June 20, 2011
The post office was established in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, in 1810, when it was one of only 35 in the state. From 1835 until 1914, it was located in the Jenkins Country Store with members of the Jenkins family succeeding each other as postmasters. In 1914, it moved to a small building on the grounds of Gwynedd Friends Meeting, a Quaker community, and in 1955 they moved the structure across Route 202 to grounds also belonging to the Friends. It’s been there ever since. Until a few weeks ago, that is.
According to Montgomery Media, the Postal Service closed the Gwynedd post office on May 27. Officially, the Gwynedd post office is a “branch” so the closing process was pretty quick. The timeline is part of the town's legal brief to the PRC, and it goes like this.
On Feb. 15, 2011, the Postal Service announced to Gwynedd residents a proposal to terminate services at this location. On March 3, a "Save the Post Office" meeting took place, and Postal Service representatives told the 100-plus in attendance that a decision would be made in 30 days. But it seems as though the Postal Service had already made up its mind, and in less than two weeks (by March 14) it had come to a final decision. On April 4, residents were informed the post office would close on May 27. (This letter has more details about the meeting and timeline.)
The citizens of Gwynedd have filed an appeal with the PRC, and a decision is expected at the end of August. In the meantime, the post office is closed, and postal services have been moved to other post offices.
The explanation for closing the post office was that retail transactions have declined and there’s construction work going on Route 202. The citizens disagree. They say the post office was turning a small profit, and that once the construction on 202 is done, access to the post office will be better and safer.
In fact, the post office in Spring House, which residents are now asked to use, has its own problems. At a town meeting in March, resident John Parker said, “Have you seen the Spring House post office? That's a death trap trying to put people into that parking lot."
"It's also been three years of you reducing the hours, reducing the services," resident Kelly Gerald told the Postal Service rep at the meeting. "You designed a system to make the post office fail."
The same could be said for the Postal Service as a whole right now.
(Photo credit: Gwynedd post offce)