Cobb Islanders Come Together to Refurbish Their Post Office
By Guest Blogger Jackie Moore, Friend of the National Postal Museum
Cobb Island is a small community in southern Charles County, Maryland. Its unofficial motto is ‘life is too short to not live by the water.’
Its first Post Office opened in Elgin’s store in 1927. The current Post Office located in the Cobb Island Market building serves not only as a place to send and collect mail, but a place to meet neighbors, and share community news. The Post Office has served as the social meeting place in the community for decades. However in 2012, the Cobb Island Post Office was scheduled for closure by USPS. At a public hearing held by Post Office officials, Cobb Islanders voiced their concerns of the impact of the closure on the community and the continued need to have a Post Office on the island. The Postal Service subsequently decided against the closure.
At the September 2013 meeting of the Cobb Island Citizens’ Association (CICA) the idea of sprucing up and refurbishing the Cobb Island Post Office was discussed. It was noted that nothing had been done to maintain the facility in the last 35 years. A project was proposed to clean up the outside of the building, put a window in the front door, get new carpet, paint the inside and outside of the Post Office building including the railings and flag pole, and get the Post Office sign repainted. The owner of the building agreed to let a newly formed volunteer group make the improvements.
Work began on Saturday October 19, 2013. Thirteen volunteers showed up to work. Within two hours the volunteers cleaned up the outside of the building and removed at least six loads of trash and debris. A local Cobb island painter volunteered to donate the paint. To the surprise of everyone, the painter and his crew showed up a few days later to put a primer coat on the building as his donation to the project.
Over the course of the next few weeks volunteers repaired window and door frames, painted a book case, removed broken window blinds and finished painting the exterior and interior of the building. The owner of the building removed the old metal sign and had it repaired. One of the volunteers donated new flags that had been flown over the US Capitol. One volunteer donated cement planters for the front of the Post Office and filled them with flowers.
Over the winter funds were raised to cover some of the costs of the project. A carpet contractor who lives on Cobb Island donated new carpet and baseboard molding. A local sign painter donated her services to paint the lettering for the newly refurbished sign. A Cobb Island tree cutting contractor donated his bucket truck to paint the flag pole.
On July 5th, 2012 the newly lettered and repainted sign was put in place. The saving and refurbishing of the Cobb Island Post Office clearly demonstrates the community spirit of Cobb Islanders. Many people donated their time, skills, energy, and funds to make this project a success. Twenty-five people donated their time, skills and energy to the project and 31 people donated to the fund-raising campaign. The project was completed in less than a year and with a budget of less than $2,000.00.
Our Post Mistress, Christine Norwood, is delighted with the upgrades, and she was also very pleased with how the community came together to show how much the Cobb Island Post Office means to them. (Her son helped with removing, sanding, and rehanging the sign on the front of the building, by the way.)