In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service announced 3,653 rural post offices would close. A disproportionate number of the condemned are located in the South. Several thousand locations have since been added to this list of erasure as the Postal Service struggles to cement its foothold in an increasingly digitized world. The fate of the rural post office remains unclear.
The post office serves as town center in rural communities. Often acting as a town’s sole address, this location embodies the numerical identity of place. Without its presence in the landscape, a ZIP code is lost.
Yet residents remain anchored in place. In spite of post office departure or a vanished code, the home stands. Attachment to land lingers, rooted deeper than digits.