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Are Rattlesnake Island Stamps Considered Locals Or Cinderellas?

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Posted 08/28/2020   2:42 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add rlsny to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A box of these came with a recent purchase. Just trying to learn about them at this point. There's a bunch of attractive covers like this, load of mint stamps etc. They don't seem to have a lot of value, but maybe there's a collector out there who'd like them.

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Posted 08/28/2020   3:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Personally, I would call them cinderellas.

Anyone can make labels, put them on an envelope, cancel them, and carry them to the post office with the required postage affixed.
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Posted 08/28/2020   3:26 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The thing is, as I understand it, there was no US postal service to the island. So they got permission to make their own post office and stamps to pay for flying mail off the island. Apparently they had to be placed separate on the envelope from the US postage and there were other rules. But it looks to me like they were used for actual postage. I suspect more were sold for philatelic reasons than postage, but if they were legit for local postal use, I'm still leaning "local".
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Posted 08/28/2020   3:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 08/28/2020   4:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice link redwoodrandy.

In regard to local couriers, governments worldwide have laws defining "if" and "how" they may operate/compete with national postal services. There are many genuine, local "for profit"/business couriers worldwide today. It is next to impossible to keep up with their constant mergers, acquisitions, and dissolutions. For the past ten years, the postal service of Curacao has been "Cpost" a private courier service.

The local posts of philately appear to be creations by and for stamp collectors.
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Edited by bookbndrbob - 08/28/2020 4:21 pm
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Posted 08/28/2020   5:53 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well the forum owner weighed in by moving this to the Cinderellas forum, but I still say they are locals. I'm not asking to move the post, but if the definition of a cinderella is one that cannot be used for postage, then I think these don't qualify. Not that I have an ax to grind. Just a bit of curiosity.
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Posted 08/28/2020   10:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agreed : Locals.

Source : Unknown 2007
Wichita Stamp Club 2007

What Secrets Lie In the Waters of Lake Erie?
By James Renner

Rattlesnake Island - Inhabited by mafioso and European masseuses?

Behind the parking lot for Miller's Ferry, where Route 53 dead-ends into Lake
Erie, is a small wooden bar inside a ramshackle house painted the color of
dead seaweed. This is the Catawba Inn, a watering hole for mainlanders, folks who live here, who winter here. The bar serves Budweiser in plastic pints and cans. The kitchen cooks up a decent perch basket. And if you listen closely to the idle chatter of the old fishermen who frequent this bar, you just might hear a tale or two about a place called Rattlesnake Island. Tales that'll make your skin crawl.

"Tiny knows about Rattlesnake Island," the young bartender says, pointing to
a large man with a white handlebar mustache sitting at the end of the bar,
watching a rerun of Charmed on an old TV.

"No, I don't know anything," says Tiny, shaking his head. He continues
watching his program for a moment. Then, reluctantly, he says, "Unless you
mean about how the mob owns it."

The way Tiny tells it, the Cleveland mafia use Rattlesnake Island as a
hideaway, a place where the dons can live in peace after they retire, without
looking behind their backs every few minutes for old enemies bent on
vengeance. It's the most common rumor concerning the secret island. According
to Tiny, this rumor has legs.

"Something's going on out there," he insists. "I go fishing out by the
island. You can catch some good walleye and perch out near the rattlers. And
sometimes when I'm out there, I've seen men driving golf carts around the
island. Men with machine guns."

Tiny also has a friend who works for a local marina. Sometimes well-dressed
men show up and pay for a chartered boat to take them out to the island. "But
the guys that drive the boat aren't allowed to go anywhere on the island when
they get there. They're not allowed to step foot on the island." Tiny leans
close and lowers his voice. "I've heard that you can do just about anything
you want to on the island, if you know the right people."

THE BEST PLACE to get a good look at Rattlesnake Island is atop Perry's
Victory and International Peace Monument, a Doric column (the world's
largest!) rising 352 feet above Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. For $3, you
can buy an elevator ride to the observation deck where park rangers are
waiting to tell you the story of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and the Battle
of Lake Erie. Look out across the harbor, beyond little Gibraltar Island, and
there it is, twinkling in the sunlight, pretending it's not up to something.

From this angle, you can see an ivory mansion that was built on the lee side,
surrounded by immaculate gardens, beside a small port. Behind it is a small
lighthouse. In the water, just south of the lighthouse are two craggy islets
that vaguely resemble a rattlesnake's rattlers. The whole island is a mere 85

The history of the island is easy to uncover up to a certain point. A
business owner from Toledo purchased it in 1929. He built a small landing
strip for planes, a lodge and the harbor. Then, in 1959, he sold Rattlesnake
to a Cleveland surgeon named James Frackelton and his friend Robert Schull, a
stockbroker. A private post office opened on the island in 1966; the United
States Postal Service was not interested in ferrying mail to and from the
island itself. Islanders designed and printed their own stamps for packages
shipped to the mainland. It remains the only USPS-sanctioned local post
office operating in the United States, and Rattlesnake stamps are coveted by

Dr. Frackelton and Schull sold the island in the '70s, but joined up with 65
private investors who repurchased the property in 1998 for $4.6 million. No
one outside the island knows exactly who the 65 members are. The island is
run by a board of directors now. No one but members, their families or their
invited guests can set foot on Rattlesnake legally. The only information
available to outsiders is limited to a members' Web site set up to give
current rates on yacht dockage and lodging.

The Web site ( offers fleeting glimpses of some of
the private resort's amenities. There's one restaurant on the island, called
the Golden Pheasant Inn, where Chef Galvin will "prepare anything to your
exact wishes." There's also a four-hole golf course, bocce ball courts, a
large pool and Jacuzzi, and massage services, run mostly by young European
women on work-study visas. "Business can mix with pleasure, here," the site

Dr. Frackelton still practices preventative medicine in Westlake. Reached at
his office, he talks briefly and offers to explain some of Rattlesnake's

"It's a beautiful place," the doctor says, simply.

The rumor about the mafia was probably started by the previous owner, he
says, who was upset that people kept coming onto Rattlesnake to steal things.
The closest lawman was located on Put-in-Bay and by the time he could get to
the island, the bandits were always long gone. Once people heard the mob was
on the island, they didn't really want to sneak onto it.
"The caretaker also started carrying a shotgun full of rock salt," he says.
"If you get that in your butt, you're gonna feel it for awhile."

Then he grows quiet, like the old man in the bar. When Dr. Frackelton speaks
again, his voice is wistful, nostalgic and eerie. "Just like any place in
this world, gangsters have gone there for a day or two, but that's really not
the case anymore."

What? What does that mean?

"I hesitate to say too much," he says. "I'm the postmaster general there now.
I'm not the head honcho. Talk to Buddy, he's the president of the board."

"Buddy" is John Koch, former chairman and CEO of Charter One Financial, Inc.
He could not be reached for comment. Calls to the island are answered by
caretaker Keith Folk. When asked for a tour, he laughs and says, "We don't
need the advertisement." He dares Free Times to find a way on the island.

THE CLOSEST WE GOT was the pier on Put-in-Bay, where dockkeepers shudder at
the mere mention of Rattlesnake Island.

"I've heard things," the manager says as he scrapes wet grass from under a
large lawnmower. "Big parties out there. But I don't want to talk about it. I
don't want my name to get out there."

No boat owners will take a reporter over to the island. One captain has taken
supplies over to Rattlesnake before and was not permitted beyond the docks.
It creeped him out. "It's locked up tight," he says.

The local police have jurisdiction over Rattlesnake, but according to the
officer on duty, no one has ever reported a crime. And he's never been to the
island himself.

A young manager at the Boardwalk, a monstrous restaurant and bar near
Put-in-Bay harbor, is a little more helpful. She doesn't want us to use her
name; her friend's father is one of the 65 shadowy members and she doesn't
want to get in trouble. She's been to the island. She's seen it herself.

"There are some very, very wealthy people involved with the island," she
says, looking around to see if anyone is close enough to eavesdrop. "I can't
name names but I was out there for a wedding and wow it was, it was
amazing. Members can call up that restaurant anytime, you know? They can call
and order rock lobster from some specific part of Maine and they'll have it
ready for them. The parties there are amazing. But I don't want to say too
much about it. Anything can happen on the island. And what happens on
Rattlesnake Island stays on Rattlesnake Island."

It seems some mysteries, like Catawba vineyard grapes, only get sweeter over
> Volume 15, Issue 3
> Published May 23rd, 2007

Dr. Frackelton was one of the owners of the Cleveland Stamp & Coin
Co., where I worked in the mid-1960s. He never had much time to spend
with the business, however, as he had his own very busy medical
practice. There was a somewhat legitimate need for the Local Post,
however. As the article states, the Postal Service refused to deliver
mail to the island, which had a post office box in Put-In-Bay.
Passengers and mail were delivered to the island in an old classic
Ford Tri-Motor plane which (as I recall) flew from Toledo, although it
was also a regular in Cleveland. Some of the local stamps picture that
plane. Frackelton sort of implied that all there was on the island was
an old hunting lodge, although there wasn't much left to hunt. The
rattlesnakes had been killed off decades before.

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Edited by rod222 - 08/28/2020 10:32 pm
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Posted 08/04/2022   03:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add RILP 2022 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello all, If anyone is interested in Rattlesnake Island Local Post,
A relaunch of the RILP is in the works. The First Day of Issue for the
triangle stamps is Nov. 10, 2022. The mail will once again be flown to
the original airfield on State RD. in Port Clinton such was done from 1966-1989. Griffing Flying Service no longer operates out of Sandusky as they did during the 2005-2010 RILP issues. Rattlesnake Island still does
not have mail service from the USPS, despite the other 3 neighboring Bass Islands do. The discussion as to RILP being a Local Post or not can be debated. There is an monetary agreement with the Griffing Flying specifcally for handling mail to and from Rattlesnake Island and having the USPS route carrier then pick it up and take it to the Port Clinton Post Office. Because of the limited amount of mail, Griffing does not make dedicated daily mail runs. Rather as they fly passengers and other freight on and off the island they handle the mail then. So it can stay on the island or stay at the Port Clinton airport a few days until a flight is needed.
So, instead of billing the people sending or receiving mail directly the full cost, the stamps are used to lessen the mail cost, especially as many of the stamps are collected. (Just as the USPS hopes collectors by and hold their stamps to help lessen the deep dark red ink of their budget)

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Posted 10/31/2022   12:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add RILP 2022 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The relaunch of Rattlesnake Island Local Post is Nov. 10th, 2022.

For more info RILP.ORG

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