, Newburyport, MA

March 6, 2013

Historical information was incorrect

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Please let me respectfully respond to inaccurate information of historical significance in two articles in your Saturday, March 2, edition.

The page 1 “This Day in History” piece about the former Whitefield Church on State Street at the corner of Prospect Street said that the building was torn down in the 1950s. Actually, the building was torn down immediately after its purchase in December of 1939 by the First National Food Store Company. The new First National opened at that site on June 20, 1941. The Daily News referred to it as Newburyport’s newest “Super Store” in that day’s edition.

In his article about the U.S. Postal Service, John Lagoulis implies that the present post office building at Pleasant and Green streets was built in 1936 during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and that the Works Projects Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were involved. This is just not true.

The building at Pleasant and Green was dedicated and opened to the public for business on May 31, 1928. Calvin Coolidge was president at that time. Franklin Roosevelt became the president on March 4, 1933. The general contractor for the building was the A.M. Lundberg Company of St. Louis. Several local contractors were awarded subcontractor bids for the work. The WPA and the CCC were not involved, as they did not come into existence until the mid-1930s. William F. Runnells was postmaster at this time.

Prior to the opening of the new building in 1928 the post office was located in a one-story building at 16 Pleasant St., corner of Inn Street where the Oregano Pizza Company is now located. The post office at that location served the community well from October 23, 1872, until its closing on May 29, 1928.

Joe Callahan