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Harrington in Kent County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

First Rural Free Delivery Route

 
 
First Rural Free Delivery Route Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 9, 2010
1. First Rural Free Delivery Route Marker
Inscription.  For many years the National Grange and other organizations interested in the welfare of citizens residing in rural areas advocated the establishment of rural free delivery of mail. In October 1896, the Post Office Department introduced experimental rural delivery in West Virginia. The new service was favorably received, and by June of the following year there were forty-four routes in operation in twenty-nine states.

On October 3, 1898, rural free delivery of mail in Delaware was initiated with the formal establishment of a route originating in Harrington. Joseph G. Peckham was appointed to serve as carrier for the circuit, with an annual salary of $300. The route was seventeen and one quarter miles in length. Approximately 600 families were served.

The establishment of the rural free delivery service resulted in the elimination of many small rural post offices. In 1902 alone, twenty-nine were closed in Delaware. By 1938, some 23,000 offices had been discontinued throughout the United States since the introduction of rural delivery.
 
Erected 1998 by The Delaware Public Archives.
First Rural Free Delivery Route Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 9, 2010
2. First Rural Free Delivery Route Marker
(Marker Number K-61.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Communications. In addition, it is included in the Postal Mail and Philately series list.
 
Location. 38° 55.421′ N, 75° 34.678′ W. Marker is in Harrington, Delaware, in Kent County. Marker is at the intersection of Commerce Street and Clark Street, on the right when traveling north on Commerce Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrington DE 19952, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Clark's Corner (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Delaware State Fair (approx. 0.9 miles away); Harrington (approx. 0.9 miles away); Town of Farmington (approx. 3.7 miles away); Griffith's Chapel (approx. 4.2 miles away); Bethel Methodist Church (approx. 5.3 miles away); Laws Chapel (approx. 5.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrington.
 
First Rural Free Delivery Route Marker, Harrington Post Office image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 9, 2010
3. First Rural Free Delivery Route Marker, Harrington Post Office
at the intersection of Commerce Street and Clark Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 2, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 850 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 4, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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Jul. 9, 2020