Robertson County History Museum
Walking Tour Prepared By Kevin & Lisa Ragland
With History By: Yolanda Reid & Linda Dean
Before 1964 the Springfield Post Office had been in several buildings around the
Public Square area-the best known was this location on 6th Avenue. Other locations were in
the old Springfield Hotel and a rented building on the south since of the Public Square. In
1898, the people of Springfield began asking for a permanent and safe post office. After a
meeting of the citizens of Springfield, a committee was formed in 1900 to gather statistics to
show the United States Government why they needed a post-office facility. The county court
of Robertson County also recommended to the government “that a post office and a stamp
clerk is not only desirable but necessary,” and they signed a petition recommending the
building of a post office. The push continued until, in 1902, it reached the United States
Senate and Representative John Wesley Gaines gave a speech pleading for a decision. This
speech was printed in the Congressional Record of April 29, 1902. However, after all the
interest and hard work of our citizens, the construction of the Springfield Post Office was not
begun until 1913. It was completed and ready for use early in 1915. The postmistress at
that time was Addie Davis Bell who was appointed on June 24, 1914. John E. Robertson
succeeded her on June 3, 1924, Joe H. Calloway was appointed postmaster on June 19, 1929.
Lem Bell succeeded him on June 30, 1934 and John C. Pope was appointed on May 1, 1937.
George R. Gunn was appointed to the post on November 1, 1962.
The outside of the building was designed in the Academic roman Revival style wit
arched windows insuring plenty of light inside the building. The handrails leading into the
building are brass and a postal employee was assigned the task of polishing the handrails
and the other brass fixtures once a week. The outside lighting is lamppost style that wass
also used around the county courthouse at one time. The green postal”mail drop box” is an
original and is sitting in the semi-circle area designed especially for a box.
Entering the lobby area, notice the terrazzo floor designed with three separate
sections bordered with rose-hued Tennessee Marble. The ceiling of the lobby is exactly the
same as when completed in 1915. The wood and glass windows, stamp windows and brass
bars are original to the building and have been returned to their original spaces by the
Robertson County Historical Society. The wood display cases are also original to the building
lobby. They were used as message boards, directory information, and a place for the FBI
wanted posters to hang. The six-foot Lobby Table is on loan from the United States Postal
Service. The brass letter depository and the package/magazine depsitory are similar to the
ones installed in 1915 and are also curtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.
The building itself has several unique features. During its service as a post
office, there was a catwalk near the ceiling connection the two sides of the building. This
enclosed catwalk was officially called an Observation Tower. It had metal louvers on each
side that opened downward. The postal inspectors and the Postmaster used these areas to
check on postal employees to ensure the safety of the mail. Every room, even the bathrooms,
had a louvered of servation partition. These were removed when the building was renovated
for the 1970 YMCA project. Upstairs on the East Side are three rooms and a bathroom. This
area was first used as Internal Revenue offices. Later, various businesses rented a room or
series of rooms. On the West Side of the second floor, there is a large room accessible only
through an iron spiral staircase located on the side to the building. This room was called
an Interrogation Room and was used by both the Internal Revenue Service and the local
police and sheriff. It was private and isolated, quite suited for a probing query of two.
The room located on the East Side of the lobby was the Postmaster’s Office. The
doors still have the original gold numbers on them and adjoining bathroom contains the
original sink. A safe was originally located here.
The postal clerks on rural routes used the offset area (currently the Parlor). The rear
double door openings originally opened onto the loading dock. The area now designated
as the gift shop was designed for the collection of postal savings, war bonds, etc. This area
also contained a safe. The men who worked on this area did not ever work on the floor
itself. They were locked into their office space and separated from the other postal