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Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Pony Express visits Statesboro in 1946
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    On December 6, 1946, the United States Post Office held a most unusual event. In a meeting of old and new methods of delivery, the U.S. Mail was brought into Statesboro from Savannah by none other than Colonel Albert M. Deal, a Bulloch County legend in his own right. Riding upon a horse, he left at 8 a.m., accompanied by a Bulloch Countian escort of Fred T. Lanier, Thomas C. Smith, George Dean, Georgia Marsh, L.A. Waters, W.O. Denmark, W.W. Mann, Lannie Simmons, and Dr. A.L. Clifton.
    This pouch was given to Colonel Deal as he prepared to leave the main Savannah Post Office by none other than Postmaster J. Marcus Stubbs. This “Pony Express” will carry special letters. These cachets, as they are known, depicted both the Pony Express Riders and the new Air Mail deliveries carried on modern airplanes. All of the riders were dressed in the attire of the turn of century with their hair “boxed” and wearing leather garments. Each rider was given the honor of carrying the mail pouch full of the special “Pony Express” letters for a five mile stretch of the journey.
    The “Pony Express” letters were affixed with the special gold seal of the City of Savannah, and were personally autographed by Savannah’s Mayor, Peter R. Nugent. They were to be accompanied by members of the Georgia State Patrol the entire way. As Colonel Deal left Savannah what would be a long and tiresome journey, a plane will be readied to carry these special cachets to Statesboro in only thirty minutes. The “Air Mail’ letters were unstamped and carried by a specially contracted private air carrier.
When the riders approached the city limits, they were met by none other than a Statesboro Police Department contingent as well as most local dignitaries. The entire procession rode to the airport, at which the three day-long Sesquicentennial celebration of Bulloch County’s progress. Housed throughout some twenty buildings on the air base, the show included displays of the L.L. Foss Sea Island Cotton Gin, a one hundred year old saw mill, as well as many of the newest implements available to Bulloch County’s modern farmers.
    In the case of Bulloch County, this Sesqui-Centennial celebration of the Post Office’s new Air Mail Delivery Service will hopefully become a reality when regular air mail service to Statesboro becomes a reality. The reality of the situation was then that the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, D.C., had received several applications to establish connecting flights from Savannah to Macon via Statesboro and Dublin. The airline proposing this route, Southern Airways of Atlanta, did eventually get the route, and the rest is history.
    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger
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