Submitted by DANIELLE J. LANG, Post Office Worker
You know them to see them… the white trucks and the blue uniforms. Sometimes, you know their names. Sometimes, you know their backstories, their hobbies or their families. Sometimes, they’re just part of the landscape. Regardless of how well you know them, they are your carriers, your clerks, your Beaver Post Office.
Everyone has a mail carrier, whether they deliver by truck or on foot, by bicycle or by mule. You rely on them to deliver your medicine, your packages, your greeting cards and yes, even your bills. But, behind every day’s delivery is a finely tuned machine that gets your mail to you in a timely fashion.
Your Beaver Post Office consists of 14 mail routes, including Beaver, Vanport, Bridgewater and Brighton Township. Of the 14 routes, 4 are rural routes and 10 are city routes. Your Beaver Post Office also employs 27 people, including 1 Postmaster, 1 Supervisor, 1 Maintenance Technician, 4 Clerks, 6 Rural Delivery Carriers and 14 City Carriers. Each employee plays their part to ensure that every piece of mail and every parcel arrives at your doorstep or mailbox. The opening clerks arrive at 4:00 a.m. to begin the day’s tasks. They are then joined by the supervisor and fellow clerks at 6:00 a.m., rural carriers at 7:00 a.m. and city carriers at 7:30 a.m. A typical morning at your Beaver Post Office comprises of the sorting of mail and packages by all employees in the office.
Each piece of mail is first sorted by a clerk by route and then handed to each carrier to sort by individual address. Parcels are sorted in the same fashion; first by route and then by address. Once sorted, each carrier gathers the day’s mail and parcels, loads their truck (or mail cart) and begins the day’s deliveries, typically between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. The front window of your Beaver Post Office opens at 8:30 a.m. At that time, your clerks are ready to assist you with stamps and packages, Certified letters, Registered letters, Express mail, to process passport applications or change of address orders, to pick up your hold mail or to simply answer a question. A typical day for your clerks consists of assisting you, the customer, with your needs, receiving and sorting package drop-offs from UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon, etc., sorting mail into the Post Office Boxes, sorting outgoing mail and guarding the safety of mail and packages. The Postmaster and Supervisor are on hand to answer questions, solve problems and to manage the day’s deliveries. The Maintenance Technician ensures that your Beaver Post Office remains a clean and safe environment for employees and for you.
A typical carrier’s day includes delivering your mail and parcels to you, in all types of weather, and collecting outgoing mail from collection boxes, businesses and from your mailbox. Mail delivery routes in Beaver range from 496 to 688 deliveries, averaging 18 to 33 parcels and 1300 to 2300 pieces of mail per route daily. Most rural carriers arrive back to the office between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. City Carriers are expected back to the office from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. The front window of your Beaver Post Office closes at 4:30 on weekdays and 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Trucks arrive to pick up outgoing mail from your Beaver Post Office 5 times daily, with the final truck arriving at 6:00 p.m. which concludes the day’s activities
Christmas season at your Beaver Post Office is a very busy and frantic time of year. A typical day for an employee at your Beaver Post Office is generally longer and more difficult. The USPS prides themselves on their ability to handle their peak season with accuracy and dependability, using the slogan “This is our season” in many of their holiday advertisements. During an average Christmas season, your Beaver Post Office processes and delivers 1,141,000 pieces of mail and 93,000 parcels.
The United States Postal Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin being appointed as the first Postmaster General. Your Beaver Post Office began operations in 1828. The first Beaver Post Office location is unknown, but documents dating back to 1898 record that the Post Office was situated on E. End Ave inside the train station, as was common in those days. Before moving to its current location at 777 Corporation Street in 1957, the Post Office operated at 671 3rd Street, which is now Huntington Bank. The first Beaver Postmaster is also unknown, but a woman, by the name of Dr. Mary McGaffick, was Postmaster in 1870, according to a ledger on file in the current Postmaster’s office.
Today, the bulk of your mail and parcels are sorted by machine, but before automation began in 1957, all mail was sorted by hand, resulting in longer mornings in the office for carriers and shorter delivery routes. In today’s times, mail volume has decreased, and parcel volume has increased. In 2014, the USPS began delivering parcels for Amazon.com on Sundays. In 2019, UPS added their packages to Sunday deliveries.
Parcels have always been included with the USPS’s deliveries. Even today, postal regulations allow the mailing of live animals, including poultry, reptiles and bees, under certain conditions.
Your Beaver Post Office is funded by you! Your purchase of stamps, delivery services, retail products, etc. allows your carriers and clerks to serve you 365 days a year…through snow and rain and heat and dark of night…and even through a pandemic!
Did You Know?
- Your mail carrier can deliver stamps to your home or business. With the Stamps by Mail program, you can request a Stamps by Mail form through your Beaver Post Office by calling 724-775-4068 or by leaving a written request with a check/money order or cash for your carrier with the type and amount of stamps you would like, and they will deliver your stamps to you the following day. First class letter stamps currently cost $0.58, and first class postcard stamps are $0.40. Stamps can also be purchased online at store.usps.com/stamps.
- Carriers can pick up packages from your home or business provided that a prepaid postage label has already been attached. Package pick-up requests can be scheduled online at tools.usps.com/ schedule-pickup-steps.htm
- The USPS offers Informed Delivery which provides a digital preview of your incoming mail scheduled to arrive soon directly to your email. Sign up for Informed Delivery at informeddelivery.usps.com
- Post Office boxes are available in various sizes ranging from $90 to $300 a year. A box can be rented by visiting your Beaver Post Office during regular business hours, M-F 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Passport applications can be processed at your Beaver Post Office, including having your photo taken. Call the office to schedule an appointment.
- Gift cards, greeting cards and decorative mailing boxes are available for purchase at your Beaver Post Office.
- There are 12 collection boxes scattered throughout Beaver, Vanport, Bridgewater and Brighton Township with 4 additional boxes located at your Beaver Post Office. Your carrier can also pick up outgoing mail from your home or business. The collection boxes are blue in color. The green mailboxes are called relay boxes, or storage boxes, and are used for storing mail for certain routes.
- With winter approaching, it’s imperative that your mailbox, walkway, steps and porch be cleared of snow and ice. Your carrier’s safety depends on it. If your carrier does not feel safe delivering to your mailbox, they are not required to do so.
- Dogs should always be restrained by chain or fence or other means. If your carrier doesn’t feel safe around your dog, they may hold your mail.
- Your mailbox may not be relocated without first receiving permission from your carrier or your Beaver Postmaster, Richard Rowe.
- National Thank a Mail Carrier Day is February 4th and National Postal Worker Day is July 1st.