Monterey, CA


An unflattering postcard of the Monterey, California, post office, but the only one I’ve been able to find. The post office is on Hartnell Street, named for an Englishman who opened a school in Monterey in 1834.

You wouldn’t know it from this photo, but the building’s alcoves are graced by two tile murals depicting the Monterey landings of Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548-1624) and John D. Sloat (1781-1867).

Vizcaíno was a Spanish soldier, explorer and diplomat whose travels took him to the Americas, Philippines, and Japan. In 1602, he sailed up the California coast, exploring and naming Point Lobos, Carmel Valley and Monterey Bay.

In 1846, Sloat, an American naval officer, raised the American flag over the Monterey Customs House and proclaimed California a part of the United States.

The tiles are from the Gladding McBean tile company; an individual artist is not mentioned.

Alaskan Mail Run


I often marvel at what people will do to get their mail, and in this photo by B.B. Dobbs from Alaska’s Digital Archives we see Martin Victor “Sport” Smith, with his dogs and friends, bringing mail ashore from the S.S. Corwin on June 2, 1907. In this photo, Mr. Smith, and what a sport he must have been, is five miles out on the ice of the Bering Sea, apparently as close to the shore as the Corwin could come.

“It’s a fierce game, that carrying the mails in the winter,” he once observed. This “summer” run must have been a lark for him.

Lismore, NSW


When the people of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, put in for a proper post office, they were rewarded with a crenelated battlement, surmounted by a clock tower, itself flanked by buttresses, the whole crowned with lacy ironwork, and capped by a spire. There were no arrows left in the architect’s quiver after this one.

Bay View, MI


I love it that someone left the hose out on the lawn, and the woman on the porch is looking at the photographer wondering if he will have the audacity to take her picture without her permission, and that the boy and girl in the shade are sitting with their dog, waiting for someone.