ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Virginia Theological Seminary, 3737 Seminary Road, has announced, “At the end of this month, March 31, 2019, the little white post office located on the Seminary campus will officially close.”
According the Seminary’s public service announcement, the decision to close the post office was made by the VTS Board of Trustees at their November 2018 meeting. The campus has outgrown the capacity of the small facility and the building’s future is unknown.
The History of the Little Post Office
The origins of the little post office are sketchy, but generally the facts most stories share is that when the Virginia Seminary first moved out of Old Town Alexandria in the 1850s to what was then “the wilderness,” of Quaker Lane and Seminary Road, students had to take turns making the long trek into town for the daily mail delivery and pickup.
During the occupation of the campus grounds by union soldiers, many temporary buildings were erected and torn down. It is possible that the post office was built during that time and then never torn down. Th facts are unclear until the building shows up on a census of post office sites in 1868.
In the 1980’s the Seminary Post Office was run as a contract station, meaning it was run privately by various people, the way a franchise business operates. In 1997 the Seminary contracted with the USPS to take back the management of the post office with the Seminary providing the building and utilities. In the agreement, the post office would provide faculty members with free post boxes and the postmaster would sort the mail between dorms, library, and the administration.
Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship seminary of the Episcopal Church with a staff of over 100 serving a student body of over 200 women and men enrolled from around the world preparing for ordained and lay service within the church.
When the Seminary Road post office closes, Alexandrians will have the following USPS locations nearby: