The U.S. Postal Service used to seasonally deliver mail by boat to residences on Upper Saranac Lake, but that service has been discontinued this summer.
"This is an old, established service," said regional Postal Service spokeswoman Maureen Marion. "It has a long history in Saranac Lake."
But at this point, most of the people served by boat have switched to getting their mail delivered by car to mailboxes on the road or have rented post office boxes.
Only 12 addresses were still served by boat mail on the Upper Saranac route, and those addresses started to have lighter volumes of mail in recent years than they had in the past, Marion said.
So when the four-year contract with the carrier who did the seasonal route came up for renewal this year, both the contractor and the post office decided not to renew it.
"It was pretty mutual for economic reasons that we were not going to have this service again this year," Marion said. "The service has kind of evolved by the choice of the users to street service or village service, and that somehow makes sense for their particular lifestyle."
Marion said the post office has tried to reach out to all of the 12 addresses through mailings, word of mouth and posted signs, but hasn't made contact with all of them. With the region smack-dab in between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, half of the eight who have responded so far have decided to get mail delivered to their mailboxes through the Tupper Lake post office, and the other half were split between getting roadside service from the Saranac Lake post office and renting post office boxes in Saranac Lake.
"Certainly there's more than enough ways for people to get their mail," Marion said. "Maybe in the golden years, it was harder to get to town. Now you've got to take back that movie. ... Things like that make a difference."
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