Photo shows the “new” Ashland Post Office building on December 1, 1940. Today, this building houses private offices. The current post office, built in 1992, is on the next block just across Maple Street.
The Ashland Post Office has had a long and storied history. An anonymous list found at the Ashland Post Office, shows that the Ashland area was originally served by Goodall’s Post Office, established in 1840, with Robert M. Carver as its first postmaster. It was likely located west of today’s Ashland. The list states that in July 1851, the name was changed to Slash Cottage Post Office and in May of 1856, to Ashland Post Office. Twenty-six postmasters have served Ashland since 1841, including Slash Cottage Hotel proprietor John Thompson (1852 to 1856), depot agent Marcellus E. Cox (1865 to 1871), druggist George R. Nixon, (1894 to 1898), and many more familiar names. Alan Friedman has been Postmaster since 2006.
Just after the Civil War, there was a small Post Office building on the west side of the tracks just north of the old Barnes Drug Store. Around the turn of the nineteenth century, when J.G. Hughes was building his new drug store, he also built a new post office just north of it at 104 South Railroad Avenue.
In 1941, amid controversy that the business section would move away from the core of the old downtown, a new post office was dedicated on the southwest corner of England and Maple Streets. The building has four-foot thick walls! Today it houses private offices.
By the early 1990s, postal operations had outgrown this grand and majestic building. When a site for a new building was considered west of U.S. 1, townspeople were outraged. With help from Mayor Richard Gillis and the Town of Ashland, a site was chosen on the southeast corner of England and Maple Streets, the old Dr. Henry R. Carter property. In 1992, the modern and spacious facility we have now was opened. It was designed by former Ashlander Edward A. Smith and Roy Mitchell, both of Marcellus Wright Cox and Smith, a prestigious Richmond architectural firm with many ties to Ashland.
Submitted by Alan Friedman, Postmaster, Ashland, VA 23005-9998