Pomeroy Washington Downtown National Historic District
News from the
When Alta Drader returned from Starbuck Friday afternoon, it was the end of some 40 years that either she or her late husband Bob Still had carried the mail between Pomeroy and Starbuck.
A change in mail handling resulted in elimination of her route, which was the last "star" or highway route in Garfield and Columbia counties.
Effective last Saturday, Pomeroy Rural Route No. 1 picked up all the boxes along the old Star Route in Garfield County, while Dayton Rural Route No. 2 added the Columbia County boxes, and Starbuck mail.
Pomeroy Postmaster Bill Young said the change was made to save money.
Mrs. Drader said she hated to give up the route. It didn't provide a very good income, she said, but it was a job. She said she was particularly unhappy because she wasn't given much notice. Now, she said, she has to start looking for another job.
The W star route began when Union Pacific passenger service into Pomeroy was discontinued, in the early 1940's. The train had brought all of Pomeroy's mail until that time. The star route followed the train's route closely to Ayer Junction, except that the road to Ayer is several miles longer than the rail route.
Later changes resulted in mail brought by van along the main highway to Pomeroy, and eventually by truck from Pasco. The W star route then delivered mail to Starbuck, instead of from there.
Mrs. Drader said Still had handled the route most of the time, except for four years when he lost it to another contractor. To supplement his income, he also carried express, and then operated the garbage truck in Pomeroy after he returned from Starbuck and Ayer. She took it over several years ago, when he first became ill.
Last year she married Everett Drader, a farm worker in the county, but continued to operate the star route until last Friday, when it was abolished.
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