2017-09-24 / Insight

Northern post offices share management

BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com


The Clifford Post Office is located at 9851 Main Street. The Clifford Post Office is located at 9851 Main Street. Of the five northernmost post offices in Lapeer County — namely, Columbiaville, Otter Lake, Silverwood, North Branch and Clifford — only one remains operated independently of others. The rest are operated remotely, controlled by neighboring larger post offices, with staffing and mail processing handled at the nearby location.

In many cases, each town’s post office was established with the town itself, with many local offices able to trace their history back to the 1800s. In North Branch, the village was founded in 1854 by the Beach and Simmons families, and as the town was created, the first buildings were a trading post, a store and the village post office.

When the village was incorporated in 1881, the post office served 900 residents. Now, more than 100 years later, that population has remained steady, with estimated figures putting the number of residents at around 1,100. Some of the PO Box wall in the original post office in North Branch can be seen at the North Branch Historical Museum. The North Branch office also serves as the controlling hub for the Fostoria post office, which is operated remotely via North Branch. The current postmaster is Shelly DeFever, who has held a managerial position since 2015.


The Columbiaville Post Office can be found at 4643 Pine Street. The Columbiaville Post Office can be found at 4643 Pine Street. The post offices in Clifford and Silverwood, in fact, are remotely operated by the post office in Mayville and are staffed by the same person. Silverwood’s hours are 8 a.m. to noon, and Clifford’s are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, which means the sole staffer spends mornings in Silverwood before finishing the day in Clifford. The Clifford Post Office is open Saturday from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Only one letter carrier operates on behalf of each office, leaving from Mayville with the day’s batch of deliveries. The mail carriers first head to their respective posts, dropping PO Box mail off at the office before heading out to their routes. In the Silverwood area, the letter carrier handles 536 unique addresses, while in Clifford, the carrier delivers to 396. The last officer-in-charge of the Clifford office was Linda Ford in 2011, and the office made the switch to remote operation in 2013. In Silverwood, the switch was also made in 2013 following last officer in-charge’s Dianne Wiley departure in late 2012.


The Otter Lake Post Office, 6384 Detroit St., is open 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Otter Lake Post Office, 6384 Detroit St., is open 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Similar to Clifford and Silverwood, Otter Lake’s post office is also remotely operated, through the office in Otisville. Otter Lake has been operating without a postmaster of its own since 2012, when the last officer-in-charge, Carol Miller, vacated the position. Hours at the Otter Lake Post Office are 8-11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and from


The Silverwood Post Office is open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The Silverwood Post Office is open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. In Columbiaville, the office is operated remotely via Lapeer’s office and has been since 2012. The last postmaster in Columbiaville was Christine Audia, who left the position in 2002. The post office is open 8:30- 11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3:30 Monday through Friday, and from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday.



The North Branch Post Office is located at 6720 Lincoln Street. The North Branch Post Office is located at 6720 Lincoln Street.

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