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History of Post Offices Around Kinmount

March 13, 2023

George Train's Post Office and Store, Kinmount

By Guy Scott

The ultimate acknowledgement of every settlement in Canada was the establishment of a Post Office. It marked the official government recognition that a place now existed and it gave that settlement a name! In the 1800s, post offices were granted to many small settlements upon request. There were no Rural Routes, and difficulty in transportation meant the post office moved as close as practical to the actual settlers.

The earliest mail deliveries came by stagecoach up the Bobcaygeon Road. A part of the local postmaster’s job was hauling the mail from Kinmount back to the rural post offices, usually 2 or 3 times a week. The arrival of the railway further cemented Kinmount as a mail depot (and increased the speed of mail delivery).

In pioneer times, the Post Office was simply a corner of the Postmaster’s House or a department of a local store if one existed. In the smaller settlements and villages, there was no true post office buildings until the mid 1990s. Kinmount’s first ‘official’ Post Office building was opened in 1970. Over time the number of rural post offices declined as people moved away from the backwoods settlements and the Rural Route was established. The mailbox replaced the trip to the postmaster’s home. The times they were a changing (for better or worse).

Kinmount’s first 6 postmasters were all businessmen on the Main Street. Evidently a post office went with the business! Bill Mark was a World War I veteran who was recalled to training duty during World War II. In his absence, his wife Nell & son Keith “filled in” as postmasters, until the Major returned. George Train had the Post Office as part of his stationery and book store at the corner of the bridge. Bill Mark moved the Post Office across the street to the Hopkins & Marks Department Store. After the Great Fire of 1942, the Post Office relocated in the Stone “Grocery” store, now the Freshmart. In 1970, a new Post Office building was built on its present site: the first time a separate building housed this service. There it remains to this day.

Kinmount’s Postmasters

John Hunter                      1859-1871

Ralph Switzer                    1871-1873

Charles Moffat                 1873-1879

Alexander McArthur       1879-1883

James Wilson                    1883-1894

George Train                     1894-1933

Wilfrid (Bill) Mark            1934-1940

Neil Mark                           1940-1941

Keith Mark                         1941-1944

Wilfrid (Bill) Mark            1944-1962

Bertha Stata                      1962-1971

Bill Pearson                        1971-1974

George Sundberg             1974

Jane Rolfe                          1974-1996

Doug Burley                       1996-1999

Sandra Cole                       1999- ?

Since then, there have been several postmasters

Post Offices Near Kinmount

                                             Established          Closed

Kinmount                            April 1, 1859      

Burnt River                        1873

Silver Lake                         1859                     1927

Galena Hill                         1859                     1871

Union Creek                      1908                     1952

Ewan                                   1894                     1945

Fortescue                           1891                     1946

Irondale                              1874     

Furnace Falls                     1883                     1967

Gelert                                  1879                     1969

Minden                               April 1, 1859      

Miner’s Bay                       1908                     1960

Moore’s Falls                    1878                     1901

Norland                              1862

Dongola                              1900                     ?

Buller                                   1900                     ?

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