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J. W. Westcott II
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approaching a Canadian freighter
History United States Name
Namesake company founder
Owner J. W. Westcott Company
Route Detroit River, Great Lakes
Builder Paasch Marine Service, Erie, Pennsylvania
Homeport Detroit, Michigan
Identification Official number: 258859
Status in service
Class and type Pilot and mail boat
Tonnage 14 GT
Length 45 ft (14 m)
Beam 13 ft (4.0 m) Draft 4 ft (1.2 m) Propulsion
Detroit Diesel 6-71, 220 hp (160 kW) 
May 2010: Cummins Marine QSB 5.9, 305 hp (227 kW)
Speed 15 knots
moored near its post office
is a boat known for its delivery of mail to ships while they are underway. It operates out of Detroit, Michigan, and is the only floating ZIP Code in the United States.
1 History 2 Operation 3 Sinking 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links
The Westcott company was established in 1874 by Captain John Ward Westcott, who ferried supplies (and by 1895 the mail) to passing ships via rowboat. By 1949, the company commissioned Paasch Marine Service of Erie, Pennsylvania to build , named in honor of the Westcott company's founder. The ship is 45 feet (14 m) in length and has a beam of 13 feet (4.0 m). A single screw is powered by a 305 horsepower (227 kW) marine diesel engine. The boat's speed is rated at 15 knots.
Any mail addressed to members of ships' crews on vessels transiting the Detroit River can be delivered to them via by being addressed ", Marine Post Office, Detroit, Michigan, 48222." The US postal zip code 48222 is exclusive to the floating post office and its ship addressees; as of 2016, the boat has a contract with the US Postal Service through 2021. The mail is delivered to the appropriate ships (mainly lake freighters) as they transit the Detroit River, utilizing ropes and buckets.
On 23 October 2001, sank in the deep water under the Ambassador Bridge while caught in the wake of Norwegian oil tanker The captain and one other crew member were killed; the two passengers, both pilots, were rescued. was later salvaged, refurbished and returned to service.
Boat Railway Post Office
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"Dimensions". Westcott Co. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
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Kelly, Tyler (20 August 2016). "A Mail Boat Stays Afloat". . Retrieved 20 August 2016.^ Hebert, Jim (31 March 1999). "J. W. Westcott Company". Westcott Co. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.^ "Two killed in sinking of mail boat J.W. Westcott II in Detroit River". . February–March 2002. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.^ REPORT OF THE CAPSIZING AND SINKING OF THE M/V J. W. WESTCOTT II (PDF) (Report). United States Coast Guard. 7 October 2002. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
Bergel, Colin (2000). . Illustrated by Mark Koenig. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814328903. OCLC 44313231.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to J. W. Westcott II (ship, 1949).
J. W. Westcott Co. website*"Westcott Co. Home Page". Archived from the original on 17 April 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
"Images of ". Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
United States Postal Service
Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in 2001
Categories: 1946 shipsDetroit RiverMaritime incidents in 2001Transportation in MichiganUnited States Postal ServiceShips built in Erie, Pennsylvania
[Answer] Where is the only floating post office in the U.S.?
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[Answer] Where is the only floating post office in the U.S.?
Step 1 : Introduction to the question "Where is the only floating post office in the U.S.?"
...1. Washington 2. Michigan 3. Florida 4. Delaware
Step 2 : Answer to the question "Where is the only floating post office in the U.S.?"
Michigan - If you were going to pick one state in the union to have a floating post office, it’s a good bet that would be the Great Lakes State. Stationed on the Detroit River separating the U.S. and Canada, the post office has quite an interesting backstory. It’s actually a 45-foot tugboat named the J.W. Westcott II that delivers mail to other vessels along the river. And according to Atlas Obscura, it’s the only boat in the country to have its own zip code, 48222. The floating post office was officially established in 1949, but the Westcott Company has been delivering mail and supplies on the river since 1874. The J.W. Westcott II suffered damage in 2001; after it was salvaged and rebuilt, the floating post office still serves the state of Michigan today.:
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America's Only Floating Post Office Delivers More than Mail to Detroit's Ships
For 140 years, the J.W. Westcott Company has been dropping off everything from love letters to pizza to, once, a goat.
America’s Only Floating Post Office Delivers More than Mail to Detroit’s Ships
America’s Only Floating Post Office Delivers More than Mail to Detroit’s Ships For 140 years, the J.W. Westcott Company has been dropping off everything from love letters to pizza to, once, a goat.
by Liana Aghajanian July 19, 2016
Captain Sam Buchanan prepares to take a mail parcel on board for a delivery to a passing freighter as traffic backs up on the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada. (Photo: Liana Aghajanian)
BEYOND THE TRAIN TRACKS ON the edge of Detroit, in the water that separates the United States from Canada, Captain Sam Buchanan is in a 45-foot tugboat named the J.W. Westcott II, heading towards a freighter to engage in a delicate, centuries-old aquatic dance.
“The James R. Barker,” Buchanan says as he grins and spins the Westcott’s wheel, pointing across the water to a giant ship. “I built a 10-foot model of that one.” When he’s not on this tugboat, he’s at his second job as a captain of a passenger boat a dozen miles down the river. At home, he’s building miniature wooden replicas of Great Lakes vessels. During the winter, he travels from Michigan to Ohio to work on steamships. Having taken somewhere between 46,000 to 55,000 trips like this (this is the amount of deliveries he’s made to passing ships on the tugboat), there is perhaps no one else who can so elegantly pull up next to this 1,000 foot behemoth, more a giant steel wall emerging from the water than a ship. Almost immediately, the freighter’s crew lower down a rope into the tugboat as it gently rocks, and a rectangular cardboard package is attached by a Westcott deckhand before being pulled up on board.THE GASTRO OBSCURA BOOK
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With their engines running, they have to be quick, taking no more than a few minutes to complete the choreography they know by heart. The crew wave goodbye as Buchanan pulls the Westcott away and sounds its powerful horn. It’s a warm day on the river, and as the tugboat passes underneath the traffic-filled Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit to Canada before it’s docked, it won’t be long before Buchanan is out moving with the rhythm of the water again.
But Buchanan is no ordinary riverboat operator: He’s captain of the world’s only floating post office, one that delivers mail to ships at sea. For over 140 years, this method has not changed.
Captain Ryan Gazdecki takes the J.W. Westcott II on a mail run in the Detroit River. For many who work at the world’s only floating post office, being on the river isn’t just a job, but a way of life. (Photo: Liana Aghajanian)
The J.W. Westcott Company has served ships carrying cargo that pass through the Detroit River as history has unfolded around it. It’s been here since before Henry Ford test drove his first automobile in Detroit, present for the rise of Motown Records, throughout the 1967 race riots and when the city filed for bankruptcy after decades of economic and social turmoil. As Detroit emerged as the epicenter of the 20th century auto boom, the river became the main method of transporting iron ore, steel and limestone for the industry. Today, the Detroit River retains its title as one of the busiest waterways in the world.
In the 1950s, J.W. Westcott delivered around one million pieces of mail every season, but with the shipping industry and communications technology significantly altered, it’s less than half of that these days. The main mailboat used in all deliveries since it was built in 1949 is the J.W. Westcott II, with a backup boat named the Joseph J. Hogan on standby.
Eventually, the Westcott Company’s essential role on the Detroit River led them to become the only boat in the country with its own zip code: 48222.
The SS J. W. Westcott, pictured c. 1900. (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-DIG-det-4a16034)
While technically part of the U.S. Postal Service, Buchanan’s cargo goes well beyond letters.
It’s called the “7-11 of the Great Lakes,” open 24 hours, seven days a week from mid-April to December, with three shifts for a bevy of crew members who have one of the most unique jobs in the country.
For the thousands of sailors who spend months at a time on the water transporting coal, iron ore and stone to ports in the Rustbelt region, the J.W. Westcott Company is also their only connection to home.
Their “mail in a pail” method has delivered everything from love letters, to coffee, cigarettes, toothpaste, televisions and toilet paper. At some point over a decade ago, hungry ship crews started requesting pizza, and during Ramadan, relatives of Arab-American steel ship workers deliver homemade meals to the Westcott’s offices. Once, a goat destined for a petting farm came on board and for more than three decades a woman named Arlene Earl has been delivering flowers to captains and crews on the ships via the Westcott. During a lull in deliveries one afternoon, Captain Ryan Gadzecki told me how he once delivered a mistress to her partner on one of Detroit’s nearby islands, while taking the unsuspecting wife back to shore.