Odd geographical names and strange requests are commonplace in Raymer's bookshop on Third Avenue, Seattle Washington. The news that a customer has moved from East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, to
Gongo Hute in the Congo doesn't even cause an eyebrow to be raised. One customer may have to use a cab to haul away the mail that accumulated at Raymer's during his absence;
another may call at his bookshop steadily for twenty-five years without getting a single letter.
Charles D. Raymer, who gave his name to the shop and started its curious mailbox service, died some years ago, but Mr. and Mrs. Lew Chlarson, the present proprietors,
have carried on and expanded the service until today it includes some 600 customers. These customers pay three dollars a year to have a permanent address where they can collect
their mail or to have this mail forwarded to them. Some do it because they move around too much to bother with ordinary postal facilities. Others
pay for the service because they have no permanent home or because they would rather not have an address to which they can be traced by friends or foes.
The Clarsons have signed articles of responsibility with postal officials and give out guarded information only to an occasional FBI agent.
Mr. Raymer started this service casually one day in 1909, when a wanderer asked if he could use the bookshop as a mail address. Later, after
many others had requested the same service, Raymer had to begin charging a fee of two dollars a year. Now the shop has 600 active boxes and space for
400 more. Mail may be collected directly from these boxes or, if a customer wishes, it will be forwarded to him anyplace in the world.