Saturday, May 19, 2012

First Air Mail Service in Gig Harbor

Local children gather on the beach, May 19, 1938
Air Mail service in the United States began 101 years ago in 1911 with the first flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, California, on February 19.  It would be 27 years later that Air Mail service came to Gig Harbor.

To promote the anniversary of that service,  the Post Office issued a new Air Mail Stamp and a special stamp cachet.  Everyone was encouraged to mail at least one letter during the week of May 15-21, 1938.  

So, on May 19,  two pilots on a small plane left the Mueller-Hawkins Airport in Tacoma and landed on the East Gig Harbor beach waterfront property of Ethel Treutle [located next to the County Boat Launch.]  
The one-engine plane surrounded by the crowd.

It was a great success!  Several hundred people welcomed the plane bringing their letters.

And, they continued mailing letters all week long.  John Insel, rural mail carrier for Gig Harbor, carried the most air mail letters in the entire state during the week May 15-21.  
Town officials pose in front of the plane. 

Linda McCowen, Historic Photo Editor
© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

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