Lake George adds to President Nixon’s collection in 1971

The Lake George post office garnered national publicity, including from President Richard Nixon, and won the top eastern regional honor, fifty years ago with a multi-modal stunt to celebrate the first day of the new U.S. Postal Service, the private entity that replaced the former government-run post office system.

“The (July 1) event received widespread newspaper, radio and television coverage,” The Post-Star reported.

Local construction contractor Duke Kubricky supplied a helicopter to fly over Lake George and pick up a sack of mail from the Lake George Steamboat Co. vessel Mohican.

The chopper flew the sack to the Ghost Town Post Office at Storytown U.S.A. theme park in Queensbury, now Six Flags Great Escape.

From Storytown, “Pony Express” riders Joseph Garry, John Hall, George Ryan. and Mrs. Cynthia Leahey transported the mail bag on horseback to the Fort William Henry Post Office and on to the Lake George Post Office.

Lake George Postmaster James Duffy sent a limited-edition commemorative postal cover to President Nixon, who wrote back that he was “pleased to have this special issue, carried by Pony Express, for his philatelic collection.”

Robert Maxwell, former Postmaster General of the United Nations, observed the goings on.

The promotion won the first-place Gold Trophy in a competition between among 7,599 post offices in 13 eastern states and the District of Columbia to conceive the most ingenious way to promote the occasion.

“It shows what can be done through unselfish cooperation among local businessmen and citizens who grabbed the ball of the original idea and ran with it for a touchdown,” said Duffy, The Post-Star reported on Sept. 28, 1971.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY