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Harmony's village post office open for business

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - A Village Post Office has opened up in the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>A Village Post Office has opened up in the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Harmony Museum Shop manager Jo Annette Cynkar moves a postal package Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Harmony Museum Shop manager Jo Annette Cynkar moves a postal package Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - A Village Post Office has opened up in the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>A Village Post Office has opened up in the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - A portrait of Harmony Postmaster Walter Randolph Zeigler from a century ago adorns the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>A portrait of Harmony Postmaster Walter Randolph Zeigler from a century ago adorns the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Postal employee Nita Riggs (from left), Postmaster Jeff Parchem, and John Ruch, with the Harmony Historical Society, pass time as they wait for the opening of the Village Post Office in the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Postal employee Nita Riggs (from left), Postmaster Jeff Parchem, and John Ruch, with the Harmony Historical Society, pass time as they wait for the opening of the Village Post Office in the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - New postal supplies are available next to the original mail sort desk that was used in the same room from the 1800's-1967 at the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>New postal supplies are available next to the original mail sort desk that was used in the same room from the 1800's-1967 at the Harmony Museum Shop Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. The town had a post office from 1852-2009 but for the last four years residents had to go elsewhere for basic postal needs after the lease expired.

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Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, 2:15 p.m.
 

Harmony business owner Suzie Rape hopes the new post office in town will bring more business and foot traffic to the small shops that dot the streets of the historic borough, founded in 1804.

“It's wonderful that we have this here now,” she said. “It's going to bring business on the street. People will have to park at the museum and walk down past the stores.”

Rape's shop, Suzie's Corner, is across the street from the new Village Post Office that opened Wednesday in the Harmony Museum's Wagner House gift shop.

The Postal Service developed village post offices in 2011 to serve rural communities without a post office or one is operating with reduced hours. There are more than 400 village post offices nationwide; Harmony's village post office is the first in Butler County.

Larry McClain, regional manager of post-office operations, said with many post offices planning to cut hours in 2014 the village post office has become an “excellent avenue for customers.”

Harmony's village post office brings back many basic, retail services from the Postal Service the town sorely missed. The Harmony post office, formerly in the borough's municipal building, closed in 2009 after the lease expired.

John Ruch, president of Harmony Museum, said officials applied to get a village post office at the Harmony Museum in August.

“We thought it would be a convenience to have a post office back,” he said. “The more we looked into it, the more appealing it seemed to be.”

Customers can buy stamps, obtain Priority Mail Flat Rate supplies, drop off prepaid packages for Postal Service pickup and deposit mail in the sidewalk collection box, said Postal Service retail specialist Nita Riggs.

The Village Post Office will follow Harmony Museum's operating hours: noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Customers can park for free in the museum's lot which is adjacent to the building.

The post office's new home, the Wagner House, housed the town's post office for many years before it moved to the municipal building in 1967.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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