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Tomato, Arkansas Postmarks

Tomato, Arkansas Postmark, 1953
Tomato, Arkansas Postmark from 1953

Tomato, Arkansas Postmark, 1963
Tomato, Arkansas Postmark from 1963

These two post cards are philatelic items documenting the postmark for Tomato, Arkansas. Finding non-philatelic mail with this postmark would be a challenge because for much of its history it claimed the title of the smallest post office in the United States.

On May 24, 1898 the United States opened its post office in Tomato, Arkansas. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas, provides two traditional explanations for the post office's name. According to one of them, the owner of the local store, a Mr. Coleman, consulted his daughter Letty. Holding a can of tomatoes, she is reported to have said, “Why not just name it Tomato.” A second explanation is that a crate decorated with a colorful picture of a tomato was attached to a post or tree near the river bank for the delivery of items by riverboat captains. They referred to the stop as "Tomato." The original building was destroyed by flooding from the Mississippi River in 1937. In 1990, the Tomato facility was the second-smallest post office in the United States, with only twenty-three rented boxes. It closed on November 2, 2002.

Tomato, Arkansas Post Office
Post Office in Tomato, Arkansas


Bibliography

Kloetzel, James E. ed. "United States." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Sidney, Ohio: Amos Media, 2015.

"Post Offices by State." Postmaster Finder. 2020. United States Postal Service. Web. 19 Nov. 2020.
     https://webpmt.usps.gov/pmt011.cfm?stat_state_name=ARKANSAS.

"Tomato (Mississippi County)." Encyclopedia of Arkansas. 2019. Central Arkansas Library System. Web. 19 Nov. 2020.
     encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/tomato-mississippi-county-6459/.


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