Naming the Fishers Island Post Office

Photo Credit: J. Conrad Williams, Jr., Newsday

It has been approximately 140 years since the 1st Post Office opened on Fishers Island. Be a part of this long-held national tradition by participating in honoring someone by dedicating our Post Office.

As our Post Master Kathy Kauffman explains, “This will ensure they never close the office as it will be a law. The official name will always be Fishers Island Post Office. We are only adding to the name and dedicating the office to a hero.”

A short history lesson:

The 1st Post Office on Fishers Island was located in the rear of the Mansion House (overlooking the ball field) beginning in the late 1870s. From there it moved to the Murdock Cottage (aka “No View”) across from the Fire House. It moved to its current location after the Fergusons’ Administration Building was completed in 1898.

“The practical effect of legislation renaming a post office is less than might be imagined. For operational reasons, post offices retain their geographical designations in the USPS addressing system, and there is no change in the way renamed post offices are identified in the USPS’s listings of post offices.” ~

Why take this opportunity to name the Fishers Island Post Office? 

It is a vital center in the community. A place people visit most every day and a spoke in the wheel that makes Island life possible. Naming a post office not only honors the individual for whom it is named it perpetuates the institution’s longevity (as in, keeping it open). After all, it takes a Bill to be passed into law in Congress to make the naming become a reality.

Criteria for Fishers Island Post Office naming opportunity:

  • Individual must have been deceased 10 years as of October 1, 2019*
  • Individual may be a historical figure connected to Fishers Island in some way and/or an individual who was dedicated to Fishers Island through their actions and good service

Submit a Name:
1. Precise form and spelling of the name of the person who is to be honored. ____________________________________
2. Date of Birth 
3. Date of Death 
4. State the case for this individual to be honored.
(take as much room as needed and please include designee’s background and any biological information)
5. Person/persons submitting name. 
Include Name(s), email, phone, and mailing address.
6. Please type and submit this information by Monday, October 28, 2019, to an option below.

Mail to: FI Post Office
Naming Opportunity
PO Box 9998
Fishers Island, NY 06390
email to:
drop off: in the box at the Fishers Island PO

Printable PO Naming Form

Fisher Island Post Office Naming Timeline & Process:

October 2019:
– Cast a big net and gather naming suggestions from the Fishers Island community.

November 2019:
– A committee made up of community members will review all the suggestions and make a final list of not more than 5.
– If a family member can be found, they will be notified of their relative’s selection.
– The list of 5 will be vetted and confirmed as eligible by Congressman Lee Zeldin’s office.

December 2019:
– Fishers Island Post Office box holders will vote – ONE vote per PO box number.

January 2020:
– A confirmation petition (hard copy and electronic) will be circulated among the greater Fishers Island community members and beyond to gather signatures. The more the better!
– Mid-January the completed petition along with other material will be presented to Congressman Zeldin’s office. This will be presented as a Bill in the House and proceed to the Senate where hopefully it will be passed. This phase can take up to 8 months.

August 2020:
– A special reception and dedication ceremony will be held at the Fishers Island Post Office for the community with invited guests if all goes as planned.

* “…USPS guidance on postal facility names specifies that an installation “may be named for an individual only with the approval of the Postmaster General and only if the individual has been deceased at least 10 years, with the exception of deceased U.S. Presidents or Postmasters General.” ~ U.S. Postal Service, Postal Operations Manual, (Washington, Nov. 29, 2001), section 123.413(e).

Unanimity of a state’s congressional delegation is required for the movement of naming bills to the floor of the House or Senate. Additionally, the Senate committee of jurisdiction has adopted the rule that it “will not consider any legislation that would name a postal facility for a living person with the exception of bills naming facilities after former Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States, former Members of Congress over 70 years of age, former state or local elected officials over 70 years of age, former judges over 70 years of age, or wounded veterans.”

The cost of dedicating a post office in the name of an individual is modest. Renaming a post office through legislation does not change either the U.S. Postal Service’s or the public’s identification of the facility by its geographic location. Rather, a small plaque is installed within the post office.

To find out more details about the process for naming a post office, visit this link: Naming Post Offices Through Legislation or ask Fishers Island Postmaster Kathy Kauffman

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