Rattlesnake, FL

I’m not crazy about Linen Era postcards, but this one was irresistible, and this Florida post office actually did have something to do with snakes. Today a part of Tampa, the area known as Rattlesnake was once mostly pine and palmetto thickets where thousands of Eastern Diamondbacks lived happily and undisturbed.

Most people would view hordes of six-foot rattlers as a disincentive while looking at real estate, but a man named George End saw an opportunity. In 1937, he built a small canning plant, hired some of the more adventurous locals to harvest the snakes, and sold rattlesnake meat via mail order. He lobbied for his own post office, and on April 27, 1939, the Rattlesnake Post Office opened, although Rattlesnake was not an official municipality.

In 1944, George End met his when a rattlesnake, who did not wish to be canned, bit and killed him. The post office stayed open for another 10 years, with George’s widow Jennie as postmistress for a time, but in 1954, it was renamed the Interbay Post Office and relocated.

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Will Moriaty and Nolan B. Canova have done a fabulous job of detailing this history; read more here.

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