Here’s a great question that I have long wondered the answer to.  I’ve asked many people their thoughts, including my own mail-delivering mom, and I’ve received some very conflicted responses.

Gary, SD is a small town fractions of a mile from the Minnesota border.  For many Minnesotans in this area, Gary is still by far the nearest town to them.  Canby, MN is 12 miles southeast.  So wouldn’t you think that these Minnesotans would just get their mail from the Gary post office seeing how it’s the nearest town?  To answer my question, I called Michelle at the Gary post office.  Here’s a transcript of our conversation.

does the gary, sd post office deliver mail to minnesota?
See what I mean? Do state borders affect rural mail delivery?

Me: Does the Gary post office serve only South Dakotans, or do the Minnesotans in the area also receive their mail from Gary since it’s the closest town?

Michelle: A lot of people from Minnesota have their mail held here and come pick it up.

Me: Oh, okay.  So even though they live in Minnesota, their mailing address still says Gary, SD?

Michelle: Yes.  I know a lot of people who rent PO boxes because the Gary post office is so much closer to them than the Canby post office.

Me: Interesting.  But you’re saying that the Gary rural mail carrier does not cross the border on his route?

Michelle: Correct, she only delivers to South Dakotans.  Even though certain residents are within walking distance from the post office, the Canby rural carrier must come out all this way.

Me: Wow, thanks so much Michelle, you certainly helped settle that dispute!

Michelle seemed very eager to field these tough questions, and I was grateful to finally receive an answer to this question.  Which begs the question as to why I never just called the Gary post office to begin with, while I instead searched hopelessly online for the answer to my question.