American post offices are so ingrained into our everyday that they typically go unnoticed altogether. Neighboring strip malls, gas stations, business and schools, the commonplace government buildings blur into the periphery, lending to the familiar scenery of suburban American life. Occasionally we trek to the post office to ship a package or catch sight of a mail truck and wonder what it’s like to drive from the “wrong” side of the car, but as a whole, the dependable consistency of the postal service is so routine that we often take its presence for granted.
The Ross Post Office is one such place. If you weren’t looking for it, you’d probably pass by without a second glance. Located on Hamilton Cleves Road, just 30 minutes north of Cincinnati, it’s no exception in its role in the community, but is exceptional nonetheless: This year, it’s celebrating 200 years of service in Ohio.
Just a bit younger than the oldest post office in the state — built in Franklin in 1805 — the Ross Post Office was established on Jan. 15, 1819. First called the Dick’s Mill Post Office after its first postmaster George Dick, it switched names to the Colerain Post Office and back again before landing on its current name on July 3, 1834.
After George’s death, his wife Jane took over as postmaster from 1828 to 1834, following in the tradition of women who had served as postmasters since colonial times — one of the first roles for women in federal government.
When the Ross Post Office began service, cars didn’t exist (much less mail trucks), postage stamps wouldn’t be introduced for 28 years and the luxury of overnight shipping was still two centuries away. A lot has changed in the past 200 years, but Ross’ humble post office has stood through it all.
This Friday, May 17, Ross Township will celebrate its post office’s 200th birthday with envelopes and postcards with the Ross Post Office stamp cancelation available for purchase, giveaways, a food drive and special guest speakers including Ohio Sen. Bill Coley, Ohio House Rep. Sara Carruthers and Ross Postmaster Karen Payne.
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday. Ross Township Government Center, 4055 Hamilton Cleves Road.