Take a Walk Back in Time on Mini-Main Street at Flanagin’s Bulk Mail

By: Barbara Jo Adkins Last Updated: August 31, 2012

At Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service, you can take a walk back in time and view a little bit of hidden history with Flanagin’s Mini Main Street of Hidden History.

Donna Flanagin, along with daughters/co-owners Erica George and Monica Decker, have created this walk back in time by designing store fronts, a post office, and a railway station down to the tiniest details. Almost every item on Mini-Main Street has a special meaning to the women. You might just see an iron scroll on a shelf, but Donna Flanagin sees a hidden Mickey Mouse.


Donna attended The Disney Institute, and while attending she learned that it is best when running a business to separate your work space from your guest space. Flanagin explained, “It all started with one wall.”

Monica Decker said, “When people think about bulk mail, they probably think it is pretty boring. So we wanted to create that flair when people walked in.”

Most of the carpentry, design work and attention to all the tiniest details went to Erica George, who modestly said, “Its nothing.” When you see all that the three of them have created, you will see wonderful craftsmanship, architecture and an eye for creativity, even special detail to the back ground music. Nothing goes unnoticed!

Who would have thought that cardboard from the inside of a carpet roll would be the perfect lamppost? Erica did, and that lamppost sits crafted beautifully in front of the confectionary.

Many of the “hidden history” items in the display have special meaning to the women such as the pair of glasses lying across an open book, which belonged to Donna’s mother. The book they are laying across is open to page 134, which displays the permit number for the business. The rose in the General Store flower selection signifies their R.O.S.E Unsung Hero Award and the address on the confectionary storefront is 1996, the year of their first mailing.

There is so much hidden history to see and view down “Mini-Main Street.” “Almost all of the design for the walk back in time was done with recycled, free items and garbage pickings,” explained Flanagin. As the old saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

You can see the treasures created at Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service all throughout the year at their location at 802 Evans Avenue in Valparaiso. The storefronts, post office, and railway station are decorated throughout the seasons and the women are still coming up with creative ideas for the walk down Flanagin’s Mini Main Street Hidden History.

To view pictures of Flanagin’s Mini Main Street Hidden History, click here!

To read Flanagin’s blog, click here!