These photographs were taken outside of the West Windham Post Office at the turn of the 20th century. A post office and store were operated in the same building, serving both Windham residents and summer tourists. The man and the women, possibly tourists, posed in front of the post office in their rather ornate horse and buggy; notice the ornamental iron railing on the side. In the background, a Perfection Cigarettes sign is visible. The brand was popular in the first quarter of the 20th century, and many of Windham's men likely enjoyed their line of tobacco products, which could have been conveniently purchased at the store. To the right of the cigarette advertising sign is an early American Telegraph & Telephone Bell System sign, possibly indicating the West Windham Post Office was equipped with a telephone. What appears to be sacks of flour are visible in the window of store, which may have been the product of the nearby grain mill at Beaver Brook.
The "QSL" card, shown above, is a typical example of a QSL card for an amateur radio station. The QSL code was established in 1927, as a question and answer pair. The question associated with the code is "Can you acknowledge receipt?", and the corresponding answer is "I am acknowledging receipt." Beatrice Bean of Windham, who resided along Route 28, would have sent a card to another amateur radio station, in order to confirm contact between the two stations. The card shown here was sent from Bean's station, K1JFQ. to station K1AVL of Woonsocket, Rhode Island in order to confirm that communication between the two stations was established April 2, 1960 at 7:23PM. Bean also recorded information about her own station, such as noting the antenna setup, as well as the transmitter and receiver that she was using at the time. The signal between the stations, which were situated approximately 75 miles apart, was "fine" according to Bean. Establishing communication between the two stations may have been part of a contest entry, as Bean recorded the name of an amateur radio station contest on the front of her QSL card.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.