China Postal History
Kennebec County, Maine

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

(updated 18 July 2021)


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



During the history of China, there have been five post offices.

Briefly, the history of these five is as follows:
1. Harlem (1) post office opened on 20 April 1810, and on 25 June 1818 was renamed as China post office. China post office was renamed on 1 July 2001 as China Village post office, which is still operating.
2. Dirigo (1) post office opened on 11 April 1860 and closed on 20 September 1875.
3. Harlem (2) post office opened on 16 January 1818 and was renamed on 8 May 1828 as South China post office, which is still operating.
4. Weeks Mills post office opened on 16 March 1838 and is still operating.
5. West China post office never opened although its “opening date” was 5 May 1891 and its “closing date” was 15 May 1891.


In 1914, there were three post offices in China: China, South China, and Weeks Mills. (source: Post Route Map of the State of Maine 1914)
      
      (click on image to enlarge)




Postmarks from the town of China include:
China
Dirigo (1)
Harlem (1)
Harlem (2)
South China
Weeks Mills
West China



China


1818 June 25:
   China post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)

1852:
   postmaster: Oliver W. Washburn. (source: Maine Register, and State Reference Book. 1852.)

year? December 7:
   The circular postmark is 25–26 mm in diameter.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

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

1932 January 7 through 1933 March:
   The circular postmark is 29–30 mm in diameter. The elliptical cancellation to the right of the postmark is approximately 26 mm high and is composed of seven parallel line segments and two endcaps. The first day of issue for the stamped envelope (U525; below left) was 1 January 1932.
         
      (click on an image to enlarge)

1939 December 9:
   The circular postmark is 29–30 mm in diameter.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

today:
   China post office is still in operation.


South China


1828 May 8:
   South China post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)

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

2017 December 3:
   South China post office
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

today:
   South China post office is still in operation.


Weeks Mills


1838 March 16:
   Weeks Mills post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)

1946 October 2:
   The circular postmark is approximately 32 mm in diameter.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

1987 September 3:
   The circular postmark is 31–32 mm in diameter. The vertical outside height of the four horizontal bars to the right of the circle is approximately 18 mm.
      
      (click on image to enlarge)

today:
   Weeks Mills post office is still[?] in operation.