The Postmark StoryIn the early 1940's, Charles Strobel of Cleveland, Ohio, wrote a regular philatelic column for The Cover News (later known as The Southern Philatelist). Through his column, Strobel made contacts all over the United States, and realized that some readers were avid postmark collectors, as was he. A small group was formed based on this common interest and was called "The Post Mark Collectors Club". This was a small club of about 30 members. Health problems forced Strobel to give up his column, so Rev. Walker Smith, of Bath, Maine, took over in 1946.
Rev. Smith contacted all 30 of PMCC's original members to see if they were interested in carrying on with PMCC, and about half the members responded that they did. They reorganized and revitalized, and in just one year recruited almost 300 new members! A major component of this rapid growth was the founding of the club publication in October 1947, The PMCC Bulletin, edited by Bob Francis.
Rev. Smith spent the last years of his life with his wife in Florida, managing the club's business. Bob Francis became Acting Director in 1959, when Rev. Smith suffered a heart attack. Smith passed away on April 21, 1960, at the age of 78, and had directed the PMCC for thirteen years. Bob Francis served as director for ten years and growth of the club continued. The first national convention was held in 1962 on the Farm of Margie Pfund in Columbiana, Ohio. The PMCC Museum was also established on Pfund's Farm during this period.
Herb Harrington became the PMCC Director in 1970. Under his direction many changes took place within the club. Each convention became bigger and better, and the PMCC Museum had to be moved from the Pfund Farm because of its size, and Margie's failing health. By-laws for the PMCC were adopted that established elections of Officers and Board of Directors. Harrington continued as Director for three more years, and in 1974 John McIntosh became the first elected director.
McIntosh led the Club to be granted non-profit and tax-exempt status. (To this day the PMCC is a 501(c)(3) organization.) The search continued for a permanent location for the museum, which was now being housed in a converted school bus. McIntosh resigned because of an out-of-country job change, and his term was completed by Jay Lounsbury, the Assistant Director. Lounsbury became the Director in 1976.
Elected to two full terms, Jay Lounsbury spent his years as Director strengthening the club. He started the prestigious Outstanding Service program and computerized membership records. He was a firm advocate of sharing work and started a policy where the members of the Executive Board each had a specific responsibility within the club that went along with their positions.
Paul Schroeder served as PMCC Director from January 1986 to December 1989. Under his direction, the museum showed many improvements including microfilming of the postmark collections. The club also had four successful conventions during his term of office.
Dave Proulx served two terms as the Director during 1990-97. The Museum continued to grow and added the Groton Township Hall to the Lyme Village Post Office. Plans were started to expand into part of a third building. The longtime curator of the Museum, Bernice Mittower passed away in 1994, and Vick Steward of Peoria, Illinois became the Curator. A Building Fund was established in her memory to provide financial security for the future of the Museum.
John Gallagher of Columbia, Maryland was PMCC's Director at the turn of the century. He led the club when the Margie Pfund Postmark Museum was completed in the fall of 2003. A large celebration was held near Bellevue, Ohio on the day of the museum's dedication. Mark Gollnick of Sarasota, Florida succeeded Gallagher. John Flint from Connecticut began his tenure as Director in 2010.
Kevin Tanzillo was the Editor of the PMCC Bulletin for ten years, 1990-1999. Bill German from Colorado has been the Bulletin's Editor since 2000.
Dave Proulx followed Vick Steward as the Museum's Curator until his death in 2007. His wife Beverly Proulx served as Curator and was succeeded by Gary Hendren in 2014.
Today the club numbers approximately 400 members and provides services to many areas of postal history and postmark collecting. The Museum houses the world's largest collection of postmarks and a research library with references in postal history. The PMCC Directory of Post Offices lists open and operating post offices as a service to anyone.