Post Offices in Moultonborough

by Marion Goodwin

   Besides the current U.S. Post Office, now located in the center of town, there were five other U.S. Post Offices that served the town’s people from 1832 to 1964. These five offices were open for various periods of time.

    The first, was the known as the East Moultonborough office, and it came under the jurisdiction of Strafford County. This Post Office was located in the now red house at 465 Governor Wentworth Highway, which is located at the intersection of Route 109 and Route 171. This was the home of Bill and Nancy Depuy for several years, and is now the home of David and Pamela Abraham.

    It may have been located there to serve the settlement near State’s Landing. The U.S. Postal Service gives no date when it transferred this office to be under Carroll County, except that it was between the years 1840 and 1861. This office served the people between June 1832 and March 1871. The Postmasters were George R. Mason, Benjamin Caverly, Edward Shaw, and Jeremiah Libbey.

    The next office was located on the now Route 25, just west of the Red Hill Cabins, known as the Red Hill Post Office. It was located in the house to be known as the Harry Richardson family home. This office was only operated for five years, between August 1874 to June 1879. The Postmasters were John S. Moulton, Nathan G. Goodwin, and Frank F. Green.

    The third office was established for 40 years, known as the Long Island Post Office, located in the Long Island Inn. Of the seven Postmasters that served this office, five were related to Barbara Brown Austin. Barbara and her husband Wilber, also call the same house home. The Postmasters who served between May 1878 and January 1917: George F. Brown, Otis D. Folsom, Lillie L. Brown, George K. Brown, Sarah F. Brown, Harry E. Brown (Barbara’s father), and Mary E. Blake. Mary Blake closed the office and the mail was transferred to the Center Harbor Post Office for delivery.

    There was no bridge when the Long Island Post Office was opened, so the mail was delivered by boat at Brown’s Wharf. Later the mail was delivered by a “Beach Wagon” truck to the Long Island Inn.

Click on picture to enlarge

    At the corner of Moultonborough Neck Road and Ferry Road, was the Jim Day house, and where the Lake View Post Office was located and opened on July 18, 1884. This office would process mail for twenty five years. This same house later became the summer home of Sue Calendar and her mother. There were six Postmasters who served during these 25 years: Harriet A. Dow, Chanie B. Smith, Mary A. Day, Ella M. Smith, Mattie M. Smith, and Edwin L. Smith. On October 15, 1909, Edwin Smith closed the office and this mail was also transferred to the Center Harbor Post Office for processing.

    The last of the five post offices, was located on the now gone Beede Farm on Winaukee Road, towards the end of Moultonborough Neck. This office known as the Winnipesaukee Post Office. This office was about in the middle between the Lake View Post Office and the Long Island Post Office, which only a few miles apart from each other at that. The office opened was opened on April 24, 1907, but the Postmaster appointed never served and no name was given in the records. Two months later, on June 22, 1907, and Joseph Coleman Blair Jr. was appointed Postmaster and the office was officially operating.

    The Winnipesaukee Post Office processed mail until April 29, 1916, with two other Postmasters besides Joe Blair. Grace E. Van Sinden and then Jared A. Greene, who closed the office that April and the mail was transferred to the Long Island Post Office for processing.

    This closing only lasted a little over seven months when it was reopened with a new Postmaster, Sarah R. Keirstead, on December 11, 1916. One might find this strange that it would be closed during the good weather months and then open again in the harsh weather months. It’s possible they did some refurbishment during this time, but the records do not tell us.

   The Winnipesaukee Post Office this time remained open for forty eight years. Besides Sarah Keirstead, there were four other Postmasters: Charles W. Davis, Winfield M. Aldrich, Mrs. Florence C. Beede, and Mrs. Cynthia W. Brown. Oddly enough, Winfield Aldrich was an Acting Postmaster two months before being officially appointed, and Cynthia Brown was Acting Postmaster, during World War II, for eleven months before receiving her official appointment.

    The last Postmaster who closed the Winnipesaukee Post Office, on December 4, 1964, Hollis J. Eaves, was Acting Postmaster and never officially appointed Postmaster. Hollis only served a little over two weeks to fill in after Cynthia Brown retired, having more than twenty years with the U.S. Postal Service. This mail too, was transferred to the Center Harbor Post Office for processing, and is why the Neck and the west end of town have their mail processed at the Center Harbor Post Office today.