2017-09-24 / Insight

Post offices of Lapeer County

Lapeer’s Post Office predates city of Lapeer
BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com


An exterior of Lapeer’s Turrill Post Office Building, 567 W. Nepessing St., that opened 30 years ago. 
Photos by Andrew Dietderich An exterior of Lapeer’s Turrill Post Office Building, 567 W. Nepessing St., that opened 30 years ago. Photos by Andrew Dietderich LAPEER — Anyone who’s ever walked into the Lapeer’s Turrill Post Office Building is familiar with the big stamp murals and the 1,300 post office boxes that greet customers in the lobby.

But there is a lot beyond the paintings and mail slots, in terms of both activity and a rich history in Lapeer for the operation.

That’s according to Lapeer Postmaster Steven O. Anthony.

“We deliver probably 500,000 pieces of mail a week,” Anthony told The County Press, adding that includes everything from magazines and parcels to, of course, letters and bills.

Lapeer’s post office is older than the city of Lapeer itself —and by more than three decades.

A congressional act signed Dec. 19, 2007 that renamed it the Turrill Post Office Building recognized that history.


Customers entering the Turrill Post Office Building are welcomed by 1,300 post office boxes and giant stamp murals. 
Photo by Andrew Dietderich Customers entering the Turrill Post Office Building are welcomed by 1,300 post office boxes and giant stamp murals. Photo by Andrew Dietderich In 1832, five years before Michigan joined the Union as a state, Dr. Miner Turrill settled in Lapeer with his parents, and the Turrills became the third known family to settle in the area. The family quickly became respected leaders in the community and at the opening of the Lapeer Post Office in 1833, Dr. Turrill became the area’s first postmaster.

Captain J. H. Turrill, killed during the Civil War at Antietam, was a courageous soldier who was honored by members of his infantry when they traveled to the area and decorated his grave.

The Lapeer Post of the Grand Army of the Republic was named in his honor and served as the gathering point for all of the veterans of that conflict from the area. In 1869, Lapeer was incorporated as a city in Michigan and the voters elected James Turrill to serve as the first mayor of the community.


Construction of what would become Lapeer’s Turrill Post Office Building as it looked in 1987. 
Submitted photo Construction of what would become Lapeer’s Turrill Post Office Building as it looked in 1987. Submitted photo “The Turrills continued throughout the years to provide leadership to this great community, and they have been honored in many ways,” former U.S. Rep. Candice Miller said on the floor when talking about the proposed name change in 2007. “Today, you can drive on Turrill Avenue in Lapeer. Or you might live in Turrill Estates. And your children might attend the Turrill Elementary School in the Lapeer Community Schools. The people of this community have always honored the dedication to community and the contributions made by the Turrill family.”

Today, the 15,000-square-foot Turrill Post Office primarily serves the 48446 Zip code area. It also manages the Columbiaville Post Office, servicing the 48421 Zip code and operating a branch there six hours a day.


Construction of what would become Lapeer’s Turrill Post Office Building as it looked in 1987. 
Submitted photo Construction of what would become Lapeer’s Turrill Post Office Building as it looked in 1987. Submitted photo There are 27 routes managed by a total of 42 carriers.

The current building at 567 W. Nepessing St. opened in July 1987, after relocating from across the street.

Anthony — who retires Sept. 29 — said the biggest change he’s seen has been with the emergence of Amazon in today’s economy.

“It’s unique for me because I started as a letter carrier here in 1988, and then moved on to be a supervisor in 1996 in Davison,” Anthony said, adding he was there for 10 years before becoming moving on to Sandusky, then Goodrich, and returning to Lapeer in early 2016.

“It’s pretty much the same as when I left it, other than the packages have boomed,” he added.

According to USPS statistics, the number of first-class mailings dropped from 42.3 billion in 2007 to 19.7 billion in 2016.

Conversely, the number of parcels between 2008 (2007 figures unavailable) and 2016 increased from 3.3 billion to 5.2 billion.

“(Amazon) drops their stuff off here on pallets and it’s called ‘the last mile’ because we deliver to every house and they don’t,” Anthony said.

Service is big for USPS, according to the USPS 2016 Annual Report to Congress.

“Everything we do at the Postal Service, from fine-tuning our networks to purchasing new vehicles to enhancing tracking and visibility, has impact beyond our organization,” the report states.

According to the 2015 EMA Mailing Industry Job Study, the mailing industry provides 6 percent of the nation’s jobs — 7.5 million — and contributes to the economy with $1.4 trillion in revenue, an increase of 9.5 percent from 2011. The study reports that 73 percent of mail industry jobs depend on the delivery infrastructure at which USPS is the center.

“Our efforts to ramp up our investments in optimizing our retail, delivery, network, digital and enterprise platforms are crucial to deliver world-class service, improve efficiency and prepare our organization to meet future customer needs,” the organization further stated in its report.

Guiding the way toward achieving those goals is what USPS refers to as “an enduring set of performance outcome goals that enable management and stakeholders to measure the success of our corporate strategies, operations and continuous improvement efforts over time: deliver high-quality service, provide excellent customer experiences, ensure a safe workplace and engaged workforce, and sustain controllable income.”

More information about the Lapeer post office, including phone number and hours, can be found at www.postallocations.com/mi/lapeer/lapeer

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