Milford post office mural on Purgatory Post stamp
Purgatory Post got its December 2019 stamp issue out the door a few days early. The new 6-sola stamp placed into use on November 25 pictures a mural painted on the wall of the Milford, New Hampshire, post office. The mural, painted in 1940 by Philip von Saltza, depicts a group of loggers.
“I think it’s a bit unusual they chose a logging scene for Milford since we never had a big lumber industry here,” writes Purgatory Post operator Scott Abbot, “but I think the traveling artists had a number of designs prepared and felt it fit the character of the town.”
Beginning in 1933, the U.S. Department of the Treasury paid artists to paint murals in post offices and public buildings in every state. The program ended in 1943 during the middle of World War II.
The United States Postal Service earlier this year issued a set of five stamps depicting post office murals from around the country, but not the one in Milford. I think Purgatory Post’s new stamp strikes a nice balance between local relevance (Purgatory Post is based in Milford) and popular appeal, which I know from experience is not always an easy accomplishment for a modern local post.