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Old 04-04-2013, 07:55 AM
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Converting old style addresses

I'm trying to find out how to convert an old style address, (example: Route 2 Box 345 into the current style address 345 Dole Rd). I've checked with the local post office and they remember those style addresses, but they don't seem to have any idea how to find out how to convert them. In my specific case, "Route 2" can be found over half the county, but the city is the same for all of them. So all I have is a box number, but some of the new style addresses don't have the same number as they did with the old style address. (All of which sounds like a nightmare for the post office.) Any ideas?
Old 04-04-2013, 08:10 AM
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This city boy has not the foggiest idea of what you're talking about. Just for curiosity: Approximately where are you, and when did this change from old to new occur?
Old 04-04-2013, 08:19 AM
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My business used to have an RD/Box number address. The local 911 system moved for "real" physical addresses, and we were notified. Changed over all the office stationary, etc.

Call your PO* (talk with someone higher up maybe)

*(Post office or parole officer as the case may be)
Old 04-04-2013, 08:55 AM
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Not sure I understand the question.

In any case, I work for a County GIS department and we handle all the addressing in the county. You may want to check with your local County GIS or Planning department.

We use what is called a mile post system. It’s based on the distance in feet that you live down the road.

For instance, if you live 2600 feet down Smith road, your address would be 492 Smith road. 2600/5280 = .492. It works pretty well. 2600 is roughly half a mile. So if you understand the system, 492 (.492) ~= .5 or about .5 of a mile down Smith Rd.

The block system used in cities is a whole different kettle ‘o fish.

Last edited by enipla; 04-04-2013 at 08:56 AM.
Old 04-04-2013, 09:35 AM
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Go to the USPS Look Up a Zip Code page. Enter the address you have. The system will return the full nine-digit Zip Code along with the address using standard abbreviations.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 04-04-2013 at 09:35 AM.
Old 04-04-2013, 09:58 AM
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there is no conversion.

your local post office assigned the route numbers, a rural post office might have 1 or 3 (whatever) routes. the post office also assigned the box numbers. these route and box numbers had nothing to do with the road/street names, if the road/street had names at all.

your local fire department might also assigned fire numbers which also might have nothing to do with the road/street names, if the road/street had names at all.

in recent times both may have been converted to a physical road/street addresses with the road/street being given letter or number names if needed.

the local post office might still have the record of what properties had what route/box addresses and what the physical addresses now are. if the transition was many years ago, like a decade, then they might not.
Old 04-04-2013, 09:58 AM
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There is no simple conversion rule. Flat out does not exist.

I grew up on RR 6. The postman who delivered that route simply had to know who lived in which house. Then the area started to develop more and we were assigned a box number. Address became RR 6, box 1234 (don't remember the box #). Box numbers seemed to be assigned more or less in order of delivery. Box 1234 was before Box 1285 but after Box 1056.

Once the county adopted 9-1-1 then street addressing was needed. The street addressing system assigned road names where none existed before and house numbers based upon an algorithm that would work in a computer database to provide location information.
Old 04-04-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
Box numbers seemed to be assigned more or less in order of delivery. Box 1234 was before Box 1285 but after Box 1056.
Many many moons ago the County that I work for allowed a LARGE developer to assign addresses. It's a mess. The first floor of a condo building is 600 Smith Rd. The second story 6000. The third story is 60,000 Smith Rd. The house just down the road is 602 Smith Rd. It's a mess. Sooner or later we are going to have to re-address about 3000 people. Hopefully I can retire before then.

I have had people tell me that they canít live at such and such address because their numerologist advises against it. Could you change my address please?

Last Friday, I did a site check to see what address was actually posted on two houses. As I drive down the short road, I see 64, 68, 72, 1731, 1733, 82, 86. Ok. How the hell did that happen? They even have the parity wrong. It should be even numbers on one side, odd on the other.
Old 04-04-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enipla View Post
We use what is called a mile post system. Itís based on the distance in feet that you live down the road.

For instance, if you live 2600 feet down Smith road, your address would be 492 Smith road. 2600/5280 = .492. It works pretty well. 2600 is roughly half a mile. So if you understand the system, 492 (.492) ~= .5 or about .5 of a mile down Smith Rd.
Our county uses a similar system, except it's based on hundredths of a mile. The house you described would be at 49 Smith Road. I doubt that there's anyone here outside the city limits with less than 100 feet of road frontage, so that's plenty of accuracy (this system covers down to about one house per 52.8 feet, or one on each side of the road every 105.6 feet).
Old 04-04-2013, 03:49 PM
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I once lived on a rural road in a California county. Property addresses were inconsistent from one property to the next.

I found out that the County and the Post Office were both assigning addresses to properties, independently of each other. Each of those agencies seemed to not recognize that the other agency was also assigning addresses.

So every property had two addresses. But, as far as I could tell, only a small number of residents or property owners seemed to know that. Most only knew of one or the other of their addresses, depending on which agency had advised them of their address.

I'm not sure how the Post Office dealt with delivering mail for people who were using their County-assigned address. For the whole 10 years I lived there, I always got my mail at a P. O. Box in town.
Old 04-04-2013, 04:34 PM
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Best bet would probably be to visit the library nearest to the area you are looking for the information on. My old hometown library has a history room with a digitized collection, and one if the items is a book that contains hand drawn maps of the Rural Routes that were operated by the town's post office. This is one if those things that was only kept track of locally and if the records were preserved at all, the local library or historical society would be best bet to find it today.
Old 04-04-2013, 04:43 PM
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Is it just one address? Send me a PM with the address, and I'll see what I can find.
Old 04-04-2013, 05:28 PM
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Converting oldstyle addresses

2nd what johnpost said. Further going back a number of years, box numbers were changed because of new homes being built. Sometimes letters used to designate new boxes (RR1, box 123 A). Eventually enough letters added to prompt the local management to completely renumber the whole route, or maybe even assign that territory to another route or establish a totally new route. In my part of the world
(S.Central Michigan) many old postal records were discarded by unthinking managers who did not see the historical value involved.

Never was there any relation of the RR box numbers to the road numbers.
Old 04-04-2013, 05:32 PM
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Ditto Iggy's experience. When the Route X Box Y system was ditched due to 911 services' requirements, the nameless road I lived on was given a name (actually a number: Road <three-digit-num> became the road's name) and the mailboxes were assigned 5-digit numbers. I suspect the new numbers reflected the distances between boxes given the typical number gaps, but they were certainly not obtainable from the old rural-route box numbers.
Old 04-04-2013, 06:14 PM
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The USPS maintains a database called the Locatable Address Conversion System that maps old-style rural route box numbers to street addresses. If you have many addresses in this format, you can pay a vendor that licenses this database from the USPS, and have them perform the conversion.
Old 04-04-2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enipla View Post
Not sure I understand the question.

In any case, I work for a County GIS department and we handle all the addressing in the county. You may want to check with your local County GIS or Planning department.

We use what is called a mile post system. Itís based on the distance in feet that you live down the road.

For instance, if you live 2600 feet down Smith road, your address would be 492 Smith road. 2600/5280 = .492. It works pretty well. 2600 is roughly half a mile. So if you understand the system, 492 (.492) ~= .5 or about .5 of a mile down Smith Rd.

The block system used in cities is a whole different kettle Ďo fish.
Interesting. Is there a standard as to which end of the street your system starts? West, South?
Old 04-04-2013, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignatz View Post
Interesting. Is there a standard as to which end of the street your system starts? West, South?
Around here, if the road has only one end that connects to another road, it starts there. If one end connects to a numbered highway, it starts there. Beyond that, I'm not sure, but I think the end closest to a highway is the starting point.

An interesting non-sequitor:

Our addresses changed a few years back for the E911 system. Somebody doing data entry made a typo in the name of my road. The county's database was uploaded to the Post Office. Every major shipper these days uses that database for verification. For the next 18 months (!) I had to misspell the name of my road whenever I was having anything mailed to me, or they'd reject the address.
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