Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Basin Post Master

Can you read it?

I found this at Grandmother’s house when I lived there. They’re framed now and on the wall at the office. (I couldn’t just keep them to myself.)

They aren’t originals. At least one other of Dad’s cousins has a copy, too. But they’re so interesting to read. It’s from the government when they made a postoffice in the Basin, north of the ‘Ford.

I first read about it in Cherokee Strip Fever by Zola Sample. What a surprise! No one ever mentioned that part of the family history to us. In fact, they didn’t mention much family history beyond Grandad and Grandmother.

I loved seeing family names in her books. (Just now ordered my own copy because the copy I read before from Grandmother’s house has been misplaced.)

When I showed these papers to Dad, he said they had the legal wrong.

The postoffice was on the other side of the road from where it’s noted here.

That’s a map of the Basin–see how the river makes almost a complete circle? The shape is why it’s called Basin.

In my memory, there were no schools, businesses, saw mills, churches or postoffices in that area. Only farmers and ranchers. But in my imagination, I see a bustling community filled with relatives, in-laws and outlaws. 😉 How fun is that?

We hung the framed pages about the postoffice (the Mitchell side of the family) in the front office at work, next to pictures of my great-grandparents (the Spess side.)

Maybe this way we can pass down a little family history, at least.