On August 29, 1932, two houses standing on the west side of North Gamble Street in downtown Shelby had a date with a bulldozer.
It took only a few days for the two structures, one large Queen Anne residence and another older, small structure, to make way for an exciting new chapter in Shelby civic history.
Prior to this, the US Congress had set aside $105,000 for the purpose of buying and clearing land, erecting a new building to house the local post office and some additional federal offices, and to furnish the same. The monies had been championed by former US Congressman William M. Morgan.
Built at the same general time that a new post office was being constructed in Bucyrus, with the same construction engineer overseeing work on both, bids were opened in Shelby on August 5, 1932.
The new post office was impressive. The main lobby featured three color terrazzo flooring, accented with Tennessee roseal marble. The main area for postal employees was declared by The Daily Globe to be “one of the best equipped work rooms in the state.”432 post office boxes were available, and all furnishings and material “were American made.”
The building was of brick construction and features large semi-circular topped front windows with sandstone trim.
The building itself cost $55,000 to construct.
The new post office was across the street from the property at 27 North Gamble where the first post office for the community was housed in a log house.
On July 1, 1933, the building was dedicated in a service chaired by R.C. Skiles. The American Legion Drum Corps and the Shelby High School Band played. By the time the post office closed at 9:00 PM that night, over 2,000 people had come through its doors.
Sources: Lima News, Mansfield News Journal, Shelby Daily Globe; Photo: 1812Blockhouse