on this travel map:

Counting Counties map

Dear readers, thank you for your continued support! I'm hoping to share many more new post office stories and photos with you in 2020.