Museum of A.P. Chekhov letters. Post and telegraph office, Lopasnya station

In the city of Chekhov, not far from the railway station square, you can see a part of the old Lopasnya, dating from the late 19th century surrounded by modern buildings. It is the former Lopasnya Post and Telegraph office building. The Museum exhibit "History of the Post in Lopasnya", shows the history of the office itself, its internal structure and operations. Thereby, it opens up several remarkable pages of the history and culture of Russia.

In the vicinity of the ancient Lopasnya, which is over 820 years old, passed one of the main postal arteries of the Russian Empire. Thus, the history of the postal service in Lopasnya encompasses more than just one century. The mail delivery system had been changing and improving for centuries: from the cart as a special type of service and coach mail delivery by horse relay to the establishment of regular public postal services and the Zemstvo (district council) mail service.

Once a house stood on the right bank of the Lopasnya River. It was used by messengers while resting on their journey delivering decrees, orders and letters along the postal-coach route from Moscow to Serpukhov, Tula, Orel, Kursk, and Belgorod.

Thus, the cart transportation of goods was rather developed among the local inhabitants of Lopasnya. Yet, in the second half of the 19th century, railway transport drove horse-drawn freight from the main highways of the country, and, consequently, the first postal routes started to disappear. Then, all registered mail, parcels and telegrams were delivered to the Lopasnya station via the district town of Serpukhov, whereas, regular letters came to Lopasnya and were kept there in a special cupboard at the railway station building. This situation changed with the construction of Serpukhov Zemstvo (local government) post offices.

The Zemstvo post office in Lopasnya was opened in 1896. It existed in this specially constructed building for 10 years. The pages of its history are associated with the name of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. In 1892, the writer settled down at the estate in the village of Melikhovo, 12 verst (a Russian unit of distance equal to 1.067 kilometers (0.6629 mile) from the station of Lopasnya. As many local residents did, he immediately felt the lack of a regularly operating and nearby post office.

"I think that when you buy an estate, it is necessary only that it should be affordable and at least from afar ought to satisfy the usual requirements for living, there should be a study, park, the sun, a post office..., while the rest will follow" (A. P. Chekhov – to A.S. Suvorin. 15 May 1892)
At the initiative of the local intelligentsia and the active effort of Chekhov, in August of 1893 they collected signatures for a petition to submit to the Moscow Postal-Telegraph District. Then, they collected donations for the construction of a postal office building. And finally, on 2nd January 1896, the post office was opened. Telegraph service started here on 1st October of the same year. Chekhov attended the opening ceremony at the invitation of the postmaster, A. V. Blagoveshchensky.

Contact Information

Evgeniya Evenyevna Bovshik,

Department Head – Promoting the Awareness of the Life of A. P. Chekhov and His Creative Work

Address:

142301, Moscow Region

Chekhov

Chekhov Street 4A

Russia

Phone: +7 (496) 722-40-79

E-mail: mel_museumpisem@mail.ru

Museum Hours:

Every day from 10.00 to 17.00,

Museum ticket office closes at 16:45.

Day off - Monday

Closed every last Friday of each month for cleaning.
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