Brick Mailboxes Offer Protection Against Vandalism

I used to live in a rural area about 30 miles outside of the city of St. Louis, Missouri. It was in a river valley, one of the small tributaries that flow into the mighty Mississippi. Except for the occasional flood, it was nice for someone who was very used to living in the city. In the summer I could take long walks in the woods, float down the river, or go fishing, and in the winter chop wood and sit by the fireplace sipping cocoa, or something a little bit stronger. There was one thing however, that shattered my idyllic existence: “mailbox bashing.”

At first it was very infrequent. Every few months or so I would go out to get the mail only to find that the mailbox had either been ripped off of its pole or leaning at a crazy angle over on the ground. The solution was simple, push the thing back upright and tighten the screws that held the box to the wooden pole. After a few months of this, the vandals became more resourceful and aggressive. One time the box had been smashed beyond all recognition with a heavy blunt instrument like a baseball bat or possibly even a sledgehammer. The battle was on, me against them. I bought a new metal box to the tune of about $15.00 and some fast-drying concrete, fastened the box to the pole with some very long heavy duty screws, dug a new hole and filled it with concrete. For a time this actually appeared to work. The box stayed in place and functioning, though it did show some evidence of being battered a little. Then the boys pulled out the big guns. I awoke one morning to find that the box and the pole had been destroyed beyond recognition. Someone had run over the thing with a car. For the next couple of years I drove down to the local post office a few times a week to pick up my mail. It was like something out of Andy Griffith. Oh well, at least it was on my way to work.

Now a group of entrepreneurs have come up with a possible solution to the problem: an undentable brick mailbox holder. The only problem is the price. The cost of these masonry pillars that stand like little fortresses on the front lawn ranges from $500.00 to $2,500. At that rate you could buy about 20 of the standard rural metal boxes. But the market for the brick enclosures is still growing. Some new county subdivisions are making the brick box holders part of the price of the house. They come already installed. One contractor said that he considered them an investment. “If somebody hit these mailboxes with a baseball bat or a car door, they would do some serious damage.” He said. According to Mailbox Headquarters, a specialty store that sells the boxes, the reason that people buy them is about 50-50 looks and sturdiness. One thing is for certain, the enclosed boxes definitely improve the curb appeal of your lawn. You can even get the bricks custom matched to those on your house. Some other extra features include flower boxes, glass blocks that can be lighted from within, stone trim, and address etching.

If you are really handy and have some masonry experience, you might even try to build one yourself. (You’ve gotten a lot of positive comments on that brick BBQ pit you built over the course of a summer) Plans are available at most garden and home centers, but the construction can be a little bit tricky, and make sure you check with your local post office to make sure it’s built to code. Maybe one of your neighbors is a bricklayer? Despite the cost, it still beats lurking behind a tree early in the morning wearing your pajamas, hoping to catch somebody in the act.

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