Warren County Historical Society Presents …

The Digital Version “REWIND”

November 1, 2018

 

 

 

Postal Service in Warren County

 

The following information came from a newspaper article in “The Glens Falls Times – Warren County Sesquicentennial Edition,” published in 1963 during the celebration of the 150th birthday of Warren County.  The article appears here with some minor editing.

 

     Today Warren county has 28 post offices.  In the years prior to the founding of the county, communication with the relatives the pioneer had left behind in New England was extremely poor.

     Until 1808 if a man in Glens Falls wanted to mail a letter he had to go to Sandy Hill (Hudson Falls).  The settlements in the northern end of the county depended for years on carriers who made the trip once a week on horseback.  One route led from Sandy Hill to Schroon Lake.  Another went through Glens Falls and Luzerne to Athol.

     Holden relates that the first postmaster in Glens Falls was appointed and an office opened on the first day of January, 1808.  the post office was located in a portion of a wooden building on the corner of Warren and Glen Sts.  John Ferris was the first postmaster.  The balance of the frame building was occupied by a store.

     The Oneida had a postmaster appointed after 1816.  Other outlying settlements in the Town of Queensbury had depot points or contract offices.  With the establishment of rural delivery service these outlying points gradually disappeared.

     According to Edgar M. Montee, one of the original mail carriers,  house-to-house delivery in the City of Glens Falls was established in 1885.  This service was later extended to South Glens Falls in 1917.

Name Changed

     Upcounty, Chester town had a stop on the mail route at The Rising House.  The post office after it was established about 1805, was also housed in this tavern.  At first called Chester, the name Chestertown was given to distinguish the office from a similar office called Chester in Orange County.  Pottersville did not have an office until 1839.

     Warrensburg had an office in the Warren House as early as 1806.

     Johnsburg Corners’ office was established in 1817.  Letters had reached Elm Hill, the home of John Thurman, earlier with just the simple address of Thurman’s residence as a directive.  Other offices established in the Town of Johnsburg were Wevertown in 1850; North Creek, sometime between 1854 and 1857; Garnet Lake, 1894; Bakers Mills, 1882; and North River, 1863.  With the exception of Garnet Lake, which is now rural delivery, all are still in operation.  (1963)

     The county seat, Caldwell, does not seem to have had a post office much before 1825.  It was Gen. James Caldwell who built the stone building which housed the post office.  While officially the Town of Caldwell did not become Lake George until 1962, the name of the post office was changed from Caldwell to Lake George as early as 1882.  Around the lake at other settlements, post offices sprang up as the population demanded them.  The growth of population at Bolton brought an office prior to 1856.  1882 saw North Bolton and Kattskill Bay; the following year an office came to Bolton Landing.  In 1887 Cleverdale got an office, but it was not until 1913 that an office was established at Diamond Point.

 Short-Term Offices

     Some offices flourished for only a short time. For example, Wardboro, also spelled Wardborough, is not found after 1866.  Oregon was in existence from 1885 through 1892, until the section was lumbered out.  Other offices found briefly were Queensbury, North Bolton, Hillview, West Stony Creek and Glen Lake.

     Several of the offices were designated as Money Order offices in the early 1800s.  Chestertown and Lake George as well as Warrensburg were permitted to write domestic money orders.  Glens Falls was permitted to write foreign as well as domestic orders.

     Spelling of the  official names has varied over the years.  Warrensburg and Johynsburg, originally written with the final letter “h,” are now spelled without it.

     In some smaller settlements, the post office is still housed in some one’s home, part of a store or in some place that caters to other business as well.  Warrensburg acquired a new building on the site of the old academy and renamed the street Stewart Farrar Ave. in honor of a former postmaster in 1961.  Chestertown moved to a new location with more modern quarters and loading platforms in 1962.

 

Warren County Historical Society // 50 Gurney Lane // Queensbury, NY 12804 // (518) 743-0734

 

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