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An Attractive Columbian Cover from 1896

This is a nice cover to highlight even though I have no clue who sent it.


The cover has 2-cents worth of postage, which was the letter rate in 1896. Half that postage is covered by a 1-cent stamp - US Scott #230, one 16 commemorative stamps the Postal Service issued in 1893 for the World Columbian Exposition. This particular copy of #230 has a vibrant color, and the image is very well centered.


That stamp is affixed to a stamped envelope, one of four issued in 1893 to also celebrate the World Columbian Exposition. In the US Scott Catalog this is #348. The 1-cent blue embossed stamp on the envelope depicts Christopher Columbus and Lady Liberty.


The cover was sent from Highland, Michigan on January 27, 1896, and received in Pontiac, Michigan, the next day, January 28. Highland and Pontiac are about 20 miles apart and are roughly 30 miles northwest of Detroit.


The addressee was "The Times, Pontiac, Michigan," which must have been The Pontiac Times. I haven't found digital copies of that newspaper, but the July 25, 1893, issue of The Detroit Free Press noted its start-up, describing it as "a neatly-printed quarto of forty-eight columns." On September 18, 1900, The Detroit Free Press reported that The Pontiac Times had been acquired by a new owner and was renamed the Oakland County Democrat.


The Free Press occasionally carried snippets of stories from the Times. I found these two amusing:


April 11, 1898: "The Pontiac Times says there is in that city a married couple who are so quarrelsome that every time they sit near an open window, they are afraid of falling out."


January 16, 1899: "One of Pontiac's citizens has long envied the farmers and determined to share in their immense profits derived from hens. He accordingly stocked up on a goodly supply of fowls, and commenced to buy corn in bushel lots, relates the Pontiac Times. After an outlay of $350 for fodder the p.c. [Pontiac citizen] harvested one frozen egg. The hens are now said to be for sale at quarter-off prices."

Figure 1 - Front

Figure 2 - Back

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