Chuckatuck Post Office

Chuckatuck Post Office

Chuckatuck Post OfficeThe first postmaster, John Davis Day, was appointed as postmaster in Chuckatuck in 1826.  The location of the post office where he served is unknown. The chapter on Stores has some information on the post offices and their location starting circa 1914 when the post office was in the Owen’s store, most likely run by the Postmaster Rosa Pinner who lived next door.  In 1914 the post office was moved to Jones’ Store (ultimately Gwaltney’s store) under the direction of Elton Jones and for a time in 1920 under the guidance of Joseph Rosser Chapman who acted as postmaster for approximately 10 months. Mr. Jones took over again in November of 1922 and upon his death in 1930 his wife Mrs. Blanche Pope Jones, was assigned until November of 1930.  At this point the post office moved to Moore’s store with Asa B. Johnson as Acting Postmaster for five months.  He was appointed permanently in March of 1931.  In 1933 Alex Moore, having just graduated from VPI, returned to Chuckatuck to take over his dad’s store and in January of 1940 became the postmaster.  He died at an early age in 1949 and his wife Mrs. Dorothy Cox Moore, was appointed Postmaster in July of 1950.  (Note:  While Mrs. Dorothy Moore was postmaster there were times in 1956-1957 when she would leave or possibly close the post office for an hour or two, proceed to the local high school just a short distance away and teach a class in Latin).  In June of 1961 a new post office was dedicated having been built on a lot next to the Moore’s store that had housed the post office since 1930. (show picture of old and new post offices)  Mrs. Florence (Polly) Moore Umphlette was appointed Postmaster in March of 1971.    In February 1974 the Chuckatuck post office became Chuckatuck Station as a result of the merger of Suffolk and Nansemond County.  Mrs. Umphlette continued her duties until she retired in 1981 with 31 years of being the village crier as well as the postmaster/station manager.  Mr. N.T. Poarch took over from Mrs. Umphlette and was relieved by Jackie Knight who is still the station manager/postal clerk (2011).  In November 2010 the village post office was relegated to reduced hours of 10:30-12:30 daily.  Rumor has it that the village post office like many others will be closing soon due to budget constraints.  Should these closures take place then the villagers will have to erect mail boxes for the first time.  (insert pic. of envelope with early Chuckatuck post mark)

An addendum to the merger of Nansemond County and Suffolk was a change in status of the Crittenden and Hobson post offices being served by Mrs. E.L. Bowden for some 36 ½ years from Chuckatuck on a star route.  Post offices in Driver, Holland and Whaleyville would also lose their status.  With the merger all post offices listed above including Chuckatuck would lose their postmarks effective 1 February 1974.  Even though the post offices were designated as stations it would be postmarked “Suffolk, VA”.  All of the postmistresses (notice we were becoming politically correct even back then) agreed to provide last day souvenir stamps on February 1, 1974.  Mrs. Bowden retired on February 1, 1974 from her star route as well.  (Possible picture of the P.O Consolidation to Cancel Identities article with the post marks of those six villages)

In 1961 State Senator Mills E. Godwin came back home to Chuckatuck to cut the ribbon on the new post office.  His daughter, Becky, received the first stamp from Mrs. Dorothy Moore postmaster at the new post office.