Singing the Post Office Blues

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There’s been a post office in Ward, Colorado, since 1863, and it’s currently housed in an 1898 schoolhouse that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.   Ward's post office is being studied for closure under the Retail Access Optimization Initiative, and it’s had the community meeting and gone through a comment period.  Ward is now waiting to hear its fate.

Ward is a mountain town near Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park.  It sees plenty of snow, and if the post office closes, it’s a half hour drive (each way) on icy, windy mountain roads to the next nearest post office in Jamestown.

Ward was one of the richest towns in Colorado during the Gold Rush, but a fire in 1901 destroyed many of its buildings, and by the 1920s it was largely deserted.  The Peak-to-Peak Highway in the 1930s led to a revival, and in the 60s Ward was discovered by the Hippies.  Though Ward’s official population is about 150, the post office has about 400 customers.  Many live outside of town and some run businesses from their homes, so losing the post office would be devastating.

The video was made by Arthur Bradley Grimm, and it features Robb Candler on guitar and vocals by Becky Martinek.

(Photo credit: Ward post office.  For more on the history, see the Daily Camera and wikipedia, and for the fight to save the post office, here and here.  And by the way, if you liked this video, check out "There Used to Be a Post Office Here," a spoken word piece by Kent Rosenwald, musician and former letter carrier.)

 

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