Harpswell Postal History
Cumberland County, Maine

a project of
V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 111 - Shawmut, Maine  04975
info@vfthomas.com

(updated 10 June 2021)


Thank you for contributions to this page from James Husson and from the Strout family collection.



During the history of the town of Harpswell, there have been 11 post offices.

Briefly, the history of these 11 is as follows:
1. Bailey Island post office was established as Bailey’s Island on 10 April 1888 and is still operating. It’s name was changed to Bailey Island on 2 March 1892.
2. Birch Island post office was established on 20 June 1902, and on 30 June 1964, it was renamed as Birch Island Rur. Sta. Brunswick, which closed in 1991.
3. Cundys Harbor post office opened on 20 January 1874, closed on 31 December 1918, re-opened on 15 April 1919, and closed on 31 October 1958.
4. Cundys Harbor Rur. Sta. Brunswick was established on 18 June 1959, and on [date?] it was renamed as Cundys Harbor CPO Brunswick, which is still operating.
5. East Harpswell post office operated from 19 May 1868 to 15 April 1899.
6. Harpswell (1) post office was established on 20 May 1842, and on 13 October 1842, it was renamed as Mericoneag, which closed on 29 July 1846.
7. South Harpswell post office opened on 20 June 1866 and closed on 11 December 1866. It re-opened on 6 July 1878 and was renamed on 4 March 1996 as Harpswell (2) post office, which is still operating.
8. Harpswell Center post office was established on 25 February 1864 as Harpswell Centre. Its name was changed to Harpswell Center in 1896, and it closed on 15 April 1899.
9. North Harpswell post office operated from 25 February 1864 until 15 April 1899.
10. Orrs Island post office was established on 13 May 1868 and is still operating.
11. West Harpswell post office opened on 14 October 1847, closed on 27 May 1854, re-opened on 11 September 1862, and closed on 15 April 1899.


In 1914 there were five post offices in Harpswell: Bailey Island, Birch Island, Cundy’s Harbor, South Harpswell, and Orrs Island. (source: Post Route Map of the State of Maine 1914)
      
      (click on image to enlarge)




Postmarks from the town of Harpswell include:
Bailey Island
Birch Island
Birch Island Rur. Sta. Brunswick
Cundys Harbor
Cundys Harbor CPO Brunswick
Cundys Harbor Rur. Sta. Brunswick
East Harpswell
Harpswell (1)
Harpswell (2)
Harpswell Center
Mericoneag
North Harpswell
Orrs Island
South Harpswell
West Harpswell



Bailey Island


1888 April 10:
   Bailey Island post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1933 August 24 through 1946 August 29:
   The circular postmark is 31–34 mm in diameter. The four horizontal bars to the right of the circle are 5–6 mm apart on center.
         
      (click on an image to enlarge)

1950 April 1:
   The circular postmark is approximately 33 mm in diameter.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

1992 January 2:
   The circular postmark is 31–33 mm in diameter. The four horizontal bars to the right of the circle are 5–6 mm apart on center.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

2021:
   Bailey Island post office; 2120 Harpswell Island Road; Bailey Island, Maine  04003. Lat./Long.: N 43°44′10″ x W 69°59′32″.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

today:
   Bailey Island post office is still in operation.



Birch Island


1902 June 20:
   Birch Island post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1910 August 27:
   The circular postmark is approximately 33 mm in diameter.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

1964 June 30:
   Birch Island post office was renamed as Birch Island Rur. Sta. Brunswick. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)


Cundys Harbor


1874 January 20:
   Cundys Harbor post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

31 December 1918:
   Cundys Harbor post office closed. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1919 April 15:
   Cundys Harbor post office re-opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1935 July 15 through 1935 August 15:
   The circular postmark is 30–32 mm in diameter. The four horizontal bars to the right of the circle are approximately 5 mm on center.
         
      (click on an image to enlarge)

1937 February 23 through 1950 December 2:
   The circular postmark is 31–33 mm in diameter. The outer vertical height of the four horizontal bars to the right of the circle is 18–19 mm.
            
      (click on an image to enlarge)

31 October 1958:
   Cundys Harbor post office closed. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)



Harpswell (2)


1996 March 4:
   the former South Harpswell post office was renamed as Harpswell (2) post office. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

2021:
   Harpswell (2) post office; 1212 Harpswell Neck Road; Harpswell Maine  04079. Lat./Long.: N 43°46′50″ x W 69°59′59″.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

today:
   Harpswell (2) post office is still in operation.



Harpswell Center


1864 February 25:
   Harpswell Center post office was established, as Harpswell Centre. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1896:
   The spelling changed to Harpswell Center. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

date?:
   Harpswell Center post office.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

1899 April 15:
   Harpswell Center post office closed. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)


Orrs Island


1868 May 13:
   Orrs Island post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

193- August 5 through 1950 December 1:
   The outer circle of the postmark is 34–35 mm in diameter. The inner circle is 23–24 mm in diameter.
            
      (click on an image to enlarge)

2021:
   Orrs Island post office; 1729 Harpswell Island Road; Orrs Island, Maine  04066. Lat./Long.: N 43°45′4″ x W 69°58′41″.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

today:
   Orrs Island post office is still in operation.



South Harpswell


1866 June20:
   South Harpswell post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1866 December 11:
   South Harpswell post office closed. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1878 July 6:
   South Harpswell post office re-opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

date?:
   South Harpswell post office.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

1996 March 4:
   South Harpswell post office renamed as Harpswell (2) post office. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)


West Harpswell


1847 October 14:
   West Harpswell post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1854 May 27:
   West Harpswell post office closed. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1862 September 11:
   West Harpswell post office re-opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)

1884 August:
   The circular postmark is 26–27 mm in diameter.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

1899 April 15:
   West Harpswell post office closed. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.)