VASSALBORO — The post office has been a hub of East Vassalboro village for 184 years.

Relief postmaster Jason Stockmar contrasts it with the main post office in Augusta, where he’s a frequent customer:

In Augusta, he says, the clerks are doing their jobs and the patrons are there for business. In East Vassalboro, people on both sides of the counter are renewing friendships and catching up on local news.

Stockmar fills in for relief postmaster Pam McLaughlin Saturday mornings and whenever else McLaughlin is not available.

He enjoys the job, his first assignment with the Postal Service.

“Everyone is so nice, very understanding, very accommodating,” he said.


People include him in their conversations about what’s new in town. After only a month on the job, he’s already thinking of many patrons as friends.

The same is even more true of McLaughlin, he said. “Everyone knows Pam, and she knows everyone.”

Stockmar sees East Vassalboro as a community where people know and care about their neighbors, and where everyone cares about the post office. He estimates half the patrons walk rather than drive to the small office.

In addition to those for whom getting the mail is the point of a trip, fellow tenants in the apartment building pop in more than once a day to say hello, and other people take a post office break on their daily walks.

Stockmar said the post office has 113 mailboxes. Fewer than two dozen are unused, he said.

His job includes mailing packages — on average, five or so a day, but he remembers one day he sent out 18.


He sells pre-stamped envelopes and cards and the popular Priority Mail boxes. He answers questions about postal rules — such as what kinds of things can legally be mailed.

McLaughlin and Stockmar are continuing a tradition started in 1827, when, according to Alma Pierce Robbins’s “History of Vassalborough Maine,” the town’s third and fourth post offices opened in South and East Vassalboro.

Amos Stickney’s report from the new East Vassalboro post office said the village was called “the Outlet of Twelve Mile Pond,” Twelve Mile Pond being the old name of China Lake. The post office building was about 10 rods west of Outlet Stream, he wrote.

Getchell’s Corner Post Office was the town’s first, in operation by April 1, 1796, and still open today. North Vassalboro’s post office, also still in operation, opened in 1828.

A post office opened in Benjamin Brown’s store near Seven Mile Stream, in southwestern Vassalboro, in 1817. It was moved a short distance north to Riverside in 1866 and closed in 1911.

There was also a post office on Cross Hill from 1860 to 1902. The South Vassalboro office was discontinued in 1903.

Mary Grow is a Kennebec Journal correspondent who lives in China.

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