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Mike Watson: Columbia PO has always been near the Square
Comments re article 43924 Reader raises question about Post Office location
By Mike Watson
The Columbia Post Office has always been on or near to the Public Square. The first postal records are no longer available, but there are complete official records from circa 1815 to the present at the National Archives. However, post office locations were not usually noted in the official record until the past half century, since most offices were provided by the postmaster who owned or rented the space in his or her own name.
Records are scarce for Columbia locations, but there are hints and clues. Jim found a very informative article in the 1907 News that provides a valuable piece to the puzzle.
We know that in 1828 the post office was somewhere on the corner of the Square and Burkesville Street on what many will recall being the "Firestone Corner", opposite the present Bank of Columbia corner.
In the late 1870s and early 1880s James M. Russell was postmaster when the office was housed halfway down the block on Jamestown Street where the J.O. Russell-Lerman Brothers building is today. (There were three buildings on this lot running from the Square to Reed Street and the post office was in the middle building.)
Later - perhaps next - the office was moved to the new building Jim mentions as being built in 1907 in the northeast corner of the Square. This seems to be in the area where Coomer's Cafe and Lany Bray were formerly located.
Next the post office was on the corner of the Square and Campbellsville Street, now the Wid Harris building. Later, it was moved to the "Western Auto" corner where the Courthouse Annex is today.
Then, on April 1, 1962 the new post office opened at the corner of Burkesville and Guardian Streets, the present location of Dr. Max Downey's office.
I would enjoy hearing more on the subject...it spurs me research! -MW
This story was posted on 2011-04-25 12:51:41
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