Inside the Steinauer Heritage House

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Hello all, Benny here.

I enjoyed the Steinauer Heritage House article this past Tuesday and I wanted to share with you a few of the photographs I received from the inside. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

 

Benny


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Politics and the Mail

Politics and the mail

Political candidates are currently hard at work to secure their place as representatives of American citizens during election season this fall. Most campaigns include a variety of message distribution channels to cast as wide a net as possible to promote their specific positions. When selecting a particular avenue for their messaging, candidates would be wise to include one of the most influential and cost effective channels available.

Mail isn’t a new channel for political hopefuls to share their positions with their constituents, but it is a tried and true opportunity to place the sum of their campaigns into the hands of those with the power to elect them to office. In a modern technological society, however, some candidates may opt to concentrate on digital means of spreading their messages. Those that do risk underutilizing one of the few tools that places physical communication into the hands of voters.

Besides a valuable physical connection with voters, mail avoids some of the pitfalls of modern digital communication. Email spam filters, online streaming channels without advertising, and caller ID might prevent many potential voters from receiving messages that would otherwise allow them to make a more informed choice. Mail on the other hand directly reaches homes in local communities without passing through such filters. It also has the added benefit of specific regional and even neighborhood targeting capabilities.

This political season, candidates who harness the power of mail will wield a distinct advantage over those who concentrate efforts elsewhere. For providing clear communication to voters, there is no more effective or efficient messaging tool than the mail.

Wobbling to Safety

Wobbling to safety

The following story was sent in by Portland, OR, Transportation and Networks Supervisor Rocky Long.

“My hunting party was in Oregon’s Hells Canyon area on the Imnaha River above Indian Crossing.

“When we arrived at the spot we were going to set up, I noticed this new-to-the-world calf elk laying in a clump of grass. This was not the place for this little guy as we had fresh tracks and sign of a large cougar in the area.

“The mother was up the hill about 300 yards so we encouraged this little bull elk to get up and go to her. He wobbled and stumbled to get his footing but managed to get started up the hill to his mother, with a little help, and they both vanished over to the top of the ridge safely.”

Family History

Joann Lutcavich and Erma Gyhra cutting the ribbon for the dedication of the Steinauer Community Heritage House.

Joann Lutcavich and Erma Gyhra cutting the ribbon for the dedication of the Steinauer Community Heritage House.

The small town of Steinauer, NE, is home to 75 close-knit community members who value the rich heritage of their historic territory. Named after three brothers from Switzerland who founded the town in 1856, the population has dwindled some since its peak of 248 residents in 1910, but the legacy of the Steinauer family remains as strong as ever.

Last month, the Steinauer family converged on their namesake town from as far away as Peru for a family reunion. One of the main events held during the gathering was the re-dedication of the former Post Office into a community museum called the Steinauer Community Heritage House.

“We had nearly 150 people join us for the dedication,” said Event Organizer Terry Wagner-Lomax. “It was the kick-off for the family reunion.”

The conversion of the Post Office into a museum was a community-involved effort, with many members contributing special items to the cause. The gathering at the re-dedication ceremony brought back fond memories of it’s past.

“As a child, one of the placed we always used to stop in was the Post Office,” said Terry. “The Postmaster would always have a treat for us and it was a lot of fun.”

The 792 square-foot building, built in 1874, served as the Post Office for nearly 120 years. In honor of its service to the town, two Steinauer brothers purchased the property and renovated the building. It’s transition into a community museum involved careful planning and the support of the local community.

“The project itself started a year and a half ago,” said Terry. “When people found out about the project, they started bringing things to the Post Office such as the original mail sorting desk and employee desk. When we looked inside the drawers, we found original route maps. It’s been fun for the community to see these things go back to where they belong.”

Terry’s great, great grandfather, Joseph Steinauer, was one of the original founders of the town. He also became the first Postmaster in 1874.

“Joseph originally ran the Post Office out of his home,” said Terry. “He eventually built a building and moved the Post Office there. He never received a salary as a Postmaster, but he did make a little from selling stamps, though it was never more than $20 a year.”

In addition to serving as a Post Office, the building simultaneously served as the town’s first bank and printing press. Eventually, the bank moved to a separate building and the press ceased operation, leaving the Post Office as the sole business occupant for more than a century.

The Steinauer Community Heritage House is home to postal memorabilia, a memorial to the community’s veterans, and a variety of photographs, documents and other items that chronicle the rich history of the town and the Post Office. The unique collection of items housed inside the fully restored building will provide the opportunity for members of the community to relive and rediscover the heritage of the town for many generations to come.

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An image of the Steinauer Post Office many decades ago.

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The Steinauer Post Office as it appears today.

PMG visits Salt Lake City

PMG Donahoe congratulates City Carrier Larry Allen on his 45 years of service.

PMG Donahoe congratulates City Carrier Larry Allen on his 45 years of service.

During his trip to Salt Lake City, UT, last week, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe visited a radio station, two newspapers, and two television studios as well as the Bountiful Post Office before heading to the Postal Customer Council event.

“We’re in town to recognize the Postal Customer Council here in Salt Lake,” said Donahoe. “Every year we do this, and they were number one in the country so we came out to say thank you.”

Donahoe also addressed future opportunities for the Postal Service moving forward.

“We’ve lost a lot of mail volume, almost 30 percent in the last five years,” said Donahoe. “People pay their bills online because its easy, but we’ve really had a big increase in the package business. We think we can make some big strides that way and we’re delivering packages seven days a week in many markets now. We’ll be doing that here soon and we think that will be a real opportunity for us here in the future.”

Before heading to the PCC event, Donahoe visited the Bountiful Post Office to speak with employees. While he was there, he presented City Carrier Larry Allen with a plaque honoring his 45 years of dedicated service to the Post Office.

Honor a Hero

Honor a hero

Many extraordinary accomplishments are achieved by exceptional people every day. Whether it’s a school teacher who goes the extra mile for his students, a military member who bravely served her country, a first responder who saved the life of a family member, or any other everyday hero, these unique individuals make a big difference in the lives of others.

To honor their accomplishments, the Postal Service released the 2014 Everyday Cards for Everyday Heroes collection last month. The cards provide a way to express gratitude for the tremendous contributions of remarkable people.

The distinctive card collection is available now through Nov. 11 at select Post Offices, and comes with a variety of messages and designs for that special person.

Never Forget

Never Forget

Hudson River School

Hudson River School

In the mid-19th century, a new school of art introduced a unique way of portraying landscape paintings of picturesque settings.

The Hudson River School of painters flourished from the mid-1830s to the mid-1870s and gave America its first major school of art. Paintings included in this stamp set include Distant View of Niagara Falls (1830) by Thomas Cole, from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago; Summer Afternoon (1865) by Asher B. Durand, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Sunset (1856) by Frederic Edwin Church, from the collection of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute; and Grand Canyon (1912) by Thomas Moran, from the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

The Hudson River School stamp set is now available as First-Class Mail Forever postage by going to USPS.com or by clicking here.

Postal Apps

 

 

Postal apps

Mobile device applications are a booming business for those that seek to place them on device screens across the world. The Postal Service has taken advantage of this digital phenomenon by adding its own app to the virtual world, increasing not only the accessibility of its products, but the visibility of them as well. With so much potential in the app market, could USPS expand it’s stable of app offerings?

Many companies have several if not a plethora of apps under their collective belts. The more they create, the greater the revenue stream from the portable device market. The success of the Postal Service’s mobile smartphone application proves that one of the oldest companies in the U.S. can be an effective competitor in the new digital arena. Why not continue to expand that success into other apps?

The Postal Service is a world-renowned master of addresses. It could harness its superior prowess to create an app that allows a user to learn more about the history of particular buildings, neighborhoods and other detailed information by tapping the location on a map or by simply directing a device camera to a particular object, similar to what’s proposed in this article.

With so many ideas available to combine a long-established expertise with the latest in mobile device evolution, the possibilities are endless, and the Postal Service has the ingenuity to take its app services to the next level.

What other apps do you think the Postal Service is uniquely qualified to offer customers?

Packages on Demand

The Postal Service pioneered its own gopost parcel lockers beginning in 2012.

The Postal Service pioneered its own gopost parcel lockers beginning in 2012.

Recent advances in modern society have placed an increasing demand on an individual’s time. From social media, emails, and texting to individuals working multiple jobs and travelling greater distances to get to them, life in the digital age is not as packed with leisure time as might have been predicted decades ago. When time-sensitive activities seem to absorb more of an individual’s time with each passing year, making one’s self available for package delivery can be a challenge. That’s a particular problem a new company is looking to solve.

Swapbox is a new startup in San Francisco, CA, that offers parcel locker service inside monitored, indoor locations. To have a package delivered to a Swapbox, an individual uses the address of a Swapbox location as the destination address. When a package arrives, the recipient is sent a PIN code to unlock the unit. The company charges $1.99 to retrieve a parcel stored in one of its lockers, though there are flat rates available through its silver and gold plans for those who sign up for monthly service.

Individuals can also send items from a Swapbox locker – without packaging if they so choose. Basic shipping options for the service start at $1.99. This could be a tempting option for those who prefer to avoid packing an item.

Swapbox isn’t the only company venturing into the parcel locker service, however, and the field continues to widen as the popularity and availability of such service increases. If demand continues to strengthen over time, parcel lockers could yet prove to be as well-received and profitable as they are in many other countries around the world.

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