During my years at Edgewood Grade School our class took a field trip to the Southport post office, which was in a small building at the corner of Main and Union streets. At that time Southport Road was known as Union Street in the Southport city limits. The building is still there and sits across the street from Long’s Bakery.
Our school bus stopped in front of the post office, and we entered the building. Our bus then made a sharp right turn and stopped to retrieve us at the back door. The post office was so small that we almost arrived at the back door before the bus.
A new facility was soon built on Madison Avenue, just north of Epler Avenue. It was much larger but had little customer parking. It now houses Indiana Affordable Wholesale.
The rapid growth of the Southside, the lack of parking and the plans to convert Madison to a four-lane highway made it necessary for the post office to construct another building in Southport. But once again, it wasn’t big enough.
When we need to visit a nearby post office, we find it on Edgewood Avenue, just east of Madison.
The next time you are driving through Southport, take a look at that tiny building at Southport Road and Main Street. That was the post office.
In the 1950s and ’60s, our local license branch was in the Edgewood area in the small building that also housed Harold Burnett’s Insurance. Many branches at that time were contracted out. Everyone who needed anything from a branch needed to visit Burnett’s.
One of my memories of that time was the day that I visited Burnett’s to obtain my public passenger driver’s license so I could start driving a school bus. I had completed all the requirements and was waiting in line to take my eye exam before finishing the paperwork to get my temporary license.
I was about to complete all of those requirements and pay my bill when Marybelle Johnson came walking out from behind the counter. She was the mother of a couple of my best friends. Larrie “Bud” and Mickey Johnson who were our neighbors.
When Marybelle noticed me standing in line to get my license, she shouted out to me, “You don’t still have those bad fits, do you?” The entire building came to a screeching halt.
She then smiled and mumbled something about that she was just messing with me and walked on into a different room. Somehow, I did receive my license that day.
The next time you are at Madison and Dudley avenues, look for the tiny tan building that is attached to Quinlin Automotive. That was our license branch. It is now Madison Auto Sales.
Wow! How we have grown.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He is married to Lyn Shonk.