Photo of the Week


“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck


by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian

Postmarks, Suffolk County, 1910-1913. (From the Postal Service Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)

Westhampton, Eastport, Good Ground, Huntington, Cutchogue, Riverhead, Sayville, Laurel, Islip, and Calverton are among the postmarks, or postal cancellations, in this image from our Postal Service Collection. Some other interesting items within this historic collection include inventories from the 1800s of the postmasters of Riverhead (1887-1892), a list of money orders issued by the Flanders Post Office (1908-1928), and published lists of post offices in operation in the mid-1800s and the names of their postmasters.

The collection also includes documents related to an old post office known as “Success.” It existed in the Northville section of Riverhead town from 1838 to 1880. When the residents of Northville sought a post office in 1838, they were informed that a Northville post office already existed in upstate New York, so they chose the name Success instead. Postmasters at the time were presidential political appointees and usually changed along with the administration in Washington, DC. The postmasters of the Success Post Office included a woman (Melinda Corwin) and a civil war veteran (Elisha Wells):

1838 – Benjamin E. Warner
1840 – John Luce
1854 – Jabez Corwin
1861 – Melinda Corwin
1870 – James H. Corwin
1870 – Elisha Wells
1871 – James H. Wells


Visit: Suffolk County Historical Society — Photo of the Week Series / 2020



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