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Originally built in 1936 as the Winnsboro Post Office, the Old Post Office Museum is a physical reminder of the rich history of the city of Winnsboro and the importance of art to its citizens. The museum features a constantly rotating variety of art and history exhibits put together by Louisiana artists and historians. Open to the public five days a week, visitors can come to view the currently showcased exhibit or just to get a peek into the history of the little town.


  • Inside the Old Post Office Museum
  • Old Post Office Museum

During the 1930s, the United States suffered an economic depression, and small towns like Winnsboro, Louisiana were hit especially hard by financial troubles. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal made big promises to American citizens: new laws, new programs, new protections. [1] In 1936, Winnsboro was in need of a new post office. The recently created Public Buildings Administration helped fund the project, and a two-story brick building was erected in the heart of the town. [2]

Another product of the New Deal, the Section of Fine Arts, anonymously recruited American artists to design murals for the new buildings made possible by the Public Buildings Administration. [3] These artists were given time to visit the towns and buildings they depicted and were expected to put much thought and effort into their pieces. One such painter was Datus Ensign Myers. In 1939, he crafted a mural called “Logging in the Louisiana Swamps.” The mural was placed in the post office, a reminder of the federal government’s fight to reinvigorate little towns like Winnsboro. [4]

The Winnsboro Post Office became the epicenter for all the happenings in town. During election seasons, voting booths littered the wood floors. Wanted posters and public notices decorated the green walls, keeping people informed of the events in their community. Every weekday, hundreds of citizens visited the post office to look inside the little gold mailboxes in an era when written communication still reigned supreme. For the next sixty years, the post office was essential to the everyday operation of Winnsboro. [5] 

In 1998, a more modern post office was built on the highway, and for more than ten years the little building which had once been so integral to the business of the town sat vacant. In 2010, government grants and funding provided enough money to renovate and refurbish the building. Although many original components remain, such as the wood floors, mailboxes, the surveillance tunnel on the second floor, Meyers’ mural, and the iron vault from 1936, many elements of the post office were changed to suit the building’s new purpose.

The Winnsboro Post Office was renamed the Old Post Office Museum. It is home to a rotating variety of art and history exhibits. [7] Artists from all over the state showcase their pieces, and citizens of Winnsboro wait eagerly to attend and support local art. The museum also hosts aspiring artists from local high schools, giving Franklin Parish teenagers the chance to display their talents and passions. December is arguably the most high-traffic time for the museum; businesses and families decorate Christmas trees to display and compete to win People’s Choice Award for best tree. [8] This tradition has become a favorite among citizens of Winnsboro, yet another example of how Old Post Office Museum is just as important to the people today as it was in 1936.

[1] “President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1933-1945,” Library of Congress, Accessed February 18, 2020, http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/depwwii/newdeal/

[2] “Louisiana New Deal Art,” WPA Murals, Accessed February 16, 2020, http://www.wpamurals.com/louisian.htm

[3] “Treasury Section of Fine Arts (TSFA),” The Living New Deal, Accessed February 16, 2020, https://livingnewdeal.org/glossary/section-fine-arts-1934-1943/

[4] “Post Office (Former) Mural,” The Living New Deal, Accessed February 16, 2020, https://livingnewdeal.org/projects/old-post-office-mural-winnsboro-la/

[5] “History,” The Old Post Office Museum of Winnsboro, Louisiana, Accessed February 16, 2020, http://www.oldpostofficemuseum.com/history/

[6] “Ordinance No. 829, Winnsboro, Louisiana (1982),” Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, Accessed February 16, 2020, https://www.crt.state.la.us/Assets/OCD/hp/grants/certifiedlocalgovernment/ordinances/Winnsboro%20Ordinance.pdf

[7] “Welcome to the Old Post Office Museum,” The Old Post Office Museum of Winnsboro, Louisiana, Accessed February 16, 2020, http://www.oldpostofficemuseum.com/

[8] “Oh Christmas Tree!” The Old Post Office Museum of Winnsboro, Louisiana, Accessed March 23, 2020, http://www.oldpostofficemuseum.com/past-exhibits/

Additional Sources

“Historic Districts 101,” Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, Accessed February 16, 2020, https://www.crt.state.la.us/Assets/OCD/hp/nationalregister/nationalregistry101/101_-_Historic_Districts_101_article_from_Nov_2010_PIP.pdf

Old Post Office Museum’s Facebook Page, Accessed March 28, 2020, https://www.facebook.com/oldpostofficemuseum/

Image Sources(Click to expand)

http://www.oldpostofficemuseum.com/

http://www.oldpostofficemuseum.com/