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Post Office Busy Year-round!

Image: Walt Dowling and holiday mail rush"It must be awfully quiet around here in the winter!" As the summer progresses, we hear this comment with greater frequency. The idea that the quiet of winter brings a slower pace to the OPA office and the Ocean Park Post Office is a common misconception; in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As the photograph from the winter of 2015 shows, the Post Office has a lot to keep up with even though the 'summer season' is over.

Properties in Ocean Park historically have not received home delivery of mail. In addition to processing mail for over 200 year-round residents, the Ocean Park Post Office and its four part-time employees handles mail for The Pines senior housing complex, bulk mail for the Association, and acts as a central spot for community news and updates, events, and general information.

Ocean Park native Ellen Clark remembered the Post Office when it began in the 1940's. "It started out in the old Hotel, with Mr. Hamilton as the Post Master," she recalled, "and back then it was only a seasonal position." The Post Office eventually moved to the Cheney Cottage, located in what is now the Prophet's Chamber. This move also marked the advent of a year-round post office, with heat for the winter provided by a large portable heater.

The Post Office relocated once again to the Ricker Cottage when Ellen's husband, John Clark (who was also Police Chief, as many Ocean Parkers will remember from their youth) became Post Master in 1960.

"In the early days of the Post Office (1940's and 50's) the mail came by train and so did the people. There were only about 60 families living here year-round, but every family that had a house here always had a room for rent." Visiting families also stayed longer, often for a month or more. "It was very easy to get to know everybody," said Ellen.

When asked if she thought the Post Office was busier in her day, Ellen was quick to add: "Well everything came by mail in those days." There was no Maine Mall, no Internet. "Of course, today's Post Office handles a lot more big mailing tasks (for example, the Bell Tower) there are many more year-round residents, and a lot more paperwork to fill out - but it has never been quiet in the Post Office over the winter!"

Ellen went on to note that the Post Office "is also a meeting place for year-round residents to touch base with each other every day. Win, Richard, Susan, and Dick do a great job of keeping us informed and amused." Which reminds us all that neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night, (nor summer tourists, nor winter holiday rush) will keep these courageous couriers from swift completion of their appointed duties!

2017 Summer Season