Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at dublinhistory@yahoo.com.

Friday, September 18, 2015

LOLLIE, GEORGIA POST OFFICE

Lollie


Doug Hall - Dublin Courier Herald, June 4, 1976




A chapter in local history closes at 4:30 p.m. today when Lollie joins Lime Sink, Condor, and Wylly, Tweed, Inez and Ha toff, Dodo, Pearly and Brutas, Maggie, Itville and Nameless, Catlin, Thairdell and Walkee as defunct post offices.

Originally there were 53 post offices in Laurens County, now there will be seven, and one of those is threatened. Remaining will be post offices in Dublin, Dexter, Rentz, Cad well, Dudley, Montrose and Rockledge, another post office that might be In the same boat as Lollie soon.

In many ways, the closing of the tiny post office is no different than hundreds of cases across the USA where small town post offices are being shut down as part of an austerity move by the Postal Service.

But Lollie is something special, too.

To the 35 or so families who could find their way blindfolded to the familiar one-room building, the U. S. Post Office at Lollie, Ga. is a place to pick up a bit of news about a neighbor, wait for the school bus, while away some peaceful moments or just catch one of those ever flashing
smiles from the beloved postmistress, Pearl Wynn Spivey.

She's been handing out the mail in Lollie for 32 years. Before she took over, her father was postmaster for 18 years. The Lollie Post Office has been in her family for 50 of its 84 years. Today is her last day. "I'll be like a fish out of water," she said pressing firmly on the worn out rubber-
stamp postmark.

"I kind of hate to give it up," she sighs as she scans to old place. Her husband suggests they will go to Hawaii if the price of cows rises enough that be "won't have to give 'em away." She shakes her head and says no. But Florida would be nice.

Mrs. Spivey had planned retirement even before the news came that the post office would be closed.

As much as the Spiveys hate to give up the post office, the patrons do too. Maybe more.

One fellow doesn't "like the damn idea at all." Said Helen Ricks, "1 don't like it a bit. What we ought to do is all get together and write our congressman. "The post office has been here 84 years and they give you one week to get up a clean pair of britches and say, 'let's go,' " griped S. B. Hester.

Mrs. Spivey was told only last Friday that the place would be closed.

A notice tacked on the door says the post office will be "temporarily discontinued" at the close of business today, but everybody knows that is only a polite way of saying the days of the little post office are over.

Dublin postmaster Hartley Hobbs who now has responsibility of the Lollie area would not argue with the sentiment attached to the community post office. But Hobbs says the people who used the Lollie Post Office will get the same service now on Rural Route 6.

"Before they close one of these post offices they study it all out. Where a rural route or contract station can take over just as well, they go ahead and close it." he explained. The closing of the post office runs deeper than surface complaints over lack of service.

"You can't even buy a gallon of gasoline here." Mr. Spivey remarked. Jumping to Lollie's defense, Mrs. Spivey argues unconvincingly, "We do have a little bit of excitement around here on Saturday night: we have an auction."

Earlier this year a hatchery In the crossroads town closed. Only a farm center remains open. There was a time when the little community eight miles southeast of Dublin on Ga. 29 had five grocery stores. But no more.

"I hate that the little town has gone down," Mrs. Spivey, who has lived at Lollie longer than anyone else, said.

Like many places that are only crossroads, Lollie claimed to be a town and rested its case on having a post office.

Really there has been no Lollie for a long time. The town was named Minter when a station of the Macon, Dublin and Savannah Railroad was established there many years ago. But the post office has always been called Lollie in honor of Lollie Pritchett, wife of a big landowner and sawmill operator, George Pritchett.

It is probably true that some Washington bureaucrat gave official confirmation to Lollie's classification as a ghost town by closing the post office.

Mrs. Spivey has fond memories of the days when trains made four stops a day at Minter station. The mail service was prompt and dependable.

"I don't think those post office fellows would like to hear me say it but in those days you could order something from Sears-Roebuck and it would get here In two or three days," the postmistress remembered.

"But today, well, I don't know..."

The post office was always general delivery. There were no rented boxes. Mrs. Spivey notes that proudly. Numbers on post office boxes would never do in a place as friendly as Lollie. The rickety post office building will now be used for storage. Sacks of seeds and bales of hay will rest where seven chairs — some ladderback with worn cowhide seat covers — now sit. The counter made of hard-planed lumber years ago will grow dusty.

The locals who have leaned back in those chairs against that counter for more years than Mrs. Spivey can remember will be around no longer to keep the place looking alive. And pretty soon Lollie Post Office may look about like a deserted grocery store next door — vines and weeds taken over with little to suggest what an important place it once was.

1 comment:

Debra Kelley said...

my daddy, James Snow, told me once that he worked at the Lollie Post Office for a short time, not sure exactly what he did but he was proud of the job. any additional info would be appreciated, thank you, Debra Snow Kelley. debsnowbird@hargray.com