Telephone & Mail Service

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Mail service along the German Coast was improving. Special delivery service to villages began in 1885 and rural delivery in the 1890s. Louisiana was a bit ahead of other states in that it was one of the very first to have free rural delivery mail routes. Imagine how excited German Coast residents were when they saw the mailman coming.

Early Mail Carrier
Early mail carrier in St. Charles Parish.

Mail service was very slow and not always reliable. Horseback, stagecoaches, and boats carried mail to its destination. Sometimes the carriers lost their way or met with washed-out roadways. Sometimes postmasters would have to post notices in local newspapers such as: “It is with regret that I must inform you that the mail, which was supposed to leave New Orleans on Wednesday, has been lost in Bayou Des Allemands because the horse on which it was being carried fell into the bayou and drowned. It is hoped the bag will be recovered.”

Telephone Service
In a September 1883 edition of the St. Charles Herald, an article read, “On Tuesday last, while in the city, Manager Huck, of the Telephone Co., informed us that he would, if possible, have a switch-board located in Hahnville, next week, at the Herald Office, in order to enable our merchants and the community to speak with friends above or below us. The charge will be for five minutes or less between here and New Orleans, twenty-five cents.” This notice appeared frequently in the St. Charles Herald during the late 1800s.

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

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