…and there’s often an interesting story behind them.
With snail mail headed the way of landlines and newspapers, few give much thought to their mailboxes these days.
In some neighborhoods, doorstep delivery is already extinct, replaced by clustered units in a central location. The move away from traditional mailboxes could be why residents who erect something other than a plain box get noticed.
“They catch people’s eyes because they’re different,” says Ron Perry, customer public relations coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service for southern Colorado.
Letter carriers have seen it all.
“Broncos, fish, cowboys, covered wagons, boats,” Perry says. “There’s metal, cast iron, plastic, wood – just a variety. It’s just people’s preference, as part of their character or the character of their home.”
Digging deeper, the stories are as unique and interesting as the shapes and designs.
“They ask, ‘Where did you get it?’ They take pictures. Everybody loves it,” she says.
In the past five years, the mailbox that the family installed in honor of Byun’s husband’s penchant for fishing has been targeted twice by baseball bats and once was stolen.
“We’re trying again,” Byun says.
This time, they’ve painted the pretty green and yellow fish what Byun describes as “ugly brown,” in hopes that mischief makers will leave it alone.
So far, so good.
But no one in her family can stand the new look.
“We will replace it this year with a new one that’s colorful,” Byun says.
Her parting words: “Enjoy it, but please don’t break it.”
A local child care worker, Hecklau inherited the replica of the familiar green tractor from her father, who died four years ago.
“My dad grew up on a farm and just always loved John Deere,” she says. “He bought their tractors and lawn mowers.”
Hecklau kept the treasure in storage until she and her husband, William, recently relocated from North Carolina to Colorado Springs.
“My dad, in his passing, helped us buy this house, so we decided to honor him by putting up his mailbox,” Hecklau says.
“It’s always familiar. I think about him every day when I see it and get the mail.”
C.R. Smith, a teacher in Academy School District 20, doesn’t know the story behind the mailbox in front of her home in central Colorado Springs, which she bought six years ago.
The wooden, barn-shaped box matches her bungalow-style home with natural stonework and blends nicely with her xeriscaping.
“I didn’t replace it because I love it,” she says. “I would never take it down.”
If you look around the area, scattered among the usual and mundane you can spot a bright red barn in Black Forest, a ski slope-style mailbox in the south end of Colorado Springs and a homemade tin space rocket on the west side.
As long as the unique mailboxes meet the Postal Service’s specifications for dimensions and heights for curbside or porch delivery, “we’re good with it,” Perry says.