Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Bad news from Hope July 27, 2011

The Hope Post Office, which I photographed on Sunday.

I WISH I DIDN’T have to update a story I posted just yesterday about the post office in Hope, south of Owatonna off Interstate 35. But I must, and the news isn’t good.

On Tuesday the United States Postal Service released the latest in a lengthy list—try 3,600-plus—post offices that could be closed to save money.

Hope wasn’t on that list.

But apparently it was on an earlier list as I discovered just minutes ago. While researching another topic online, I came across two newspaper articles about the proposed closing of Hope’s post office. Community residents have already gathered at a meeting to express their dismay with the planned closure.

Click here to read a story published in The Owatonna People’s Press.

Click here to read another story published in the The Star Eagle based in Waseca County.

Residents of Hope and the surrounding area, according to the articles, will have to wait about three more months before a decision is made on the proposed closure.

You’ll read in these stories how residents fear losing the one central place that connects them, how they worry about the impact on local businesses and more.

Their concerns are legitimate. I said it in my previous post and I’ll say it again. In a small town, a post office serves as a community gathering spot. It isn’t just a place to pick up mail, buy stamps or send a package. It is part of the heartbeat of small town Main Street.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling