This Sunday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the old days come alive again at Sandoway House Nature Center, 142 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, with a day-long celebration of our beloved Barefoot Mailman, an iconic figure of early Delray history. Michael Bornstein as the Barefoot Mailman will lead a walk on the beach tracing the footsteps of the original Barefoot Mailman, and there will be arts and crafts, treasure hunts, reggae music, boxed lunches and more.

 

Back in the old days, when South Florida was the province of a few plucky farmers and adventurers, it was not easy to get your mail. No one was worried about Saturday delivery being interrupted; they were hoping to get a letter at all--months after it was written. These were the days of The Barefoot Mailman route, which extended from Palm Beach to Miami and back--and took six days. This was considered an improvement over the old route, which involved going from New York to Havana to Miami, which took considerably longer.

 

There were at least 10 different barefoot mailmen, with the most famous James E. “Ed” Hamilton, who disappeared delivering mail on the route in 1887, presumably drowned or taken by an alligator or crocodile while trying to swim across Hillsboro Inlet. His body was never recovered.

 

Delray may be the most fun small town in America, but it is events like these that connect the dots to its rich history--and legacy. So turn off the iphones, unplug the TV and get out here in the real world with your family. This sounds like a great Sunday—in Real Life 3D ---with history come to life. The cost is $10 per person all-inclusive, and you can find out more at historicalsocietypbc.org.