Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Black Rock in Randolph County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

First Postal Stop

 

— Davidsonville Historic State Park —

 
First Postal Stop Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
1. First Postal Stop Marker
Inscription.  
Routes Established
The U.S. Congress established post roads in the late 1700s, which were the routes that carried mail throughout the country and into the distant territories. Having a postal stop in one's town was very desirable, bringing people from surrounding communities.

Postal Route 407
Mail went regularly back and forth from the territorial capital of St. Louis to Washington, D.C. Davidsonville became the first postal stop in Arkansas, on Postal Route 407, on which mail traveled from St. Louis to Davidsonville, and on to Arkansas Post.

First Postmaster
Davidsonville's first postmaster was Adam Ritchey, who was appointed in 1817. Rather than having a separate post office, as we do today, the mail was delivered to Ritchey at his home or business. People came to Ritchey's location to pick up their mail, and the postage was paid at that time.

The mail ran about once a month. Riders carried the mail in portmanteaus (leather cases) or saddlebags. Riders were hired on contract and sometimes faced difficulties - such as floods or bad roads - in getting mail delivered.

"I

Marker in front of "ghost" structure believed to be area of Post Office. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 3, 2021
2. Marker in front of "ghost" structure believed to be area of Post Office.
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this page online
traveled through part of the frontier districts of the United States in a sort of open cart called the mail coach. We went at a great pace day and night along roads that had only just been cleared through immense forests of green trees; when the darkness became inpenetrable, our driver set fire to branches of larch, by whose light we continued our way. From time to time we came to a hut in the forest; that was the post office. The courier dropped an enormous bundle of letters at the door of this isolated dwelling, and we went galloping on again, leaving each inhabitant of the neighborhood to come and fetch his share of that treasure.”

Alexis de Tocqueville,
Democracy in America, 1831-1832

[Photo captions]:
Mail was delivered in a leather bag to the house of the postmaster. (Photo by: Joan L. Gould, Hart's Square, Hickory, North Carolina.)
The postmaster sorted letters into the desk's mail slots for pick up by county residents. (Photo by: Joan L. Gould, Hart's Square, Hickory, North Carolina.)
Alexis de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian who visited America in the early 1800s.

 
Erected by the State of Arkansas.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1817.
 
Location.

Map showing Public Square and park trails. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 12, 2021
3. Map showing Public Square and park trails.
36° 9.252′ N, 91° 3.326′ W. Marker is near Black Rock, Arkansas, in Randolph County. Marker can be reached from Arkansas Route 166 0.6 miles south of Arkansas Highway 361. Located 11 miles south of Pocahontas and within the Davidsonville Historic State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8047 Hwy 166 S, Pocahontas AR 72455, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Private Residence / Post Office (a few steps from this marker); Decline and Abandonment (within shouting distance of this marker); House Lots (within shouting distance of this marker); Davidsonville's Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Archeology Uncovers the Past (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Oldest Town Site in Arkansas (within shouting distance of this marker); County Seat Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Black Rock.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 28 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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May. 6, 2021