Early Postal Service in Sandwich - Part 2

Mail Service in Sandwich in the 1800s

By Kaethe O’Keefe Maguire - FOSTA President

By the time of the 1812 War with Britain the post still only arrived once a week in Sandwich. With the growing population and the beginning of various small businesses on Cape Cod mail was delivered 3 times a week by 1820. [1]  With the burgeoning industry of Deming Jarves’  Boston and Sandwich Glass Works, beginning in 1825 the demand for a more frequent postal service erupted. 

Beginning in 1830 Joseph Hall kept a small post office, general store and tavern at 108 Old County Road in East Sandwich.

In this 1898 photo above by Delia Nye, we see her mother, Ruth Nye.

In 1830 he advertised his new tavern on this spot as “The Commodious House”. He guaranteed good entertainment!

Below are two photos, left and right, of the home of Miss Sally Cozzen and the Spring Hill Post Office where she was post mistress. The 3/4 Cape was moved to this location from the Joseph Hall property (above) which was eventually divided up. The 379 Route 6A home was eventually owned by the Cullity family for 39 years ending in 2000. 

The Cullity’s bought the structure shown on the right, also from the divided Joseph Hall property on Old County Road, in 1961. The building was moved many times and in 1962 it was moved to the area of Sandy Neck Road.

 

Still owned by the Cullity family, from there it was moved once more to it current location on 379 Route 6A and served as a well-known antique shop.[2] run by Rosanna Cullity. Sadly now under different ownership it is a bad state of neglect.

With the beginning of various buildings used as post offices in town, including private homes. The position of post master, and later post mistress, was added to the rolls of possible paying jobs. By 1831 there were several postal agents in town. You will recognize many of the old Sandwich names among the following.

 

  • In West Sandwich, now Bourne, there was Benjamin Burgess.

  • In Sandwich Village there was William H. Fessenden*.

  • As reported earlier, in East Sandwich there was Joseph Hall.   

  • In South Sandwich there was Lemuel Ewer.

  • In Pocasset (now Bourne) there was Hercules Weston and finally

  • In Monument (now Bourne) there was Elisha Perry. [3]

The post office became the center of life for the residents of Sandwich. If you were looking for a job, you applied at the local post office. If you wanted to catch up on the latest town news, or gossip, you visited your post office. There was even a pecking order of where you had to stand when you wanted to hang around the local post office. Children were relegated to the fringes of the tight space.

 

In 1836 the Barnstable Patriot reported that an ad for a black smith and wheel wright was advertised the applicants were told to apply to the Sandwich Post Office (not specifying which one). [4]

[1] [1] Russell A Lovell Jr. Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town. pp. 232-243.

[2] Rosanna and John Nye Cullity, A Sandwich Album. 1987.

[3] Lovell, p. 243.

[4] The Barnstable Patriot, 16 Nove

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