Central Coasting

Carmel Post Office a place to get mail, meet friends

Home delivery not offered in the village

CARMEL, Calif. - The Carmel Post Office is like a great episode of Cheers, where everybody knows your name.

"You see people you know every day and their dogs. It's just a nice feeling," said Carmel resident Judd Jordan.

"Some of them even go to the same church. It's very personable," resident Monalisa Janssen added.

Carmel-by-the-Sea does not have numbered street addresses, therefore, no regular mail carriers. That's why Judd and Dawna Jordan have walked to the post office for more than ten years.

"We love it," said Dawna. "It gives us an incentive to get out and do our walks in the morning."

It's a walk that many before them has taken.

"Ever since there has been mail service in the area, which goes back to the 1890s, people got used to going to the post office. It was the community gathering place,” said Carmel History Librarian Kathleen O'Connell.

As the flow of mail increased, the City Council in 1926 decided they wanted to do home mail delivery. They passed a resolution forcing people to put numbers of their houses, and if you didn’t you could face criminal charges. Those council member ended up being voted out of office and the measure repealed

"This idea of numbering houses went away. It became a point of pride that Carmel didn’t have house numbers,” said Monalisa Janssen.

There have been a couple of other attempts since then, but it appears nothing will be changing anytime soon -- even if the post office is a little extra busy around the holidays.

“You can’t shove a parcel into a P.O. box, so we have to leave a notice in there. We've been doing this for 241 years and nothing has changed. They want service and they want it the way they expect it,” said USPS Corporate Communications spokesperson Augustine Ruiz.


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