Welcome to the oldest continuously operating post office in the United States. Processing post for over two centuries, the Hinsdale Post Office has so much more to offer than your average stamp-seller.
Going all the way back to 1816, the first postmaster of Hinsdale, Nathan Babbitt, had the structure constructed to serve as a central hub for the growing town. In an almost prescient move, Babbit built out a bit more space than he actually needed. Over the past two centuries, the post office has operated out of the front corner of the building, sharing space with a general store, a barbershop, and a revolving door of other businesses. But today, the operation has expanded and the postmaster now presides over the entire first floor.
While there are a few other offices in America that may be able to trace their roots back farther than in Hinsdale, the Community here has made it a mainstay, allowing the postal service to remain in its original home. It turns out that the post office doesn’t even own the building, but rather rents the first floor! Knowing the historic value and the hassle of possibly having to take down the “Nations’ Oldest Continuously Operating Post Office building Since 1816” sign, current post workers in Hinsdale aren’t worried with that lease running out anytime soon.
In 2016, the community hub celebrated 200 years of service to Hinsdale. Having survived two burglaries, major changes of the 21st century mail system, and a fire that took out the town hall next door at the turn of the century, this post office and its old brass mailboxes look set to “continuously operate” for centuries to come.
Written by: Seamus McMahon