POSTAL SERVICE

Program
NYS Historic
Subject
Government
Location
373 Main Street, Aurora, NY
Lat/Long
42.754004, -76.702448
Grant Recipient
Village of Aurora
Historic Marker

POSTAL SERVICE

Inscription

POSTAL SERVICE
FIRST REGULAR MAIL DELIVERY
WEST OF CANAJOHARIE
EST. APRIL 1, 1795
IN AURORA
JUDGE WOOD, POSTMASTER
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION

Postal service was established in the Village of Scipio (modern day Aurora), on April 1, 1795. Early post offices were typically located in the homes of the postmasters, however the exact location of the first post office in Aurora remains unknown.

A Brief History of Aurora, New York, written in 1976 by Temple Rice Hollcroft, states that Aurora was originally named Scipio after the township it was located in. Therefore when the post office opened it was naturally called the U.S. Post Office of Scipio. Elliot G. Storke’s 1879 book, History of Cayuga County, New York, emphasizes that prior to April of 1795 no post offices existed in New York State west of the Town of Canajoharie. This is quite a statement, considering that Canajoharie is located a mere 50 miles west of Albany, NY, which itself is situated only 30 miles from the Massachusetts border.

The first postmaster, Walter Wood, arrived in Aurora in 1794 from Washington County, New York. He served as postmaster from 1795 until 1811 and became the first judge of Cayuga County (A Brief History of Aurora, New York). The first mail carrier was Edward Paine, who carried the mail on horseback between Aurora and Cooperstown, making one round trip every two weeks. He was paid $175 annually (A Brief History of Aurora, New York). Fifteen years after its opening, the post office officially changed its name the U.S. Post Office of Aurora on April 1, 1810 (History of Cayuga County, New York).