Early Dowagiac Postmasters Saved 200 Envelopes Showing Mis-Spelling of City
One of the things I’ve heard from people who are brand new to Michigan is that they are astounded at how many different towns, cities, and villages the state has. Not only that but how mind-boggling some of the unique spelling and phrasing of these villages and towns are.
I love giving new Michiganders the test to see if they can properly pronounce some of our most unique towns, and even street names as well. One town here in Southwest Michigan may be the crowning champion of that. Dowagiac has apparently been facing some pronunciation botches for a while now, according to one resident who posted that for many years postmasters would save envelopes just to show how badly people pronounced the city's name.
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Incredibly it had been screwed up about 175 times. Here’s the story behind it, according to a local resident Corey:
Some of Dowagiac's early Postmaster's started collecting envelopes with unusual spellings of our town name. This started with our earliest Postmaster, Mathew Garvey and Arad C. Balch. These envelopes were saved and handed down to the next Postmaster and so on for almost a hundred years. In the 1940s the collection had grown to 200 envelopes with over 175 variants of the spelling of Dowagiac.
Here are some of the mis-spellings the early postmasters encountered over the years. Keep in mind, there are apparently 175 of these, so this is literally a small portion. I'd love to see the full list:
Let's See How Bad People Spelled Dowagiac
Dowagiac has apparently been facing some pronunciation botches for a while now, according to one resident who posted that for many years postmasters would save envelopes just to show how badly people pronounced the city's name.