Putting Their Stamp On It

250th Anniversary Events Draw to Close in Newbury, Haverhill

Elizabeth Achilles, right, the Postmaster Relief for the Newbury Post Office, stamps a commemmorative cancellation on special envelopes for Marilyn Fuller, left, of Newbury, at the Newbury Post Office in Newbury, Vt., on December 28, 2013. Fuller's nephew designed the art on the envelopes and pins the post office sold in honor of Newbury's 250th anniversary. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

Elizabeth Achilles, right, the Postmaster Relief for the Newbury Post Office, stamps a commemmorative cancellation on special envelopes for Marilyn Fuller, left, of Newbury, at the Newbury Post Office in Newbury, Vt., on December 28, 2013. Fuller's nephew designed the art on the envelopes and pins the post office sold in honor of Newbury's 250th anniversary. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

Newbury, Vt. — When the stream of special envelopes came across the desk of Newbury Postmaster Replacement Elizabeth Achilles on Saturday, she outfitted each one with a stamp and then marked each with a special cancellation postmark.

They were special because they bore the 250th anniversary logo for Haverhill and Newbury, turning the envelopes and postmarks into the latest piece of memorabilia in a year that has seen the sale of shirts, mugs and Christmas ornaments, as well as myriad events through 2013 commemorating the anniversary.

“It’s a little piece of history,” said Richard Roderick, a member of the 250th committee who lives in Wells River, of the envelope.

Saturday afternoon’s envelope event was the year’s penultimate one.

The final event, a candlelight service, will take place at 7 p.m. tonight at the First Congregational UCC Church in Newbury.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, the beginning of the two-hour sale, a steady group of residents from the area visited the Newbury Post Office in search of a piece of history.

“Did you come for...” said Amanda Beaulieu, who was staffing the sale. She trailed off, deferring the next thought to Craig Hervey, who had just walked through the door.

“I did,” replied Hervey, of Newbury.

“How many would you like?” Beaulieu said.

A dozen, as it turned out, at 50 cents apiece. Hervey planned to give them to his grandchildren, one way he was celebrating what he called a “minor historical event.”

Beaulieu is not a member of the 250th committee, but Roderick said she took an idea he had earlier in the year and brought it to fruition.

“I love Newbury,” Beaulieu said, adding that her two sons both grew up in town, and one has returned and an adult (and the other moved to nearby to Ryegate). “It’s just a picturesque little town.”

By the end of the day, 107 envelopes had been bought and canceled, Beaulieu said, which nearly exhausted the stock. More envelopes will be printed next week, she said, and will be able to be purchased at the town clerk’s office.

The cancellation postmark will be available at the post office through Feb. 28.

Beaulieu helped more residents as they came through the door.

One couple’s order ballooned from a single envelope to 10 of them as they realized how many people they’d like to give them to. Marilyn Fuller, of Newbury, bought about a dozen — “I’m not mailing these,” she said — as did Hervey.

So did Lenny Targonski, of Ryegate. “Historically, this is a great area,” Targonski said.

After each envelope purchase, Achilles, the postmaster replacement, sold the customer some stamps before adorning the envelope with an ink 250th logo.

She said she wasn’t content to just watch as others took part in the anniversary. “My intention is to buy 20 or 25 envelopes for myself,” said Achilles, who lives in South Ryegate, Vt., “and get them canceled.”

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.