By Diana Coldren
The lamppost-mounted letter box on Louisburg Square is a quirky relic, as well as a treasure in Beacon Hill and the City of Boston.
It’s one of the few surviving lamppost-mounted letter boxes in the city and the only remaining one in Beacon Hill; in fact, there are now less than 170 of them in existence in the entire U.S.
Lamppost-mounted letter boxes were installed in Boston beginning in 1858, and by 1911, a total of 3,131 of them could be found in the city.
The Owen-style iron letter box in Louisburg Square was manufactured by the Danville Stove and Manufacturing Company of Danville, Pa. The company was established in 1882 and made the cast-iron boxes until production ceased by the 1940s.
Members of the Beacon Hill Civic Association Architectural Committee and Beacon Hill letter carrier, Thomas Bodreau, advocated for the refurbishment of this unique relic, while Michael Rakes (USPS District manager) facilitated the installation of the refurbished letterbox.
The project was meant to acknowledge Beacon Hill’s postal workers, including truck drivers, Phil and Ramon, and letter carriers, Tommy, Wilkins, Bob, Lee, Katie, Ron, Shawn, and Annie, for being an invaluable part of the neighborhood.
Diana Coldren is a member of the Beacon Hill Civic Association Architectural Committee.