What is this all about?
Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining map-reading skills and
artistic ability with delightful "treasure-hunts" in beautiful
and scenic places. Boxes such as this can be found in various locations
throughout the country, and the clues to find them are being shared among
friends and posted on Internet web sites.
How did this all get started?
According to legend, in 1854 a Victorian gentlemen hiker put his calling
card in a bottle and stuck it into a bank at Cranmere Pool, in a remote
part of Dartmoor in southwestern England. Over the years, the hobby
developed; current reports indicate that as many as 10,000 letterboxes are
presently hidden in Dartmoor, now a National Park. Visitors from around
the globe prowl the heath at Dartmoor in search of the elusive boxes and
the artful stamps inside.
How did the hobby get started in the United States?
In April of 1998, Smithsonian magazine published an article on the
Dartmoor letterboxes. Within a very short time, a loose alliance of
adventurers and rubber stamp enthusiasts pioneered the introduction of the
hobby to the US. With the Internet as a primary means of communication,
the idea soon spread around the country. Web-sites and a discussion group
were established. Letterboxes began to be placed in inconspicuous but
interesting locations throughout the country.
"They Live and Breathe Letterboxing," Smithsonian magazine,
Dartmoor Letterboxes and More Dartmoor Letterboxes
by Anne Swinscow, Kirkford Publications (Totnes, Devon, U.K.)
101 Dartmoor Letterboxes by John Hayward with Anne Swinscow,
Mad Stamper's "About Letterboxing" Printable
All information on this page, courtesy of Der Mad Stamper