Making a mark on history

Photo by Deb Gau Alane Pringle carefully stamps a special postmark on an envelope during an event at the Lyon County Museum on Friday.

MARSHALL — Marshall residents aren’t the only people taking part in the city’s 150th anniversary celebrations this weekend. Stamp collectors from around the country are also joining in.

“This is a bit of history here that you won’t find anyplace else,” said Steve Klein, president of the Lyon County Stamp Club.

On Friday, Klein and Alane Pringle, a sales and service associate at the Marshall Post Office, were at the Lyon County Museum to mark the release of a special postmark designed for Marshall’s sesquicentennial.

For the next 30 days, anyone can ask for the special cancellation when sending letters or postcards at the Marshall Post Office. Pringle said she had already received requests, sent in to the post office.

“Last week I probably received five or six, and there were more today,” she said.

Groups can design a postmark to mark a special event, and petition the Postal Service to use it, Klein said. The Lyon County Stamp Club is the sponsor for the Marshall sesquicentennial cancellation.

“Marshall has had a number of these,” Klein said of special cancellations.

In the past, special cancellations have been issued for Southwest Minnesota State University’s 25th and 50th anniversaries, Schwan’s 50th anniversary, Marshall’s 125th anniversary, and Lyon County’s sesquicentennial.

Stamp collectors often like to collect special cancellations as well, Klein said. In 2020, more than 100 people sent in requests for the Lyon County sesquicentennial cancellation, Pringle said.

Work to petition the Post Office for a Marshall sesquicentennial postmark started about a year ago, Klein said. Members of the Lyon County Stamp Club worked together with the city of Marshall and the Postal Service to create the special cancellation. The design includes the city logo and the date of Aug. 19 – the day the city would hold its sesquicentennial party.

At Friday’s museum event, members of the public had a chance to get the Marshall 150th cancellation stamped onto a souvenir envelope. For the next 30 days, people can still ask for the special cancellation at the Marshall Post Office.

A collection of historic letters and postcards is also on display at the museum. The display features several examples of special cancellations, like one with a picture of the old Marshall-Lyon County Library, issued for the bicentennial of the Library of Congress.

Klein said there are also artifacts like letters mailed to important figures in Marshall’s history, including an envelope addressed to R.M. Addison, an early businessman and leader in the community.

Klein said the display will be at the museum through the end of August.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today