Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Horses of Ypsilanti: Dobbin

You've met Dobbin, haven't you? Of course you have--twice a day, as he pulled the little parcel post buggy around town to bring you your packages.

Dobbin was steered by veteran postman Foster Hammond. Hammond started work at the P.O. back in 1913--that's 3 years before the big new stone Post Office was built on Michigan Avenue, now the downtown library. Hammond worked with the P.O. till the 40s or so.

"The wagon, not unlike those which carried the traditional milkman on his daily way, was rented from August harnack, who also operated a book store on the Normal COllege campus.

"With this rig, Mr. Hammond made two rounds of the city a day. 'I knew almost everyone then,' he comments, adding that now (40s) he can walk along the street amidst a sea of strange faces.'"

In 1918, Hammond bought a car. "But while the 'parcel' postman 'went modern,' it hadn't happened yet to Normal College students. Then, laundry bags shuffled back and forth frequently. Every student had one bag going and another coming all the time, Mr. Hammond remembers. Upshot was a lot of shuffling of his parcel post delivery wagon, or car, between the post office and the campus."

Dobbin joins the ranks of other notable Ypsilanti horses who served the city for many years. To learn about others, you can check out Horses Vile and Faithful.

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