Cancellation: Oysterville Post Office?

Jul 28, 2011 | 2 comments

Inside the Oysterville Post Office

     According to the U. S. Postal Service, there are no postmistresses.   No matter what their gender, there are only ‘postmasters’ – although there can be ‘lady postmasters.’ Go figure.  I point that out because I feel knowing that about our Postal Service puts my current concerns into an understandable context.
     Yesterday our lady postmaster here in Oysterville received a letter from on high that our post office has been placed on a “study list” along with 46 other small post offices in the Portland district.  Which brings up another point: all our mail – incoming and outgoing – goes through Portland, Oregon to be sorted, have the stamps cancelled, etc.  It takes days, not hours for the mail to get to neighboring communities right here on the peninsula.
     Right now the Oysterville post office is being studied for possible closure.  So are one in ten post offices across the United States – 3653 altogether.  According to the letter, it’s all about ‘low activity’ and bottom line dollar amounts in rural areas.
     The fact that we have the oldest continuing post office under the same name in the state of Washington should count for something.  In fact, it should count for a lot.  But if there’s one thing I’ve learned when dealing with matters of historic significance – few people care.  Especially bureaucrats.
     I remember all too well when the former director of the Pacific County Economic Development Council said in a public meeting a few years back:  “Historic houses?  We make them every day here in Pacific County.  You just have to wait 50 years.  Then they’ll be historic.”  His remarks, of course, were meant to put the houses in Oysterville’s National Historic District into some kind of ‘perspective.’
     Perhaps the postal service will take a more enlightened look at our historic post office.  Maybe all those years that Oysterville was the hub for mail carried by stagecoach along the beach and by boat across the bay and up the rivers – maybe that will resonate with some officials.  Perhaps the fact that our post office has survived in the back rooms of grocery stores and saloons and private homes will give us some caché.  Maybe they will find a way that we can at least keep ‘Oysterville’ in our address.
     With all due respect, I don’t want an Ocean Park or a Long Beach address.  Admittedly, it has as much to do with self-identity as with mail delivery.  Somehow sydneyofoceanpark just doesn’t have the same ring to it as sydneyofoysterville.     


  1. Jan

    How about sydneyofthegreaterpacificnorthwest ? 🙂 I’m KIDDDDDDING!

  2. Sarah

    When I saw the headline about the Postal service closing many of their post offices, my first thought was oh no, I hope they don’t close the Oysterville post office. Maybe we could start a petition, or write one of the big corporate guys. I would send a letter in defense of the Oyserville post office and I am sure many others would too. Just a thought.


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