The Pacific Northwest Postal History Society is dedicated to the study of all facets of postal history of the four states that comprised the Oregon Territory – Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. To accomplish this goal, we published a quarterly journal, conduct specialized studies, present an annual auction and provide a comfortable forum for postal historians to freely exchange ideas and information
History of the Society
The PNWPHS had its origin in June, 1980 when a group meet at PIPEX, the Northwest Federation Stamp Show. Three local, informal groups within the Oregon Stamp Society, Southern Oregon Philatelic Society and the Greater Eugene Stamp Society felt there was a need for a state-wide organization. It originally only encompassed Oregon and was called the “Oregon Postal History Society”. Washington and Idaho were added in 1990 and the name changed to Pacific Northwest Postal History Society. Montana was added to the area encompassed in 1995. We have grown from the few in the beginning to over 100 members in the United States and Canada. We are affiliate number 147 of the American Philatelic Society.
Collecting Postal History
Postal history is the study of material carried by and related to official, local, or private mails. It illustrates routes, rates, markings, usages, and other postal aspects. It describes services, functions, and activities related to the history of the development of postal services. Postmark collections demonstrate classifications and studies of postal markings related to official, local, or private mails on covers and other postal items.
Postal history, therefore, tells the story of how mail has been handled, who has handled it, and why. In postal history, research is necessary to interpret a cover and its postal markings. In doing such research, one comes face to face with the history and the personalities of a particular event, place, or postal service.
Tracing the postal history of one’s environment—be it a town, state, territory, or county—is a subject of increasing popularity. The domain of postal history includes a variety of areas of research: the rise and fall of stagecoach, railroad, and truck mails; the development of postal systems and methods of handling mail; disinfected, censored, delayed, or wreck covers; and correspondence from prison and internment camps. All that and more is collected, studied, exhibited, written, and spoken about by those who constitute the membership of the Pacific Northwest Postal History Society.