WALTON, Ore. – John Rivera understands why the U.S. Postal Service would want to close the Walton Post Office.
“The fiscal sense of it makes sense to close these little post offices," said the Walton store owner.
He also know why Walton won't want to see the post office go.
"For this community, I think it would be a sad thing,” he said.
The post office in Walton - located inside Rivera's store - is one of three rural locations being studied for closure by the U.S. Postal Service.
“There has been a postmaster in this town since 1884; James Atkinson was the first. It has been the one constant in this community that hasn’t gone away,” said Rivera.
“The post office, it being here, has really helped us grow our business and become a part of the community," he said. "People come in and get their mail, they see that we’re here; it’s something that they can trust. I think it would be a sad thing to see it go. I think that there will be a few people in town that it affects hugely.”
The original Walton store was built in the late 1800s and burned down in 1943. The store was rebuilt and served as the place residents could count on for a butcher, produce, work gloves, boots and more.
The second Walton store was closed down in 1993, but was reopened by Rivera and his wife Brenda 19 months ago. The couple turned it into a small convenience store and deli.
“People want consistency," Rivera said. "The post office being, that one consistent, people have learned to trust it.”