For Saco, Belfast residents, mailboxes an opportunity for expression

Posted Aug. 09, 2012, at 4:45 p.m.
A Red Sox fan's mailbox on Ferry Road in Saco.
A Red Sox fan's mailbox on Ferry Road in Saco. Buy Photo
A landmark for 30 years, the &quotAIR MAIL" and &quotBILLS" mailboxes tower over Dorothy Howard as she picks up her mail, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, on Route 1 in Belfast. Her neighbor, the late Alden Horn, erected the boxes for the amusement of motorists.
A landmark for 30 years, the "AIR MAIL" and "BILLS" mailboxes tower over Dorothy Howard as she picks up her mail, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, on Route 1 in Belfast. Her neighbor, the late Alden Horn, erected the boxes for the amusement of motorists. Buy Photo
A postal delivery truck decorates a mailbox in Augusta.
A postal delivery truck decorates a mailbox in Augusta. Buy Photo
A post made of welded chain supports a mailbox on Ferry Road in Saco.
A post made of welded chain supports a mailbox on Ferry Road in Saco. Buy Photo
A locomotive is ready to accept mail on Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick.
A locomotive is ready to accept mail on Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick. Buy Photo
A bass appears to have swallowed a mailbox in Gray.
A bass appears to have swallowed a mailbox in Gray. Buy Photo
A mailbox barn on Belfast Road in Augusta.
A mailbox barn on Belfast Road in Augusta. Buy Photo
A fishing lure mailbox on Ferry Road in Saco.
A fishing lure mailbox on Ferry Road in Saco. Buy Photo
A wooden lobster trap houses a mailbox near Biddeford Pool.
A wooden lobster trap houses a mailbox near Biddeford Pool. Buy Photo
A lighthouse mailbox at Dentico's Cottages on Route 9 in Saco.
A lighthouse mailbox at Dentico's Cottages on Route 9 in Saco. Buy Photo
The mailbox at Moody's Nursery on Ferry Road in Saco.
The mailbox at Moody's Nursery on Ferry Road in Saco. Buy Photo

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.

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