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Window to the past

Post Office’s relic finds new home at museum

Alamance, NC, Post Office employees stand near the historic window unit that was recently donated to a local museum. From left are Officer in Charge Richard Weber; Postmaster Cheryl Leath, who is currently serving as an acting customer experience local operations center manager; and Retail Associate Joshua Morel.

An old postal window unit is being added to a local museum’s collection, thanks to a donation from the Alamance, NC, Post Office.

The unit, which features frosted glass and mail drop slots, is encased in a solid oak frame. It was part of the town’s original Post Office.

When the current Post Office was built in 1988, the old window unit was preserved and displayed in the new building.

At the time, William Vincent, director of the Alamance County Historical Museum, expressed interest in acquiring the display.

“This old piece of furniture is without doubt emblematic of the small rural Post Offices which were once so characteristic of Piedmont North Carolina and is … part of the history of our community and state,” Vincent said.

Earlier this year, Alamance Post Office managers decided to remove the old window display to open more space for customer service.

“It does have historical value and would be a good public relations item for … USPS,” said Richard Weber, the Alamance Post Office’s officer in charge.

Vincent was contacted to see if he was still interested in displaying the unit at his museum. He jumped at the offer.

The Alamance Post Office secured permission from Jenny Lynch, the USPS historian, before making the donation.

Historical equipment and documents are the property of the Postal Service and cannot be donated, sold or otherwise disposed of without permission from the historian’s office. Managers who no longer want to keep postal artifacts at their workplace should email photos and a description of each item to the historian’s office at to obtain guidance.

The Alamance museum, located in Burlington, NC, is building a special case to display and protect the postal window unit.

Said Vincent: “We feel that [the window] should continue to be preserved both as a tribute to postal employees who made the older facility work and as evidence of the history of daily life in Alamance.”

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