Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

120-0047 Little Post Office

Little Post Office
Photo credit: Wikipedia, 2010

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/04/1996

NRHP Listing Date 02/21/1997

NRHP Reference Number 97000150

A tiny, but finely detailed building, the Little Post Office is associated with an important period in U.S. Postal Service history: the ascendancy of the star route mail delivery system during the late 19th century. The system developed as a consequence of railroad expansion, and star routes—so named for the custom of designating the routes with asterisks in postal records—served rural post offices away from rail lines. The scheme brought postal delivery to the entire nation. Star route couriers were engaged by contract speculators who obtained rights to routes from the government. John B. Anglin, a remarkably successful contract speculator, had this building erected in 1893 to aid him in supervising his star route contracts which at one point numbered over 500 and were spread through ten states. Anglin sold the property in 1917. The Little Post Office building, located in the city of Martinsville’s East Church Street-Starling Avenue Historic District, is now a private office.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: December 29, 2021