In this day of email, text messages and Facebook, it’s easy to forget the central role that a post office played in a community.

A post office not only helped connect your area to the outside world, it served as a de facto community center. It wasn’t unusual to “check the mail” daily, so the PO became a hub for news and gossip. A post office also served as a point of pride. It proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you lived in a “real” place, a place important enough to have its own post office.

Goldsboro was deemed important enough to have its own post office, which is not surprising because Goldsboro was an incorporated city with a fully functional government. At least it was until 1911 when Sanford Mayor Forrest Lake decided Goldsboro stood in the way of the Celery City’s expansion plans. Lake had the State legislature revoke the charters of both cities and then issue a new charter to Sanford which eliminated Goldsboro and made it part of the larger city. With no city to call its own, the Goldsboro community lost the post office.

The building no longer remains, but on Friday, Aug. 21, the Goldsboro Post Office will be rebuilt through art. Local artist James Burke Jr. has created a new painting depicting the post office. The Goldsboro Welcome Center (1216 Historic Goldsboro Blvd.) and Francis Oliver are hosting an unveiling of Mr. Burke’s painting at 1:30 p.m.

You can no longer mail a letter from the Goldsboro Post Office, but if you come out on Friday you can definitely post a picture of Mr. Burke’s painting on Facebook.

– by Dan Ping

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