Bethel
Oxford County, Maine

a service of
V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 55 - Bass Harbor, Maine  04653
info@vfthomas.com

(updated 7 May 2019)


Thank you for the contributions to this page from Roland Simard and from the Strout family collection.



During the history of the town of Bethel, there have been seven post offices.

Briefly, the history of these seven is as follows:
1. Bethel post office was established on 5 January 1815 and is still operating.
2. East Bethel (1) post office opened on 28 Apri 1824 and closed on 28 December 1858.
3. East Bethel (2) post office opened on 28 October 1862, closed on 13 October 1865, re-opened 24 September 1884, closed 21 January 1886, re-opened 8 July 1886, and closed 14 December 1907.
4. North Bethel (1) post office opened on 2 March 1831, closed on 17 December 1851, re-opened 10 June 1854, and closed 7 December 1855.
5. North Bethel (2) post office open on 28 March 1862, closed on 2 October 1878, re-opened 19 August 1901, and closed 15 September 1919.
6. South Bethel post office opened on 31 March 1875 and closed on 15 September 1900. Its reopening on 6 November 1900 was rescinded.
7. West Bethel post office was established on 12 January 1837 and was renamed on 28 September 1997 as West Bethel Sta. Bethel, which is still operating.


In 1914, there three post offices in Bethel: Bethel, North Bethel, and West Bethel. (source: Post Route Map of the State of Maine 1914)
      
      Click on image to enlarge.




Postmarks from the town of Bethel include:
Bethel
East Bethel (1)
East Bethel (2)
North Bethel (1)
North Bethel (2)
South Bethel
West Bethel
West Bethel Sta, Bethel



Bethel


1815 January 5:
   Bethel post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)

year? August 3:
   The circular postmark is approximately 23 mm in diameter.
      
      Click on image to enlarge.

1881 July 21 through 1887 May 3: [full dates confirmed from reverse side]
   The circular postmark is 25–27 mm in diameter.
         
      Click on an image to enlarge.

1882 January 5 through 1882 January 18:
   The circular postmark is approximately 26 mm in diameter.
         
      Click on an image to enlarge.

1907 September 7:
   The circular postmark is 29–30 mm in diameter.
      
      Click on image to enlarge.

1935 December 22 through 1939 December 5:
   The circular postmark is approximately 30 mm in diameter.
         
      Click on image to enlarge.

today:
   Bethel post office is still in operation.


South Bethel


1875 March 31:
   South Bethel post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)

1892 December 26:
   The circular postmark is 26–27 mm in diameter.
      
      Click on image to enlarge.

1900 September 15:
   South Bethel post office closed. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)


West Bethel


1837 January 12:
   West Bethel post office opened. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)

1908 April 20:
   The circular postmark is 29–30 mm in diameter.
      
      Click on image to enlarge.

2016 May 23:
      
      Click on image to enlarge.

1997 September 28:
   West Bethel post office was renamed as West Bethel Sta. Bethel. (source: Maine Philatelic Society. 1995. The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide)