The Poca Polecat

Click on stamp to see full pane.

This stamp was issued by the Poca Post to honor the official Poca River mammal: the polecat.

In the early 1700s the first European explorers of the Poca River Basin (what is now southwestern West Virginia) were English trappers . They were able to trap beaver, mink, and other furs, but they found so many polecats in their traps that the trappers soon named the river "The Polecat River." A later migration of French trappers followed about 1738-40. They continued to use the English name, but used the French pronunciation. The result was "Les Polcat" which sounded something like "le polca." Later immigrants continued to use this pronunciation . In time, the pronunciation evolved to elide the "l" much as the word "polka" began to be pronounced, "poka." Hence the current pronunciation: "Poca River."

It is fitting, then, that the Polecat (Mustela putorius) has been adopted as the official mammal of the Poca River.

This stamp was issued in the denomination of 21 pu (Poca Units) in a pane containing 18 stamps.

Return to main stamp page: click here
Return to Ben Mahmoud's home page: click here