Loveland’s Still The Biggest In The Romantic Postmark Business
Since 1947, more than 12 million cards and letters have been sent to Loveland, Colorado's post office to be hand-stamped and mailed to the lucky recipient. In 2014, they received more than 150,000.
"That's from all around the world – in fact, 110 countries, 50 states," said U.S. Postal Service spokesman David Rupert. "It's amazing how this is a worldwide phenomenon.”
While Loveland is the biggest, it certainly isn't the only place with a romantic name and a remailing program. There's also Loveland, Ohio, Valentine, Nebraska, and Cupid, Maryland.
If your relationship is more star-crossed lover than starry-eyed bliss, there's a stamp for that – two stamps, actually. Through a special USPS program, you can get a dual postmark from Romeo, Michigan and Juliette, Georgia.
Romeo Postmaster Alexander Stubbs began the dual-town remailing program in 1996. It began when a supervisor suggested they try to expand their "From Romeo With Love" postmark to include a 'Juliet,' if one could be located.
"At that time we didn't know... so we used the old United States Postal Service Zip Code book, we went through all the city names, and we found a Juliette, Georgia," Stubbs said.
From there, it almost sounds like a first date.
"I called – [I was] a little nervous, I called the postmaster in Juliette, Georgia and said 'You might think I'm a little crazy, but I've got this great idea,'" Stubbs said, then made the pitch: "'What if we jointly offer the country a dual cancellation of Romeo and Juliette?' And she didn't hesitate. She thought it was a great idea."
The process in Loveland, Colorado is fairly simple. Once the dispatch of affection arrives, dozens of volunteers take it from there. They gather in a room for about 10 days to stamp the inner envelopes with the special Loveland postmark, a unique design created every year by a local artist.
Many of the volunteers have been doing this for years, and have become close friends through the activity, USPS Spokesman Rupert said.
"There's a waiting list. It's probably the most coveted position in Northern Colorado, to be a part of this team," he said. "It's really an extraordinary community effort that brings a lot of light to the local community."
But what if you find yourself suddenly single before the big day? Not to worry… there are plenty of postmarks for broken hearts, too.
"How about Embarrass, Minnesota? -- you might want to get your Valentine postmarked there," Rupert said.
If that doesn't feel right, there's always Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Coward, South Carolina; or for that grumpy Valentine in your life – try Sour Lake, Texas.
Regardless of the motivation, there's no substitute for taking a little extra time to surprise someone.
"It doesn't take anything to send a text message, an email takes just a few seconds to tap out... but to purchase a card, select a stamp, and then go to this extra process of having it postmarked in Loveland, really means something," Rupert said.