Ever wonder how we received mail before mailboxes? In a little town now called The Rock, Ga., it all began with a hole in a rock. In light of “Thank a Mailman Day” on Feb. 4, let’s remember how mail was distributed in rural Georgia, and how the small town of The Rock, Ga. received its name.
“Put my mail in the hole in that rock.” Spoken by Dr. James Anderson to the driver of the Old Federal Stage Coach in 1816, these words started a trend that would name a town. People started addressing mail to “the rock” in Georgia, and the stage coach knew exactly where to leave it.
Dr. Anderson’s house still stands next door to The Rock Ranch, and the rock he spoke of was located merely 150 yards from The Rock Ranch entrance. Over time, as mail correspondence became more common in rural Georgia, the rock became a destination for farmers in the regions now known as Pike, Upson and Lamar Counties.
In 1854 the rock was destroyed to make way for the railroad. Without the rock, the first post office in the community was built in The Rock, Ga., which still stands and operates today.
A few more fun mail facts, according to the United States Postal Service:
- 20.3 billion stamps were printed in 2011 alone
- 384,000 is the average number of mail pieces processed each minute
- 167.9 billion mail pieces were processed in 2011