After leaving the Skating Rink, let’s go down to the Post Office
at the end of the big room. The first thing that you notice is that almost
all of the wall at the end of the entrance room is filled with small metal
mailboxes. There seems to be hundreds of them. Each little box has a
number, a tiny window and a lock to open it.
All Pacolet Mills residents pick up their mail at these
mailboxes at the Post Office. There is no mail delivery to the individual
houses in the Mill Village. Mr. Alfred Parker was the Postmaster that
I remember in the 1950’s. He had several more employees that helped him
sort and box the mail and help at the service counter.
The service counter was in the middle of all the boxes.
At the counter you could buy stamps, money orders or get other postal
Sometimes, the mail service was amazingly fast by today’s
standards. As an example, just recently, there was a letter to a Pacolet
Mills resident in 1931 for sale on eBay. The person was Mr. Jesse Glass
who ran a small store just outside the mill village. Mr. Glass carried
on a large correspondence through the postal service. Letters to and
from him and their related stamps and envelopes appear frequently on eBay.
In this particular case, a letter to Mr. Glass was sent
from a Building and Loan Association in Charlotte. What caught my eye
was that it was time stamped on the Postmark in Charlotte. It was cancelled
in Charlotte at 6pm in the afternoon of Oct. 8. Back then, they must have
also stamped the envelope when it was received. The back of the envelope
is stamped that the envelope was received in Pacolet Mills at 8 am the
next morning, Oct. 9. It is amazing to me that the envelope was sorted
in Charlotte, taken and transported on the train to Spartanburg, transferred
to Pacolet Mills and sorted and stamped in Pacolet all in 14 hours.
The cost for this fast service was
2 cents in 1931. I don't think that you can get that kind of service from
the Post Office for any amount of money today, much less for 2 cents.