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Early Postal Service in Sandwich - Part 7

Annie Attaquin Pocknett

By Kaethe O’Keefe Maguire


Taken from an article in the ,,,,

That name sounds crude now, but in the 1920s or so that is what people called this remarkable woman who not only delivered the mail back and forth between Forestdale and Mashpee in her own car, wearing out 3 of them, but served as her own mechanic and tire changer and worked in Forestdale pumping gas as well! [1] Annie began delivering the mail in 1913 when she was 47 years old.

The old adage that neither sleet or snow will keep the mail from being delivered was certainly true of Annie. The roads were dirt then, so think of roads that were sometimes muddy, or frozen in ruts or covered in snow! Annie never missed the train to pick up the mail in all her years.


Anna J. Attaquin was born in September of 1867 in Mashpee and died in February of 1940.  Married at 19 to Willard Pocknett, she not only worked outside the home but somehow raised 7 living children with her husband Willard, who was 22 when they married on the 15th of November in 1885.[2]

Annie and Willard  also fostered many children in need of a stable loving home. At the time of the 1910 Federal Census when Annie was 43 years old they had 17 children living with them.

Annie and Willard certainly had their own hard times. They lost three of their biological  children, having had 10 in all, at very young ages due to illness. Two of the children died of scarlet fever within one month of each other. [3]


The Pocknett’s, Burke’s and Crocker’s were always associated with the Forestdale Post office. In an interview in July of 2017 with Joan Russell Osgood,  Connie Crocker Carr, a former Post Mistress herself,  reported that at the time of our 375th anniversary of the incorporation of Sandwich as a town, a Pocknett grandson was then post master of the Forestdale post office.


The Forestdale Post Office opened in 1885, the last to open in Sandwich. At that time Forestdale was known as Greenville. [4]


Annie Attaquin Pocknett


[1] U.S. City Directories for 1822-1995.

[2] Federal Census for 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

Massachusetts Marriages Records  1840-1915.

[3] Massachusetts Death Records. 1888.

[4] Written document undated by Archivist Barbara L. Gill found in the Sandwich Town Archives.

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