Freeland cancel, 1887

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History of Freeland, Pa.
Post Offices

According to the history of Freeland written by Charles Stumpf, there have been a succession of post offices in Freeland. Most of the information on this page comes from him, and more information can be found in his booklet, Freeland.

Postcard sent from Upper Lehigh, 1911 A post office was established at Upper Lehigh in 1867 (and closed in 1929), and residents of South Heberton received their mail there until South Heberton was annexed to Freeland. Another post office was established in the Woodside section on February 19, 1873. On November 27, 1876 the name of this post office was changed from Woodside to Freeland.

On April 16th, 1890, building contractor John M. Cunnius began work on the foundation for a new Freeland post office, and Andrew Fritzinger was in charge of all masonry work on the building.

Postcard sent from Upper Lehigh, 1911 Postmaster appointment document Postmaster appointment document Awhile back Bill Davis sent me these three images in connection with Benjamin F. Davis's being appointed Freeland's postmaster for two 4-year terms, 1898-1906. The photo at left of Davis with Dr. Neil and Fr. Lynott, who all served as Freeland's draft board for World War II, appeared in Freeland's PennySaver, although at present I don't know which issue. The documents shown at right are copies of his appointments to the Postmaster position, one from President William McKinley and the other from President Theodore Roosevelt.

In the early 20th century the Freeland Post Office was located in the Goeppert building at 714 Centre Street, on the west side of the street between Front and Walnut streets. The information visible at the top of the building says "A. C. 1893" (or maybe it's A. G.).

Here's what the 1921-1922 city directory said about Freeland's post office:

Freeland Post Office, early 20th century Postmaster: E. J. Doggett
Assistant Postmaster: Orion L. Vanaken
Clerks: George C. Farrar, Ralph Alden
Carriers: T. J. Doggett, George Woodring, Patrick Roarty
Rural Delivery to White Haven: Lester Stine, messenger

Office hours:
General Delivery and stamps: 7 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Money orders: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Registry window: 7 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Deliveries: 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 2:30 p.m., p.m.
Collections: 7:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.
Mails arrive: 7:10, 8 and 10:48 a.m. and 1:45 and 7:15 p.m.

Freeland Post Office groundbreaking Freeland Post Office, framing the building A new post office building was constructed in the mid-1930s and was dedicated on October 30, 1937. This is the current Freeland Post Office and stands on the northwest corner of Main and Washington streets. These great photographs, taken during the construction of the current post office building, are provided here courtesy of Bill Smith. Note that several nearby buildings have been labeled: the Cottage Hotel, Fisher's garage and house, the Marsh home, and Genie Boyle's Cafe. At left, ground is being broken for the new building. At right, workers are framing the new building.

Post Office cornerstone Mural in the Freeland Post Office The image at left shows the cornerstone that had been hidden by hedges for quite some time until late August or early September 2012. The photo and the news that the cornerstone had been uncovered came to me from Charlie Gallagher (thanks, Charlie). The image at right shows the colorful mural inside the building. Artist John Folinsbee was commissioned in October 1937 to paint this mural, measuring 13 feet 11 inches long, and 5 feet 3 inches high, over the door to the Postmaster's office. This work was part of the Federal government's Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. The mural is still there today and gives a beautifully rendered bird's-eye view of the local area at the peak of autumn color.

There is a better photograph of this mural, plus information about the artist and his other work, at the website for the John F. Folinsbee Catalogue Raisonne Project. As noted there, "This mural depicts a view of Freeland from Butler Terrace." If you go to that page and click on the image of the mural to enlarge it, you can click through six different versions, including preliminary sketches of the Freeland Brewery and St. John's Nepomucene and St. Mary's (mislabeled Polish) churches, along with the coal breaker.

In 2008 David Lembeck published an article in Pennsylvania Heritage about Pennsylvania's post office murals. The Editor of Pennsylvania Heritage has kindly given me permission to make the article available here as a PDF. The citation is: David Lembeck, "Rediscovering the People's Art: New Deal Murals in Pennsylvania's Post Offices," Pennsylvania Heritage XXXIV, no. 3 (Summer 2008), 28-37.

PDF logo Rediscovering the People's Art - (PDF file size = 1.8 MB)

Freeland Post Office Here is a photo postcard of the current post office, seemingly made not long after it was built. You can see that the landscaping in front of the building was minimal and apparently still new. The outside mailbox wasn't located curbside but was next to the steps.

Freeland Post Office Freeland Post Office These last two photos were taken by me, or perhaps by me and my brother Steve, sometime in the last 20 years. When I heard that the trees and hedges had been taken down or were planned to be taken down, I dug around to find these photos so that I could post them here. The building looked great with this greenery around it, and I'm sorry to hear that the trees and hedges will no longer be part of its grounds.

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