As technology launches us forward into the future quickly, don't forget to slow down and reflect on the past.
There will be an exhibit of 'Early Views of Morris County Post Offices,' hosted by the Garden State Postcard Club.
“Postcards are that rare commodity, affordable contemporaneous images from the past 100 years,” said Virginia Faulkner of Morristown, Garden State Club president. ”Some postcards can be quite valuable but most are still inexpensive. Whatever topic or view you’re looking for, you can be certain that you’ll find the rarest early images of it at the Garden State Postcard Show.”
The exhibit will feature 100-year old views of small Morris County Post Offices—including some that were discontinued over the past century—at their 54th Annual Show & Sale at the Parsippany PAL on Sept. 28 and 29.
The exhibit is open during show hours, Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There’s an admission charge of $3 to see the exhibit and browse through the millions of early postcards that are for sale by some of the country’s premier antique postcard dealers, said the club.
Chris Wolff of Berkeley Heights NJ, the exhibit curator, says that there were more small Post Offices at the turn of the century:
“In 1901 there were 76,945 post offices in the United States, but Rural Free Delivery started in 1902, and 10 years later, 18,000 of these post offices had closed. The small fourth-class post office was frequently located in the general store and was a community meeting place. When the store owner lost the post office contract, he not only lost that salary but he also lost the customers who used to come for their mail but now shopped in larger towns, and as a result, many of the small stores closed,” said the club.
"Small stores everywhere had a rack of local postcard views, and many of the soon-to-be-closed post offices were pictured on postcards. Many stores that still had post office contracts no longer found the post office business worthwhile after R.F.D. started. The compensation of a fourth-class postmaster was based on the amount of outgoing mail he handled, and in 1919 many made less than $200 a year, although they kept the office open an average of 14 hours a day. The nuisance of running the post office came to outweigh the customers it drew for other merchandise. Transportation routes were important in picking post office locations, and if a railroad or stagecoach line went through the town, the post office was usually nearby. The Lake Hopatcong post office next to Allan's Pavilion at Nolan's Point catered to vacationers getting off the train and embarking on the numerous lake steamers, and the postmaster's wife ran a souvenir shop selling postcards.”
The Garden State Postcard Club meets the first Sunday of every month at the Long Hill Senior Citizen Center, 769 Valley Road, Gillette NJ.
Members share their interest in postcards, opportunities to buy and sell postcards, to bid at club auctions, to engage in pleasant conversation and enjoy a light lunch.