At the time William Beekman operated his mercantile it most certainly would have served as a postal drop-off point—just one stop along the 2,000 miles of post roads that crept down the eastern coast of America.

From the mercantile, mail would be carried by stage coach to New York and then routed down the next leg of its journey.  (The famed Pony Express did not begin until around 1860 and was used explicitly to carry mail to the gold rushed west coast).

Growing up in the rural south, I can easily romanticize going to the post office to pick up a package.  I was fascinated by the neat rows of etched brass-doored boxes and even more-so by the tiny windows that allowed you just a glimpse of what was inside.  I envied the more urbane townspeople who got to open those “treasure chests” on a daily basis.

Truth be told, I also found something oddly fascinating about the FBI’s ’10 Most Wanted’ poster, the missing children photos and all of the fliers for tractor parts, free kittens, and housecleaning services that blanketed the community board.

In small town America, the post office is a gathering place—like church—only with slightly less gossip.

As email and texting and other forms of electronic communication have made life faster and more efficient, many small town post offices are being closed.  This is why we made the conscious decision at Beekman 1802 to use the post office as our primary source for getting our “goods for good homes” to good homes all over the United States.

We hope that we are doing our part to keep our little post office open.

Perhaps when I see the VFW selling paper flowers for a dollar in honor of veterans outside UPS or the local school having a bake sale on the steps of FedEx, I’ll change my mind, but until then Bob and Maria (yes, I am on a first name basis with our postmaster and clerk!) are safe.

Bob and Maria have yet to lose one of our exquisite B. 1802 Heirloom Love Letters

by Dr. Brent

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Steve Williams

Brent, you and Josh through your show, your store and your passionate personalities have captured a huge fan base and support for all the work you do.

I too was raised in the rural south and remember the quaintness your speak of. I can only imagine the sense of pride and joy of ownership you and Josh get from the beautiful home and business you have turned into a way of life and a sensation across the country. What an awesome journey!

I love your show and spread the word 'far and wide.' It's our favorite by far. My daughter, Brooke, who is in love with you both, recently moved to Charleston, S.C. and I just returned from a week visit (the food is awesome!). She is a huge fan and is counting the days until your holiday special. So are we.

You guys have endeared yourselves and captured the hearts of folk all over the country. It is by far the most unique and appealing work on television. In reference to the huge and growing popularity of your show, Michael d'Estries said of Planet Green on his Sept. 30 blog: "it's evident that they're eager for the magic to continue." And so are all your fans!

Wishing you continued success and prosperity! Well deserved. Steve


Nice piece Dr. B! My grandfather's grandfather (or great grandfather, can't get it straight), opened a general store in Benton, Tennessee, that included a post office. He next got some people together to start a bank, which I don't know how to do! Somewhere in there was a place to send telegraphs. I think it must have been the berries to go in and see what all they had. Everybody sewed, so they had a ton of fabric, and lots of our folk became tailors.They had good coffee and tea and lots of candy. They regularly ran out of beauty products, whenever they got them. I guess you made your own if you could. My mother said her sister played a joke on her, telling her that watermelon juice would make her skin beautiful It just drew flies!!

Hope ya'll have a fine Fall. XXX

Erin R.

I have to agree with you. I live about 15 miles from Sharon Springs and the post master at the local post office here is wonderful. I recently lost my dog and she told everyone in town and handed out posters for me. She even offered to help me look on her lunch break. With her help I was able to find my dog within an hour! It's so nice to deal with someone everyday that actually cares.

Cathy Collomy

I just watched my first episode of your show! I LOVED it! "About" 40 years ago I sent a letter to my grandmother in Stowe VT from Cambridge MA. It was addressed simply to: Grammy Bailey Stowe Vermont.

No zip code or return address. It was scrawled in a young child's handwriting. The stamp was a "Green Stamp"!!! Not even a postage stamp!!(if you have to ask "what is a green stamp?" your too young to know!!) She received it about a week later! No postage due! I wish I had that letter today with a canceled green stamp! Thats got to be a very rare stamp!! :o) The written word is a dieing art with text message's and e-mails so easily read then "deleted". I have a few letters from the early 1800's through the 1890's from my great-great-great grandparents and family members to each other. Also addressed with just the name, town, and state! The fact they were saved shows how important the postal service was, and I pray will remain! I cherish those letters as a peek into the past!! They speak of the cost of eggs in the city, to being stuck in the mud on the stage coach.

I love your farm! It brings back memories of caring for my grandmothers goats. Feeding and milking twice a day. Brushing them daily and mucking the barn on top of other farm chores. All for the high wage of $1 a week!( I loved the goats. I would have done it for free!!)

Love to you both! (((HUGS))) Cathy C. and family

Tina Butler

Thanks Brent. We LOVE it. It's hard to believe we've spent the past 10 years here starting our family and uncovering all of these wonderful treasures!

Too bad I'll miss you at Terrain today. Enjoy. It's one of my favorite spots here in Chester County. I'm about 30 minutes southwest. Don't miss Winterthur if you haven't been before. It's AMAZING.

Hope the weather cooperates!

In Peace, Tina

Tina Butler

We live in Steelville, Pennsylvania. Our home served as a post office for many years until it moved across the street into the smaller home on our property. It was Post Mistress Verl Evans who ran the local until she retired in the 80's. Our place dates back to the 1730's. Luckily (or unlucky) our previous owners NEVER threw anything away. Although it's been never ending cleaning out our many buildings, there's nothing like coming across documents that are over a hundred years old. Apparently, the post office here issued vouchers (like credit) and kept maps and deeds. We found a ton of this stuff in the attic. Happy Farming! Our first pullets arrived last Monday. In Peace, Tina Butler

Stan Burch

Love the show.

Thanks for using the Postal Service.

I have been a Rural Letter Carrier in Douglasville, GA for 23 years.

We are currently losing a lot of volumn of mail. People are being laid off and routes sre being combined. 20 years ago I served 400 mailboxes. Today I serve 600 and soon will have to serve 800 per day to stay full time.

Every letter and parcel helps.


Wow that farm and town has some history, you guys should consider metal detecting your property you might be surprised at the items you can find from the original owners like coins, jewelery, silverware… it would make a nice display case for visitors to see. Good luck with the show and business.


Dear Brent and Josh,

My husband and I really enjoy your show and wish you both lots of luck in your farming ventures (and endless ADVENTURES!). We made the decision to leave urban life and buy a farm in 1998 and absolutely love it. Even though our original plan was to raise bison, we only have lots of chickens and I sell eggs. I love my chickens (all named). We tried our hands—and aching backs—at growing and selling a variety of vegetables at 2 farmers' markets for a few years, specializing in large sweet onions and eggplants. Smalltown, rural life in SW Penna is great—I hope the old, spacious postoffice is never closed! I religiously pay all bills by mail to support the USPS, inquire as to the newest stamps, and enjoy watching the "townies" catch up on the latest news. We have researched the history of our house–circa 1850–and are thrilled at the discovery of buried "treasures"! Our friends and families think we're crazy to opt for nonstop projects, problems, and animal crises, but we feel we owe respect to the land and the men who originally settled here when life was TRULY hard! Can't wait 'til your next episode! ENJOY!!!

Cathie Bridwell

Hi from Texas,

Love your new show….I wish it was on more often.( we will be watching every Wed.) I admire your philosophy and your business model…. What a classy farm and business… Will be ordering some soap today. Please tell us more about the history of the farm.


Dr. Brent

Hi, Cathie

Thanks for spreading the word about the show in Texas!. We have tons of information about the history of the farm on this very website. Do a little a exploring on the next rainy afternoon


Hi Brent,

My mother and father live in a small town in Maryland. I believe the town's population is up to 700 people now! Anyway, they still have those little boxes with the window in them and they have to enter a combination to get their mail!

I love your show.


Nettie Grimes

My husband and I love your show! We live in a rural community near a little town called Berger. Up until a few years ago our little post office shipped boxes of baby chicks for the local Ken Roy Hatchery. It was such fun to visit the post office with our kids and see the boxes of chicks waiting to be shipped to homes all over the country. The hatchery is no longer in business but thankfully the little post office is. We get rural delivery at a mailbox at the end of our farmland. Our mail delivery lady, Mary, often drives all the way down our lane to bring a special Mother's Day or Christmas package.

We love everything about your show. Jim has been wanting to get a few milk goats as we are retired and could tend to them. Your Farmer John is an inspiration.

Thank you for this invitation to share Beekman 1802.


Growing up in a small, southern West Virginia town I can appreciate the old post office oh so much. It was with great pleasure on Saturday's to drive with my dad to the post office to pick up mail for our family. This was a ritual! And all the characters you would talk to with all the great stories because everyone knew everybody! It was a hangout for the older gentlemen and dad was so proud to bring his daughter along for the ride.

I won't forget when my "smart" older brother, who had been away to much bigger towns, told my dad that they should do away with the post office and do delivery to the rural homes because it was most likely a money pit for the USPS to keep that post office open. My dad turned to inform "Mr. Genius" that having Customers come to the post office in their own vehicle using their own gas that only employs one worker (with no need for a vehicle) was how things should work and that it was the delivery service that was COSTLY. Mr. Genius shut up then.

P.S. Loved your show!

Kim Bilbrough Chandl

Brent, To my wonderful surprise, I opened my Raleigh News and Observer Life section and read about your new show and your farm on the front page. I am a Beekman by heritage, so of course I was very drawn in by the name. My grandfather, Austin Stults Beekman, was from NJ originally but his ancestors hailed from NY. He studied horticulture at Rutgers and established a large peach and apple orchard in Boyertown, PA, which my cousin now operates. My sisters, cousins, and I all have the Beekman nose! It's rather distinct and we all joke about it. Anyway, I am getting off track. I am so excited to watch your show, on here in Raleigh on Wed. nights, and to see the Beekman house. I know from many visits to NYC, that it is fun to see all the Beekman name sightings in Manhattan!

My grandfather and his brother were known as the Beekman boys. It's exciting to see that the Fabulous Beekman Boys are keeping the name, and farming, alive and well in NY. Best wishes to you with your show and your farm!


Kim Chandler


Loved the Post Office story and the others shared in the comments. I actually became Post Office obsessed when I went away to college. I professed to be a brave college student, but raced to the Post Office every day to see if I had something from family or friends back home (pre-email 80's). I wish we had charming Post Offices in Houston; ours looks like Walmarts. I thought the show was great too. Of course we had to sit there and say which of us was Josh and which was Brent (Hi Brent!). Just ordered the goat cheese too. Can't wait to try it!

Dr. Brent

Thanks, Mark. Just a warning. There's a bit of a waitlist for the cheese at the moment. The goats just can't keep up with their new-found fame!


Our post office (in Fly Creek NY; we are practically neighbors!) is in an old house, with a porch and flower boxes. Our neighbor/brush hog guy is also the local mailman and Ruthann, the clerk, was almost giddy when she called to let me know that my box of baby chicks had arrived!

My family and I plunked down on an old farm here about 7 years ago and still marvel at life in rural NY. Loved your show last night and totally relate to how a simpler life translates to much more work;) I am pretty sure that we are going to bump into each other someday, it's a small world up here!



I, too, was happy to see a new entry today. I just finished the Bucolic Plague and am anxious to see your new TV show tonight.

I've been following you website and blogs since the NYT article and felt it was finally time to write a note of admiration.

My partner and I just moved to our weekend country house full-time after 23 years in the city and are inspired by your journey. We have closed our city business and are going to attempt to create a new life on our farm.

Our 25 chickens are 10 weeks old today and our garden is growing strong. It will be fun to watch your show and "compare notes". Good luck!



In honor of Planet Green’s new reality series, THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS check out this list of TV's Top 10 Farmers. And Enter the FREE Giveaway to Win Josh's new book “The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers”



I just spent the better part of this afternoon on a rainy Indiana day reading your fabulous blog posts from beginning until now. You have such an absolutely lovely way of writing about your experiences and I feel like i just finished in inspiring book. My husband and I are looking forward to your show since we just started our very small garden this year. We live in what can only be described as super-suburbia but look forward to saving up for our own sustainable farm and building a self sufficient house someday. Keep posting, I'm so looking forward to hearing (and seeing) more about the Beekman!

Best wishes,


PS I hope you're growing lots of sweet basil-It's the one thing I know I can't live without and it's so easy to incorporate into meals!

Dr. Brent

Hi, Kat

We are glad you stopped by and look forward seeing you here often! Please share your own ideas. We love that! No garden would be complete without sweet basil!

Matthew Russell Snyd

Growing up in rural (now suburban) Waverly, Pennsylvania

we had (and still have) a structure in the center of the village called The Waverly Community House (extended DuPont family built it):

I remember the smell of the post office inside: musty and metallic. The building even had a candy shop where they sold, gasp, candy cigarettes. This was the late 70's. I haven't been back to that structure since my Cub Scout days, lol, but maybe I'll drop in when I head to my family's estate sale later this month. My grandmother passed and my mother is alone in a large house now. Soon to downsize herself.

Thanks for your amazing website and blog. My partner and I bought a renovated saltbox in the Hudson Valley/Catskills with 35 acres in 2002 and treasure every bucolic moment up here. I am coming to see the city as "the big cash register" sadly, but still love the contrast. Ask me the same question again in 10 years and I will be up her full time I am sure. About to pack up my laptop and drive back to the city. Fortunately our drive is only 2 hours. Don't know how you did 4?!

All my best of luck to you both in your amazing lifestyle business. Can't wait to see the show!


Susan Fanning

One of the best things Nashville ever did was to allow the old main post office on Broadway to become the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The building's integrity was maintained (in fact, the tables inside the lobby are same ones where people used to address letters, put stamps on envelopes, etc.) and it's beautiful. All that's missing is the "Wanted" posters. Best part is that the post office wasn't kicked out–it's over on the right side by the Union Hotel.

Joe Geppert

I agree, we are in fear of losing our classical designed post office in downtown Erie, which has all those wonderful brass boxes and marble floors. Not small town this is a large town. They want us to drive to suburbs to this cold stark building with no character. I do all of my post work at the old standard. We have to save these things. Also I try and send snail mail whenever possible something special about getting a letter in the mail to me hand written and sealed. I still have all my letters from friends and family over the years and it is like going down memory lane especially when they are from those who have since passed. So three cheers to the Beekman boys for working hard at keeping their small town post office. Joe


Glad to see this new entry! I've been busy devouring Josh's book and always look forward to yet another Brent story.

I like how many of the old post offices smell. It's like years of old stamp glue permeate the walls.

I remember in the 70s, the post office was one of the only places you could find a Xerox machine – and people would go there to make their 5 cent a page copies!