Unhappy Edgartown postal customers trek to Vineyard Haven

Forced to close its Edgartown branch due to rain leaks, the Postal Service has shifted Edgartown PO box holders to Vineyard Haven.

A sign in the lobby of the Vineyard Haven Post Office directs Edgartown postal customers to a separate window. Photo by Monica Busch

Unhappy and frustrated Edgartown Post Office customers traveled to Vineyard Haven in the rain and snow Monday to pick up their mail. They had no other choice following the closure of the Edgartown Post office shortly after noon on Friday due to rainwater leaking into the building.

Charles Hajjar, a Boston-based developer, is adding eight second-story apartments in the Post Office Square complex, which includes the building that houses the Edgartown Post Office and Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.

Late Friday, the Postal Service made arrangements to shift service to Vineyard Haven and Woods Hole. In a press release issued late Friday, Stephen Doherty, a public affairs spokesman in Boston said “Post Office box holders from the Edgartown Post Office will be able to retrieve their mail and packages at the Vineyard Haven Post Office at 1 Lagoon Pond Rd. in Vineyard Haven until the Edgartown station reopens.”

“Box holders should bring proper identification to the Vineyard Haven Post Office when retrieving their mail. We thank our Martha’s Vineyard customers for their cooperation and their patience as we work to remedy this issue.”


The Vineyard Haven post office received disgruntled Edgartown postal customers in an orderly fashion on Monday morning. Signs at the building’s two entrances directed Edgartown postal box holders to the far end of the building, where a station has been set up for mail distribution, separate from the existing mail counter.

Over the course of the morning the line spanned between five and ten people. At approximately 10:30 am, Edgartown planning board member Robert Sparks stopped by to pick up his mail.

Online commenters have lashed out at the planning board, which was responsible for issuing the special permit that allowed Mr. Hajjar to add a second floor of apartments.

“We just issue permits. We don’t do construction,” Mr. Sparks said to people waiting in line. Mr. Sparks repeated his point in a conversation with The Times on his way out of the post office Monday morning.

“I had a chance to talk to a few unhappy post office customers,” Mr. Sparks said. He added that he was on his way back to the Edgartown town hall to find out of there were any updates about the closure, or the construction work that led to the leaks in the Edgartown building.

Edgartown resident and prominent businessman Gino Courtney gave up on the line and left before getting his mail. Mr. Courtney described the Edgartown branch closure as “unfortunate.” He said he checks his post office box every morning. On Monday, despite driving from Edgartown to Tisbury, he decided to go without.

Donna Enos of Edgartown, a nurse, said the post office closure has created extra frustration in her family, which is waiting on college acceptance letters just weeks before deposits for incoming freshman are due to universities.

“It’s not the post office’s fault, I get that,” Ms. Enos said. “It still doesn’t make it any better for any of us. Nobody thought anything through, from the designer of that stupid parking lot to the whole construction thing to the people who work in the buildings.”

Already, Ms. Enos said mail delivery is delayed.

“My husband, his business, he gets checks,” Ms. Enos said. “He got some of his stuff. I had a package that was delivered on Friday. I got no package.”

She described ongoing frustrations and concerns about an apparently precarious construction site at the Edgartown post office.

“When I was walking through the parking lot to go in on Thursday, the day before they closed the post office, there were roof shingles on the side of the roof, I could see them. They weren’t nailed down. Thursday was a really windy day,” Ms. Enos said. “The whole thing is ridiculous. It’s not fair for anybody. I don’t even know who is in charge of the construction but they’re horrible.”