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Ashland Historical Society

"Preserving the Past"
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The Post Office

      Post Office facilities were established in Ashland, when the village was still known by the name of Unionville, in 1835.

The business center was then apparently on the north end of Main Street, for it was in a mill store at that location that the first post office was established. That was on January 7, 1835. The office remained in that location for the next 12 years, during which time several other prominent citizens served as postmasters.

Shortly after the village of Unionville was incorporated as Ashland, the office was transferred to the store of G. S. Jones, at the corner of Main and Summer Streets. In 1851 the office was again transferred, to a new location at the westerly end of the railroad station, where Mr. Jones performed his duties as railroad agent as well as postmaster.

In 1864 the post office department at Washington arranged the office by classes. The annual sales of the local post office must have been approximately $1,000 since the Ashland office was placed in the fourth class. In the latter part of 1872 it was advanced to the third class.

About 1875 the location of office was changed to a small building located between the Houghton house and the Coburn building at the corner of Main and Front Streets. In 1886 the office was transferred to the Coburn building situated on the north side of Front Street. Here the office remained for the next 35 years. In 1920 it was transferred to the Odd Fellows building at the corner of Summer and

Main Street.

On July 1, 1928, the office was again advanced to the second class, in which class it still remains. Additional office personnel were required and added. In November, 1930, the Odd Fellows Building Association renovated their building to accommodate the much needed additional floor space required by the post office. On September 1, 1931, the village carrier system was inaugurated. The local office has thus advanced from the third class doing a business of approximately $2200 in 1884, to the second class, doing a business of approximately $27,000 in 1939, an increase of approximately $25,000 annually.

In 1940 the town dedicated a new post-office building located at the corner of Summer and Main Streets, which had been erected in conjunction with the Federal Works Agency at a cost of $58,000, of which $11,000 was paid for the land. The cornerstone of the new building was laid on January 8, 1940, and the dedication of the building followed on July 20. The new post office is appropriately situated, carefully planned, and well equipped. This is in marked contrast to the post office of earlier years, in the old railroad station, where the incoming mail, as older residents still recall, was placed in a large rotating wheel affixed to the wall, so arranged that any resident by turning the wheel would eventually come to his own mail, and in the process have an opportunity to inspect that of his neighbors[1].

 

Directions – December 1975

 

 [1] History of the Town of Ashland, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1942. Multiple references.