by Mike Hays It’s unclear why the Nyack Postal Service chose April 1, 1899 as the day to switch from having villagers picking up Mail at a post office to home delivery. At Nyack’s first post office, letters were put in a cigar box in Van Houten’s store at Upper Nyack Landing. Residents picked through the box to find their mail. For that first delivery, many things had to fall into place neatly: each home needed a systemized street address; mail carriers had to be hired; uniforms had to be ordered; and mail routes had to be drawn. It’s a small wonder that confusion would reign. One of the many villagers named Blauvelt might get another Blauvelt’s mail. How was a postman to find a house without a posted address? Where did carriers leave mail in a time when mailboxes and mail slots didn’t exist? The story of that first day when carriers stepped out in matching gray suits and jaunty hats is, yes, a series of small April Fool’s Day jokes. But more so, it's a lesson in the dawning of 20th century consumer convenience.
Nyack People & Places: The First Day of Home Mail Delivery
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