For Saco, Belfast residents, mailboxes an opportunity for expression

Posted Aug. 09, 2012, at 4:45 p.m.

The U.S. Postal Service’s requirement for the placement of rural mailboxes is pretty simple: they should be set about 42 inches high and 8 inches from the road. Whether you use your mailbox as a form of self-expression is up to you.

On Ferry Road in Saco there are nearly a dozen mailboxes that reveal something about the resident’s character. Flowers grow from the top of a gardener’s mailbox. Further down the road there’s a bass fisherman, a Red Sox fan and several folks with patriotic pride.

Perhaps the best-known mailboxes in Maine don’t come close to meeting the post office’s standards. Those would be the two set up 30 years ago in Belfast by the late Alden Horn. His “AIR MAIL” box is sits on a post nearly 20 feet high; one marked “BILLS” is a few feet lower.

“That was my father’s sense of humor,” Blaine Horn said. “He got a kick out of it for his own amusement.”

Motorists on Route 1 have been getting a kick out of them ever since.