Fallout Shelter at LF Post Office

Yesterday the Little Falls Post Office donated a stack of historic materials to the Morrison County Historical Society. The stack includes a cash book ledger from 1884-1887 compiled under postmasters L.G. Worthington and John Wetzel, documents detailing the construction specifications for the Little Falls Post Office dated 1916, and photos and documents related to the 1960s-era addition on the post office.

Stack of documents and photos donated to MCHS by the Little Falls Post Office, June 26, 2015.

Stack of documents and photos donated to MCHS by the Little Falls Post Office, June 26, 2015.

SQUEEEEEE! MCHS staff are seriously geeking out over this trove of information.

For as fabulous as all these items are, there’s an item in the stack that is blowing our history-loving sirens. It’s a folder titled “National Fallout Shelter Survey Facility Booklet” and inside is a collection of booklets from the Department of Defense/Office of Civil Defense on various aspects of emergency preparedness. One of the booklets is on emergency childbirth. Also included in the folder is a set of plastic bags to be used as commode liners.

National Fallout Shelter Survey Facility Booklet donated by the Little Falls Post Office to MCHS, June 26, 2015.

National Fallout Shelter Survey Facility Booklet donated by the Little Falls Post Office to MCHS, June 26, 2015.

Emergency booklets and commode liners in Fallout Shelter booklet, donated by the Little Falls Post Office to MCHS, June 26, 2015.

Emergency booklets and commode liners in Fallout Shelter booklet, donated by the Little Falls Post Office to MCHS, June 26, 2015.

The Little Falls Post Office was an official Fallout Shelter site, a place for people to go in case of a nuclear attack. The Fallout Shelter signs are still affixed to the exterior of the post office, however, according to long-time postal employee Kenny Garrison, the Fallout Shelter is now the employee break room. It was Kenny who arranged to have these items donated to the Morrison County Historical Society. (Thanks, Kenny!)

There are adults today who remember having periodic nuclear fallout drills as school children. During these drills, we had to get under our desks and tuck into a ball with our hands over our heads.

Aside from the Little Falls Post Office, I have seen a Fallout Shelter sign on the old Bethel Lutheran Church on the West Side of Little Falls. I remember seeing them in area schools. Do you know of other locations in Morrison County that served as Fallout Shelters? Perhaps locations that still have signs? Let MCHS know in the comments.

Fallout Shelter sign on Little Falls Post Office, photo taken by Mary Warner, 2014.

Fallout Shelter sign on Little Falls Post Office, photo taken by Mary Warner, 2014.

 

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