Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Romance, Arkansas – Part 3 of 5

Take a tour of Romance, Arkansas with me and learn about the Post Office’s remailing program. Since my second book is set at the Romance Post Office with a postmaster heroine and mail carrier hero, I thought revisiting Romance would be fun. Comment on any post dated Oct 4 – Oct 8 by Oct 9, 8:00 PM Central for a chance to win a copy of White Doves.

The Heart of Romance

Romance, Arkansas Post Office

As legend maintains, the community of Romance was named many years ago by a school teacher who thought the view from the bluffs on the community’s eastern side was particularly romantic. There is also a gazebo in front of the old general store where couples used to spark.

Romance, Arkansas (population 1700) and is known for the post office re-mailing program and weddings. Romantics send stamped, addressed Valentine’s cards and wedding invitations in manila envelopes which are re-mailed from Romance, AR with a hand-stamped postmark.  

I wove this setting and local flavor into each book in my series and visited the area on several research trips. 

2010 Romance Postmark

Fun facts: 

  • Each year, a unique postmark is designed for use from Feb. 1-15.
  • Some brides request an invitation postmarked and mailed to her on her wedding day for a keepsake. The Post Office is happy to comply unless the date falls on a Federal holiday.
  • People from as far away as Japan, China, Canada, Australia, Germany and Great Britain have sent wedding invitations, valentines and other mail to Romance for the special postmark.
  • The 25-cent Love postage stamp was issued on January 18, 1990, in Romance, Arkansas. Designed by Jayne Hertko, this issue was the ninth edition in the popular Love Series.

According to Postmaster Angie Davis, they have three or four weddings a year on Valentine’s Day at the post office. Couples exchange vows in the lobby and outside the office. Someone carved a heart in the parking lot declaring it the Heart of Romance

When I originally went there to research the inner workings of the post office,  Angie gave me directions to The Romance Waterfalls. James (Buck) Weatherly has given me two tours of his privately owned property, which he and his wife rent to the public for weddings and events. Wisteria drapes over an archway leading to the landscaped garden with numerous flowers and bushes. A wooden walkway leads down to the waterfalls, surrounded by jutting rock/steps.

You can hear the waterfall long before you get there. Mr. Weatherly built two gazebos and balconies overlooking the waterfalls and he opens his home for receptions and family reunions. When real flowers are out of season, silk blossoms add beauty to heart-shaped flowerbeds and archways, along with numerous planters.

I couldn’t help incorporating the falls into all three of my books, including a proposal and a wedding at the site. Mr. and Mrs. Weatherly let me have my book launch party there and I was thrilled when my cover artist used the picture of the falls I sent as inspiration for the cover of White Doves, book two in the series.

So, if you’re ever looking for a beautiful outdoor place for a wedding in a town with the perfect name for romance, check out The Romance Waterfalls. There are at least three churches there also.

If you’re interested in the re-mailing program, here’s a list of post offices across the United States that provide this service:

Bliss, NY

Heart Butte, MT

Juliette, GA

Loveland, CO

Loveville, MD

Loving, NM

Romance, AR

Romeo, MI

Sugar City, CO

Valentine, NE

Valentine, TX

Valentines, VA

Come back Oct 7 for an an interview with the hero and heroine of White Doves and Oct. 8 for an exclusive excerpt.

8 Responses to “Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Romance, Arkansas – Part 3 of 5”

  • Janet says:

    Sounds like a very sweet read. What a lovely idea to remail cars. Loved it. Would love to read the book.

  • Sylvia M. says:

    That waterfall looks like a great place to see. There’s something about waterfalls that make me think of how big and great God really is. Even going to a little fall or a creek with lots of boulders makes me feel closer to God. This is a beautiful site.

    I knew from the book blurb that your next book had a postmistress heroine, but I did not know that the hero was a mail carrier. I love it! Those are such normal jobs and nobody seems to write about them. I personally know two people who work with the post office. One is a mail carrier and the other works at a main distribution center. I think it’s fascinating.

    You spoke of a cover artist. Does Heartsong Presents actually have someone who draws the covers of their books or is it a real photograph? In years past their covers were obviously drawn, but in the last ten years or so alot of them appear to be real photographs.

  • stvannatter says:

    Janet,

    The postmaster stamped an envelope for me with the most recent Love stamp and the famous postmark when I visited. All the mail is still handstamped there.

    Sylvia,

    The waterfall is goreous. I’m having a signing for White Doves there in April and it should be at it’s peak then. Hopefully, I’ll actually be at the waterfall then, weather permitting.

    With the weddings and re-mailing program, my heroine just had to be the postmaster. And I thought it was fun to make her his boss.

    The books in the longer Barbour line are done from photographs, but I’m not sure about the Heartsongs. I ‘ll have to ask.

  • Your book sounds so neat..I will be anxious to read it.What a nice History of this little town.
    We live between the little towns of Bloom City and Yuba. Bloom City had a postoffice years ago and so did Yuba.Those post offices are gone and all of our mail goes to a town called Hillsboro. in Wi..I think at one time the post office was located in a grocery store in Bloom City.My husband grew up here so he tells me about it.Your book should be very interesting.

  • Hi Joan,

    I think Romance has worked hard at publicizing their post office to keep the town alive. It used to be on the road to Little Rock and quite a thriving little town, but then a new highway went through that bypassed it. The school closed and the town threatened to die, but the weddings and re-mailing program have kept the town on the map.

  • Melissa Terry says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I love the setting of your book since I live here in Romance. I would love to read your book. Sounds good.

  • Hi Melissa,

    I’m glad you found my blog. Have you been to the waterfall?

  • […] 3.   Tour Romance, Arkansas by Shannon Taylor Vannatter […]

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