“Postal service shuts Montpelier Station office over racial segregation exhibit” – TTG

In recognition of African-American History Month, Emmy Award winning journalist and Fox News analyst, Juan Williams helps open James Madison’s Montpelier exhibit, The Montpelier Train Depot: In the Time of Segregation,” at the restored railroad depot in 2010.  Andrew Shurtle/The Daily Progress


As with snail mail, information was slow in coming. But it’s faster to realize that more conversation is needed about the difficult history of race in America, in Virginia and at James Madison’s Montpelier. The U.S. Postal Service cites “unacceptable” history as the reason it closed the rural post office next to James Madison’s Montpelier on State Route 20, Constitution Highway, in Orange County. Madison was the fourth U.S. president.

The agency shut its Montpelier Station Post Office in June because it objected to an exhibit there about how the depot was once racially segregated, a Postal Service spokesman said.

“Service at Montpelier Station was suspended after it was determined the display at the site was unacceptable to the Postal Service,” USPS spokesman Philip Bogenberger emailed the Culpeper Star–Exponent on Aug. 9. “While we attempted to address the issue with the property owner, that effort was unsuccessful, and it was decided that the proper course of action was to suspend the facility and provide service to our customers from nearby postal retail units,” Bogenberger wrote.

But Elizabeth Chew, Montpelier’s interim president and CEO, said, “The U.S. Postal Service did not contact the current CEO or chief of staff, nor did it contact the previous CEO or chief of staff.”

Bogenberger declined to answer questions about who with the Postal Service considered the exhibit objectionable, and what they found unacceptable. He did not answer questions about whether there had been a public hearing on the matter or if the Montpelier post office is permanently closed. “Please use the statement already provided,” Bogenberger emailed Friday. (There’s a lot more. Continue reading at the link.)


Comment: This is another great local story from today’s front page of my morning paper, The Free Lance-Star. The reporter actually works for the Culpeper Star-Exponent. She’s been a reporter for the Star-Exponent since 2000, but began her “newspaper career” delivering the local paper as a kid in New Jersey. I did the same as a kid in Connecticut. It was my first paying job.  

I don’t know at what level of the USPS that the decision to close this post office occurred. What truly surprised me was that this segregation exhibit was in place in 2010, long before all the hullabaloo about being woke and CRT. It was just history, something that happened in the past. Why did someone in the USPS finally get a hair across their ass and decide to shut this rural post office down? Were they waiting for today’s atmosphere rife with outrage and victimhood to right this grievous wrong of exposing a chapter of local history?

It would be unfair to call this Philip Bogenberger a narrow minded horse’s ass. He’s just the spokesperson. But there is at least one narrow minded horse’s ass somewhere in the USPS. Who ever it is and whatever the reasons, it’s a sad state of affairs.


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19 Responses to “Postal service shuts Montpelier Station office over racial segregation exhibit” – TTG

  1. Pat Lang says:

    This little station was built as a place where the owner of Montpelier could board the train for Washington. I thought they were Mellons but it seems they were Duponts. I understood that they reimbursed the railroad for the cost of construction and operation. Montpelier had about 25 residences on the property scattered here and there. These were occupied by family friends, staff, etc. I never saw any slave cabins there and we visited a number of times. Often old Virginia farms do have slave cabins, frequently sturdy little brick houses. Many are still in use as spare bedrooms, guest quarters or someplace that newlyweds can live so that they are not in the Big House. I remember three giant Cedars of Lebanon in the back of the house. Madison planted them. Another peculiarity was that the owners when I visited had arranged for a part of the ground floor to be decorated to look just like an apartment in London that they had occupied for several years.

  2. Al says:

    I expect in near time someone in USPS will have their ass chewed out!
    This action is ridiculous!

  3. jerseycityjoan says:

    Why should people in a rural area have to traipse to another post office when that one is right there?

    I recall years ago there was a big article about post offices in The New Yorker, I believe. It discussed whether things were better after the Post Office did the big restructuring that made it “independent.” One thing pointed out was that it wasn’t corrupt but now no one in Congress can do anything about it.

    For a number of years I have been leaning more and more for it to come back under federal control. The 75 year healthcare prepayment is a ridiculous burden. The cost cutting and service reduction proposals includes things like no more home delivery. I say nuts to that for years to come, at any rate. I would rather subsidize it and have it provide a real service like it always has been.

    Not having incidents like this in which mysterious persons do arbitrary and anti-customer things would presumably stop if Congress had some say again.

    • Fred says:


      “The 75 year healthcare prepayment is a ridiculous burden. ”
      Love him or hate him Trump was certainly correct when he pointed out that the postal service had a lousy contract with Amazon that lost the post office money on every delivery. What he didn’t do was have the anyone investigate how that contract was negotiated to make sure there was no fraud or kickback involved. (Think the Fat Leonard scandal that roiled the Navy years before).

      “Per federal code, before closing or consolidating a post office, the Postal Service must consider the impact such a closure will have on the community and postal employees, Spanberger wrote.”

      Sounds like whomever at the Postal Service decided this was a good idea didn’t want to follow the law. It will be interesting to see what gets done about that.

  4. Big, big woke changes at both Montpelier and Monticello, per
    “Dragging the Founders Through the Mud”.
    A different America from what I grew up in in the 1950s.

  5. Al says:

    KH, thank God it’s different from the ’50s! Yep, those “good ol’ days” of separate drinking fountains, McCarthy’s Red Scare, etc!

    • Deap says:

      Al, you mention Jim Crow abuses found only in a few Deep South States. That was not America; only a small part of America. Just to keep things clear here rather than sweeping over-generalized accusations*

      (*Guilty as charged about my own Ukraine observations, but we are talking about the US here, and the living memory of many who post here.)

      The family structure found in the black community in the 1950’s was admirable. The strength of the black churches in the 1950’s was admirable too. You might want to direct your onus against Democrat President LBJ and his sweeping “war on poverty” that brought endemic racial malaise to all strata of America that we are still suffering from.

      But do not call Jim Crow South “America”. Though one can make a very good case the New South today is very much an American success story.

      While Democrat run urban cities riddled with corruption and despair are not. That is our work for America today, and yes we do wish we could to back to intact families and strong spiritual communities that were a hall mark of the 1950’s across the board. Those were good values, which are in very short supply today.

      • TTG says:


        There were 17 states and DC that had institutional segregation sanctioned by state law through most of the 50s. That doesn’t count the segregation that existed through much wider sectors of US society at that time and often continuing to this day. I would say unions, which were very strong in the 50s, aided family cohesion by allowing single income households to remain viable. But i can’t argue with you about the role of organized religion.

      • Deap, just a comment/reminder about family structures back then.
        One reminder of them can be obtained by visiting YouTube and searching on “Leave it to Beaver*.

        The argument can be made that not every family was as depicted there.
        True, but many were, and it presented an ideal for all.

        • Al says:

          Deap, you are WAY OFF THE Mark regarding my views!!! A lot of assumptions in your reply to me!!!!

          I grew up in a very white, heavy rightwing Christian area of Michigan where the racism was thick and ugly. I had a black high school buddy, played baseball with on the hi sch team, who I introduced to the Baptist church I attended. After he attended for a few months and become active in the teen youth group, the church’s leadership “directed” him to attend a black Baptist church. That experience started my ongoing critique of organized religions.

          Institutional racism in ’50s USA was not confined to a minority of “Jim Crow” states.

      • Al says:

        Deap, kind of interesting how the murder rate has escalated … The US saw an alarming 30% increase in murder in 2020. …especially in Republican controlled states:
        But, despite a media narrative to the contrary, this is a problem that afflicts Republican-run cities and states as much or more than the Democratic bastions.
        In 2020, per capita murder rates were 40% higher in states won by Donald Trump than those won by Joe Biden.
        8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century.
        Then there is Rep Kevin McCarty’s home district of Bakersfield Ca. With a Republican mayor, Republican Dist Att., the murder rate is higher than the Democratic bastions of New York City and San Francisco.. Now how can that be, if violence is a Dem Party problem

        Above taken from Third Way
        [Media Bias: Overall, we rate Third Way Least Biased based on a mix of right and left-leaning positions, with a stronger right-leaning bias concerning economics. We also rate them Mostly Factual in reporting, rather than High due to a lack of transparency with funding, as well as the use of poor sources]

        • Fred says:


          Gotta love those armchair media analysts:
          “Founded in 2015 by Dave Van Zandt, Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC)…” Thank goodness that after 7 years of existance that scored 100 on accuracy! Yea! Which shouldn’t be confused with a restaruant score or an NRP/Planned Parenthood voting record.
          Is that the same Dave Van Zandt that runs the New School in NYC? I ask since Van Zandt is such a common name, like Smith.

          As to your question:
          “Now how can that be, if violence is a Dem Party problem…”

          It’s a problem with criminals, what to do about them is a political issue. Just as “murder rate” is a math problem; gernally defined as the number of murders per thousand residents. Bakersfield having 365,000 people, as opposed to NYC with 8,800,000, might have a higher ‘rate’, but there are a lot more dead bodies in NYC.

    • Fred says:

      Thank goodness colleges and society are integrated now. Just look at the Diversity Oaths and the Only One Color of Life Maters organizations. Then there’s civil society where “White Supremacy” is our greatest threat and school board meetings must be monitored by the FBI. Great stuff.

      • Al says:

        Fred, you provide proof that the “Bull Connors” still manage to reach beyond their graves!

        • Fred says:


          He was a Democrat, tried and true.

          • Al says:

            Fred, Yep, those WERE the “good ol’ days” of long ago DIXECRATS. They then amended their ways by becoming DEXIREPUBS into the 21st Century. Still!

        • Fred says:


          Preach it to the people in Minneapolis, where 50+ years of democrats gave George Floyd “Justice”. Few wish to hear this truth.

  6. A. Pols says:

    I live in Charlottesville where, having inched my way around by motorcycle in downtown during the events of 08/12/17, I saw with my own lying eyes who the real violent rioters were on that day. Less than a week later my son and I travelled out west for the solar eclipse and, driving from Denver to Wyoming and finally on to Portland Oregon, heard people we met in bars along the way express their sympathies for us when we told them where we were from. What they said was always the same as in: “It must have been awful to see your town overrun with all those Nazis and horrible racists”. The juxtaposition between what actually happened in front of me, and the national consensus, was totally a cold douche to the face and the scales fell from my eyes that summer. Monticello, even more so than Montpelier, has totally revised the presentation made by its docents. What once was a narrative of TJ’s contributions to the birth of the Republic and to the culture of the times, has morphed into one that focuses on the evils of slavery and white supremacy and emphasizes TJ’s participation therein. Who would pay money for these tours and listen to such slanderous drivel?
    Woke revisionism is essentially Marxist propaganda designed to stir up internecine strife with the end goal of deconstructing society in order to “build back better” an anodyne sounding slogan whose actualization will lead to immiseration.

  7. Here is an explanation of why the Postal Service made the decision it did.
    Perhaps this clarifies their thinking, whether you agree with it or not.

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