Kalvarija is a town in Suvalkija, 18 km south of Marijampolė. In World War One it was taken on February 12, 1915, by 42. Infanterie-Division rushing through to participate in the encircling of substantial Russian forces at Augustavas (Augustow). After the German retreat from Russia at the end of 1918, Kalvarija enjoyed relative peace and promptly set up local self-administration.
Kalvarija had had a lengthy history of postal links, followed by a lively czarist post office (Kalvariya). During the German occupation a civilian Postgebiet Ob.-Ost branch (Kalwarja) functioned there from April 20, 1916 to December 25, 1918.
A mandate, as įgaliotinis, to open a Lithuanian post office was issued as early as January 13, 1919, to Juozas Liubinskas. However, due to his promotion on February 1 to a position in Pašto Valdyba, he was replaced as postmaster by Jonas Liauteris. It seems that some assistance was also rendered by the Town Council, so it is not entirely clear when and how the Kalvarija P.O. did in fact open for business.
For stamps, Kalvarija was provided with some values of Second Vilnius Issue and may have had First Vilnius and some Kaunas Issues as well, though as yet none have been noted. It was certainly supplied with Fourth Berlin Issue, Sėjėjas Issue etc.
To begin with, Kalvarija had no regular postmarker, so cancelling was done in manuscript, by writing diagonally across the stamps the place and date, usually in black ink. So far, no other provisional markings have come to light.
Late 1919 or early 1920 pen-cancelling was replaced by application of a box-type cachet.
A standard calendar-type postmarker was supplied in 1920. About the same time a standard registration cachet was provided.
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling in MS, diagonally:
19 / IV/ 19 cover to Kaunas, Berlin IV 30 [reported Norton]
19 / IV / 19 cover to Kaunas, Berlin IV 30 [reported Norton]
6 / V / 19 cut-out with Kaunas rds. 10.5.19, Vilnius II 40 & Berlin IV 20 [colln. Wilson]
3 / VI / (?) single, Berlin IV 60 [colln. Doniela]
29 / IX / 19 single, Berlin IV 30 [colln. Doniela]
Date unclear single, cancelled by red crayon, Berlin IV 20 [formerly Norton]
Date unclear single, Berlin IV 60 [colln. V. Jurkša]
Cancelling by a box-type cachet:
no date single, Berlin IV 40 [colln. V. Jurkša]