This area still delivers mail by boat -- and look what the ‘jumpers’ have to do

These summer job ‘tryouts’ are so funny

A generic photo of a boat on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge
A generic photo of a boat on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge (Getty Images)

It’s safe to say this isn’t your average job interview, nor has it been for 105 years.

Those who live on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin are in rare company in that they have their mail delivered by boat for the summer months.

Of course, this requires a different kind of person to deliver the mail: Namely, one who can jump off the boat with the mail, put it in the mailbox, and rush back to the boat before it is fully past the dock.

The boat never stops -- and it goes about 5 miles per hour.

To find the best of the best who can perform such a task, each year, mailboat “jumper tryouts” are held to see who can successfully jump off of the boat, put the mail in the box, and then come back to the boat before it’s gone.

A video of this year’s 105th tryouts can be viewed by clicking or tapping here.

It’s kind of like that episode of “Seinfeld,” where Kramer, Elaine and Jerry in separate trips tried to get off a subway stop to buy gyro sandwiches, and then get back on the subway before the doors closed. Elaine was the only successful one.

“The mailbox, it’s like 30 feet away from the boat, and then the mailbox is facing toward shore, so it’s really hard to do that exchange and make sure you get back on the boat, so you have to be going fast,” mailboat jumper Sid Pearl told WISN-Channel 12 in Milwaukee.

The mailboat delivery season lasts from June 15 to Sept. 15.


About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.