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Apr 12

The History of the Royal Oak Post Office

Posted on April 12, 2021 at 1:08 PM by Judy Davids

Post Office circa 1936
Above:  Photo from the Royal Oak Tribune dated August 31, 1936.


James Lockwood, the first postmaster serving the territory now known as Royal Oak, was appointed by John Quincy Adams on April 6, 1825. The rest as they say is history.

Lockwood lived in a log cabin on the site of the present Washington Square Plaza building.

From 1831 to 1841, the post office was moved to Chase's Corners at 13 Mile and Woodward, which was the center of the community in the pioneer days of Royal Oak Township.

With the coming of the railroad in 1838, the center of activity shifted again and the Postmaster Moses Johnson conducted the post office from his store at the northeast corner of Main Street and University. During the Civil War the post office was in a general store at Fifth and the railroad. This building was later moved to Main and First (now Main Street) and used as a milk house by William Hilzinger.

A little later, stagecoaches carried mail and passengers three times a week over a plank road from Royal Oak to Rochester. After a time, George Hickey began carrying mail three times a week on the Niles Road from Royal Oak to Troy Corners (Big Beaver and Rochester). Some people made hinged boxes for mail and nailed them to a fence and hired Hickey to bring their mail. This antedated Rural Free Delivery by forty years or more.

The post office was usually the center of attraction and men gathered at dusk after a game of horseshoes to tell tales and talk over the questions of local and national importance.

- Compiled by John A. Kuzemba, Royal Oak clerk, August 8, 2013

Read the complete history of the Royal Oak Post office.

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