NEW MARLBORO – A local woman who became a postmaster because she lived in the same building as the post office celebrated her 25th working anniversary yesterday.
Mrs. George E. Lester had moved to this town with her husband in 1934. They occupied the house in which the one-room post office is located. The following year, the position of postmaster was open and Mrs. Lester accepted it. She has been postmaster here really since January 9, 1935, but officially since August 15 of the same year.
Perhaps one of the friendliest post offices in the county, Mrs. Lester’s Government Post Office is decorated with an old spinning wheel and old-fashioned crockery, which she collected. A white clapboard, announcing the post office, hangs in front of the seven-room house that faces the city green. The house was built in 1826. An American flag is on a banner near the front door.
Mrs. Lester is the 30th postmaster of this city. A post office was established here in 1806 and moved to its present site in 1920. Ms. Lester said that since returning to work, mail volume has increased by around 80%. She explained that when she started, the salary for the small office was negligible. But as the volume increased, so did his compensation.
There is one mail delivery and forwarding per day here, just like when Mrs. Lester started working in the office. But the Post Office now boasts of overnight delivery. Ms Lester said the metro plan with hub-and-spoke trucks offers the fastest service ever.
Being postmaster keeps Ms. Lester active, but she is still able to indulge in watercolor painting and rug hooking and braiding. Since there are no locked post office boxes at the post office, Ms. Lester has to deliver all the mail. This gives her a chance to talk with her neighbors and find out what’s going on around town.
“Most of the juicy gossip escapes me though,” she said without regret.
Originally from Staten Island, NY, Ms. Lester resided there until her marriage 34 years ago. She and her husband have lived here for 26 years. He was originally from that town and was employed as a painter by Gilligan Brothers of Sheffield, contractors. The couple have a daughter, Mrs. Francis Sottile of Simsbury, Connecticut, and three grandchildren.
This story within a story is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.