Post Office

By dhowell - Posted on 28 December 2007

Marvin Kirk has recently been appointed Manchester's 17th postmaster. Preceding him were Alanson Harvey Gilbert, James Fargo, Barnabus Case, Lorenzo Higgins, William Root, Alanson Case, Hull Goodyear, Chauncey Walbridge (who served for 25 years starting in 1861), John Nestell, Marcus Case, Thadeus Bailey, Nathaniel Schmidt, Frank Koebbe, Frank Leeson, Albert Lowery and George Merriman.

On June 1, 1959, the new post office opened its doors for business in its new location a block north of Main Street off Clinton St. to Madison. For the first time in the town's history, the post office could boast of a building erected specifically for its use. Services at the old office on Main St. had outgrown the building, which lacked adequate facilities for loading.

The Knights of Columbus started construction on the 30 x 50 foot KC hail in December, 1958. L. V. Kirk was KC building chairman. General contractor, was Wilbur Shadley. KC members checked in nightly to put in long hours of volunteer help.

The modern structure has some 500 lock boxes, a tile floor lobby, working area covered with inlaid linoleum and air conditioning. The government has leased the building for 10 years with an additional 10-year option.

In the midst of moving, showing patrons how to open new boxes and sorting mail, Postmaster Merriman was a bit chagrined to find a pail of paint had been sent through the mail-minus a cover.

It is much different from the early transportation of mail, for more than a century divides the stage coach line of Hibbard and Hubbard of Jackson back in 1854 with today's mail distribution. In those days Manchester was on the direct daily route from Detroit to Jackson. Four horses would come prancing up to the hotel (where Grossman-Huber station now stands) and coachmen would blow their horns and with a flourish throw off the mail sack. In those days there were no sidewalks.

When the first post office was established there were no envelopes and postage was 25 cents. The first post office in the village was established in the 1830s with Harvey Gilbert the postmaster.