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Alaska Postal History Question: Where Was The Richardson Post Office In 1914?

 
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Pillar Of The Community

United States
815 Posts
Posted 03/09/2021   7:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I am speaking of the Richardson, AK Post Office which was open in 1914 as shown below. This is not the 'present-ish' day military Fort Richardson which recently merged and change its name near Anchorage.

The July 1914 USPOD Official Postal Guide lists the post office as being in the "east" portion of the state, with the five division being N, S, E, W and C(entral). It may have been 30 miles north of Delta Junction but that fleck of came from a sentence fragment offered up by Mr. G Search.

Postmarks of Territorial Alaska 4th Ed. (2020), by Michael Senta, M.D. lists five cancellation periods, from 1906 to 1943 with period 2 being 10-30-1911 to 6-15-1932 with a rarity of 5 on a 9 scale.

So, did it move over time and of more interest, can someone circa 1914 point to it on a map with good detail. For bonus adulation from the readers, can you post or link something written about the town? Photos will be provided appropriate oohs and aahs.

My best reward for the information I can give, is a promise to post the other side of the item which did not clearly show the name.

[Moderator, move if you wish, I posted here as "where is/was the town" seems a general, non-stamp issue specific postal history question.]


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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 03/09/2021 7:39 pm

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United States
503 Posts
Posted 03/09/2021   8:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hoosierboy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have you looked in?

PO location records now on-line at the National Archives "Reports of Site Locations, 1837 - 1950", M1126, as National Archives Identifier: 608210 with a link to the initial page being,
-- https://catalog.archives.gov/search...210&sotmp=no
The records are alphabetical by state, then county, then office.

There are numerious sites on the web showing period Alaska maps. Hopefully, your quest will be successful. Enjoy the journey.
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Edited by hoosierboy - 03/09/2021 8:54 pm
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Canada
1234 Posts
Posted 03/09/2021   11:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add No1philatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting cross border tag. From Alaska to Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada. Well travelled piece, also passing through customs, and hopefully covered with stamps and several cancellations on reverse showing its path along its trans continental journey.
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Edited by No1philatelist - 03/09/2021 11:06 pm
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Japan
2478 Posts
Posted 03/09/2021   11:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PostmasterGS to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Richardson was about here.

According to this site, there is nothing left but an old garage, which you can see on the NE side of the highway. There was a gas station and roadhouse there as recent as a the 1990s, but the gas pumps were removed in the 1990s and the roadhouse was taken down in 2011. If you open this same location in Google Earth and access it's older aerial imagery, you can still see the roadhouse in the 1996 imagery.

And BTW, Falling Rain is where I found the coordinates. It's very good at listing older, smaller places, even if they're no longer census designated.
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Edited by PostmasterGS - 03/10/2021 12:25 am
Pillar Of The Community
United States
815 Posts
Posted 03/10/2021   12:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the link and information advisement. It is a new tool for me. It is very useful for other searches.

I will post the official map here and will post the front side of the map sheet in a next post.

However, as soon as you wrote, "The records are alphabetical by state, then county, then office" I knew you were being helpful but had little clue.

Alaska had no counties and as such was not included in the Post Offices by State and County list. That is also why the State and alphabetic list excluded county reference and indication if a county seat but gave only the N-S-E-W-C section of the state reference. Additionally the Parcel Post Quadrants (30' x 30') for determining zones were not used in Alaska. Anything to, from or within Alaska was Zone 8. Alaska was divided up as judicial districts, four of them. You won't find that on normal maps (LOL).

The official hand drawn map listed just one other town which is also lost to history and a useless point of reference.

What was useful was "Banner Creek" and after review of four or five maps, that is a named creek which shows on current maps such that I can say the post office in 1914 was at: 6417'22.3"N 14621'05.4"W
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
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Posted 03/10/2021   12:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is the front side of the mapping sheet. Note the forward thinking term used, "air-line distance" just four years after Kitty Hawk and the Wright boys.

The best part of this side in not what it included, but all the blanks that did not apply. (And folks wonder why city slickers and country bumpkins may see things differently.)

Still hoping for photos (picture postcards) or text descriptions of the town.

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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 03/10/2021 01:44 am
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Posted 03/10/2021   01:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The coordinates just given sent me to my favorite antique atlas for its incredible detail of small towns. "1920 New World Atlas" on the cover, title page missing, so unfortunately, I can't give an exact citation, although the Alaska map on page 38 is copyrighted by C.S. Hammond.

Map of Alaska with arrow pointing to Richardson:


And close-up. Richardson very close to center, Fairbanks downriver to the left, Washburn just across the river to the SW. Longitude lines are at 144 (right) and 148 (left), Latitude at 64.
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Edited by John Becker - 03/10/2021 01:23 am
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Posted 03/10/2021   01:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, it took some time to assemble my two posts and when I was done two others had appeared. I thank PostmasterGS for the text and drawing links. You were close to the mark but I coordinates are based upon an 1908 USGS Topographic map with the building placed. I was consistent with the hand-drawn official location map. You get the credit for triggering the other side of the item being shown. As No1philatelist guessed the other side is shockingly nice eye candy. But complicated and does not obviously rate out. Now to explain:

Insured Parcel Post in Canada (domestic) did not start until 1921. From the point of view of a US collector, Canada was the first country with which the USA exchanged Insured Parcel Post beginning 1-1-1923. It was also the first foreign country to which parcel post could be set Insured. So the "Insurance Tag only went along for the ride as a way to attach the postage stamps. In 1914 insurance had two levels, $25/$50; 5/10 cents.

Parcel Post to Canada was limited to just 4 pounds, 8 ounces which needed to be rounded up to five pounds. PP Postage to Canada was 12 Cents per pound or fractions (US Domestic Zone 8 rates). So, 5 x .12 = 60 Cents. The other $1.06 can be explained even with 10 cents for registration (only indemnity offered for foreign parcel post from USA).

Oh, oh, I know, $1.66 would pay for 83 ounces of (first class) letter rate matter at 2 cents per ounce; 78 ounces if a dime was used for registration. BUT, the (first class) letter weight limit was only 4 pounds 8 ounces, 72 ounces max.

Now in the USA in some larger cities multiple packages charged individually went in to the same postal bag for delivery to the same recipient with total postage affixed to the bag. In some cases one registration fee was paid or insurance was paid and by postal rule treated as registered due to the special specific contents such as dead money or coin.

Now I doubt this was how this tag was used even if 13 pounds (some combination of parcel rounded up to the next full pound, but not over 4.5 actual pounds totaling 13 pounds) plus one registration charge (a dime). That is 13 x .12= $1.56 + .10 makes $1.66.

All that said, sometimes all you need, or can do is drop the item on the table or mount it in a frame so everyone can just look and say, "wow."

{Note to John Becker: After I read your post I did a two handed facepalm. I flat forgot all the 1913-1918 Atlases I own which included Parcel Post Rate information. Now where did I put them in my stamp office clean up and reorganization????? }


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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 03/10/2021 01:42 am
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Posted 03/10/2021   01:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would treat postal information printed in an atlas as a secondary source to be used only to point you to the existence of primary sources among postal publications.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
815 Posts
Posted 03/10/2021   03:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John, I fully agree. That is why I have a full digitized run of the USPOD Official Postal Guides, annual and monthly or other frequency as issued. I have hard copies in certain time periods as well, the PL&Rs too.

Back to the map, after I verify accuracy, I rather use the atlas maps rather than my official original multi-color beautiful parcel post quadrant maps. (This is coming from someone with graduate level topographic map interpretation courses from UC Berkeley who views some of the early 20th century topographic maps beautiful art.)

BTW Even the end page quadrant map in the B&W US Domestic Rate book editions was a reproduction of a third party printed map. The original USPOD maps are tough to find.
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