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Thursday, February 5, 2009

COUNTRY POST OFFICE

I happened to be out in the countryside last fall and noticed this building at a T in the road. Here I was in Kentucky glacing at this building which made me feel like I was back in the Southwest. The architecture was reflective of the Southwest yet here it was in the Upland South.

It was old and empty and showed signs that it had been that way for awhile. Across the front of the high false facade I read United States Post Office but I couldn't make out the name of this particular post office. Since I was out in a rather desolate part of the countryside (except for several large horse farms) there was no one near to ask.

This particular post office could have been originally used for some other business, then changed over to accommodate the post office use. Several questions about the building left me scratching my head. The southwest design was especially perplexing? The roof was oxidized metal, the false facade had a multiple stepped design up its side and the full-length front porch had peeled log uprights, all these traits were much like the buildings one might find in New Mexico.

I lived for a short period in Glorieta, New Mexico I was out in the mountains. No mail delivery -- you had to go to the post office to pick-up your mail. The Glorieta post office was a tiny old building that was once a railroad station. It sat along a rail line that still operated but did not stop any longer in Glorieta. This was the place where you got to know who your neighbors were. Instead of photos of criminals on the walls you had neighborhood announcements such as a dogs for sale, car sales, community picnics, rummage sales etc. Made me feel safe that the Glorieta post office didn't feel the need to post the criminals.

Perhaps, at one time, this Kentucky post office located at the T on a country road served the same purpose for the surrounding community in the hills? A place to gather, say hello, catch up on gossip or happenings in the area? Perhaps here there was no need for criminal's photos either?

Now is stands abandoned -- a desolate look to it. If this Kentucky post office place did serve the community at one time, like the Glorieta post office did for me, where did its sense of place go off to?

In my future haunts I will keep a look out for these vernacular buildings that serve as post offices. I have several questions about those that are no longer and those that still are working establishments.

Are you familiar with any of these types of off-beat post offices where you live? Would be great to hear about them.

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