Sunday, August 13, 2017

Just down the road... a step back in time

A hop and skip and jump from downtown St. Louis, MO is a quaint little town known for its huge crowds at the Apple Butter Festival in the Fall, Strawberry Festival in summer, and Witches Night Out at Halloween. If you've never been to Kimmswick, MO and you prefer less crowds, go during the week. You might encounter a tour bus or two unloading in front of The (homey) Blue Owl Restaurant. But the town is less crowded than on weekends.

After a yummy meal at any number of restaurants, you can take a walk back in time. That's what a dozen of my relatives and I did recently when five generations, ages three through 87 strolled the small town.

Mr. Kimm bought the property which is just South of St. Louis in 1984. The town of Kimmswick was incorporated in 1871. This little, historic river town consists of many small stone buildings. The  former residences have been converted to shops which sell everything from candles, and lace, to apple butter, mile high pies, and unique arts and crafts.

As we strolled past the post office, we met Mary Oster, the personable post mistress of Kimmswick Post Office.
She explained that the mail originates from St. Louis' Downtown Main Post Office.  The U.S. Postal Service delivers the mail for the 100 or so Kimmswick residents to the U.S. Post Office in Imperial, MO, a few miles up the road. Imperial P.O. delivers the mail to the old fashioned little post office in the town of Kimmswick. A step inside made me feel as though I were in a Norman Rockwell painting.

I assume Mary Oster knows everybody in town, and I'm certain she has many friends. She has a bubbly personality, and a flair for decorating. After a brief conversation I felt like I'd known her forever. She's one of those people who have never met a stranger. Look at her winnining smile.

When I lived in Alaska, this is exactly the way our daily mail was delivered... into individual post office boxes. I felt like I had stepped back fifty years in time and was picking up my mail from P.O. Box 157. I loved receiving letters from home. My mom sometimes stuffed a dollar or two into her letters. I made a beeline to the general store to purchase a package of chocolate cookies. The post office in Delta Junction was no bigger than this one in Kimmswick, MO. I certainly experienced deja`vu.

Mary came out to collect the mail from the postal box. She invited my cousin, Jeffrey, to help Liam and his cousin, Benjamin, choose a book from the little free library. She told them they could have a book to keep. What a thrill for the boys who are 4th cousins, I think.
 The Kimmswick P.O. Building was established more than 100 years ago.

If you would like to learn more about this town, which is about half an hour away from downtown St. Louis, click on the link and learn all about the town's history and upcoming events. If you happen to drop by the post office, tell Mary, Linda sent you.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--It sounds like you and your family had a blast.

Val said...

I've never been to "downtown" Kimmswick, but I passed by it twice a day when I worked in the city, and went up the old highway to turn on Telegraph Road and go down to South Broadway. The way I remember it, anyway. I'm not very good with directions! Flooding can be a serious problem in Kimmswick.

That's just how the dead-mouse-smelling post office looks here in my town. And the one in Sheldon, Missouri, where I used to teach. My People Magazine came every Monday. One week it was late, and when I took it out of my box on Wednesday, I found cookie crumbs between the pages! I guess the postmaster needed to finish reading it first.

Pat Wahler said...

I love quaint little towns. They have so much character. Thanks for the tour, Linda!


Bookie said...

Sounds nice

Connie said...

Sounds like a fun and charming place to visit.