SPRING 1999, p. 2
CARROLL COUNTY CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF RURAL FREE DELIVERY
My father, Andrew K. Shriver, was postmaster at Union Mills during the Civil War, and at intervals , for a number of years after-wards, his death, in 1884. I succeeded him and remained in office for a long time.
Those were the days of the old Star Route System. A liveryman, named John Spalding of Littlestown, was the contractor on our route and he made a round trip daily from Gettysburg to Westminster and return. The mail coach consisted of a rickety vehicle of some kind, with a steed to match. Horses were changed at Littlestown which was the relay station.
The post office at different times was located in our dining room (southwest corner of house) in the front hall and in what we called the office, the room east of the hall. There were no restrictions in those days and when the old leather mail pouch was unlocked and its contents dumped on the floor there was a general scramble by all those present for any letters or other mail that might be addressed to them.
There was a lot of red tape connected with the dispatch of a registered letter. Part of it required that the letter be placed in a heavy cardboard envelope, sealed and stamped, to which a blank receipt was attached. That receipt was signed by the Postmaster at the next office and mailed back to the Postmaster who registered the letter, and that system of receipting, step by step, was continued through all the offices handling the letter until it reached its destination.
The post office on our route, between Westminster and Gettysburg, in order named, were as follows: Stonersville, Maryland; Biggs, Maryland (now Mount Pleasant); Union Mills, Maryland; Silver Run, Maryland; Littlestown, Pennsylvania; and Two Taverns, Pennsylvania.Rural Free Delivery put the old Star route post office system out of commission in Carroll County in 1899. We were on R.F.D. Route A. Route A (and three others in the County) were served by two horse wagons, especially built for the purpose and was manned by a driver and a postal clerk. They were, in effect, post offices on wheels, as they handled registered letters and money orders as well as, all other mail matters.
© 2000 - 2005 J. Douglass Klein. Last updated 09/07/05 12:21 PM.
Line drawing of the Homestead by Richard Weidman.