Saturday, October 17, 2015

Baring their soles to deliver the mail: The barefoot mailman statue of Hillsboro Beach, Florida

 There are lots of iguanas on hand to pay their respects...

 ...and you may see a parrot or two in the trees.

From 1885-92, the mail route between eastern coastal Lake Worth and Miami, Florida was not what you'd call highly trafficked. Or even paved, for that matter. There was no road to deliver the mail south of Lake Worth but this didn't stop the mighty mail carriers from getting letters and packages through to Victorian southeastern Floridians. Mail was brought by boat as far as practical and mailmen would then get out and make deliveries by foot, sans footwear, along the beaches. The route was 136 miles round trip and took six days. Twenty eight miles were done by row boat and, remarkably, the remaining 108 by foot. And I thought I had a lengthy commute. This delivery system was in place until a rock road from Lantana to Lemon City was completed in 1892. There were 11 barefoot mailmen and one, a Mr. James "Ed" Hamilton, disappeared in 1887, perhaps the lunch of an alligator.  A statue honoring Mr. Hamilton and the others sits in front of the Hillsboro Beach municipal hall. There, he looks out at the beach route, A1A, with a spring in his step and a mailbag over his shoulder, but no togs on his dogs. An added bonus are the many iguanas that sunbathe on the rocks and lawn at his feet. Would G-mail risk an alligator attack and sunstroke to get you the latest email blast from Amazon or Expedia? Doubtful. So here's to you, barefoot mailmen. You went through the agony of the feet for the thrill of vic-toe-ry.

No comments: