Post Office

The United States Postal Service appointed Joseph Brooks as Bethlehem's first postmaster on July 29, 1811. Since this historical date, 21 postmasters have succeeded Joseph Brooks. The list included Earl S. Johnson, who in 1938 designed the first Christmas cachet at the Bethlehem Post Office and began the tradition of applying decorative rubber stamps to Christmas cards and letters at this postal facility.

The popularity of this unique Christmas endorsement has been faithfully continued by both residents and visitors to this community. Today, there are a total of 85 different Christmas Cachet designs available to the general public for use at the Bethlehem Post Office. The cachet designers have been comprised of area artists, local residents, elementary school children and employees of the US Postal Service. A complete set of the then 64 Christmas cachets were donated in 2002 to the Bethlehem Historical Society's local museum located at the corner of Main Street North and East Street,and a new Christmas cachet is added to the collection every year.

The Bethlehem Post Office services approximately 1628 households through rural delivery and post office box service. The town of Bethlehem has a population of 3, 607 residents (as of the 2010 census). The Bethlehem Post Office, located at 34 East Street was built and dedicated to public service in 1975.

During the month of December, this same post office becomes one of the busiest and most popular postal facilities in Connecticut. In 2013: 169,985 postmarks and cancellations were applied to Christmas cards and letters mailed at this facility from November 25th to December 24th. The desire to have Christmas cards cacheted and cancelled with a Bethlehem, CT postmark has reached out to 50 states and as many as 11 countries during a typical Christmas Season.

Small parcels containing Christmas cards are received daily by the Bethlehem postmasters during the Christmas holiday season. In addition to the Christmas cards, there is usually a note or letter requesting the postmaster to decorate the cards with a cachet design and provide a Bethlehem postmark. These self-addressed stamped envelopes are then processed through the Postal Service for delivery to friends and relatives throughout the world. This service is provided by the US postal service at no additional cost to the customer. Additionally, tables with Christmas cachets are annually set up in the Bethlehem Post Office lobby for the general public to use at their convenience, free of charge.