In addition to handling the mail, the postmaster is the only government agent in many communities. He represents Canada's Dominion government and therefore helps customers fill out forms for a variety of services.
VILLAGE BUILDINGS
Blacksmith's Workshop
Blacksmith's Workshop

 
Church
Church

 
General Store
General Store

 
Weaver's Home
Weaver's Home

 
Shoemaker's Workshop
Shoemaker's Workshop


Post Office
Post Office

 
Tinsmith's Workshop
Tinsmith's Workshop

 
Farmhouse
Farmhouse

 
Joiner's Workshop
Joiner's Workshop

 
Schoolhouse
Schoolhouse

 
IN THE POST OFFICE

The Canadian postal system evolved in step with the railway. By 1891, there are more than 8000 post offices across Canada. Communities are constantly vying with one another to obtain or upgrade postal service, and the post office is seen as a symbol of prosperity. In addition to providing for the transmission of correspondence, news and money, the post office also fulfills an important social function and is where villagers come together on a regular basis to socialize. Given its important role, the post office is usually located in an easily accessible and appropriate location, such as in or near a general store or other business, near a church, or perhaps at the intersection of two roads.

The postmaster is a key player in village society. Although pay is low and working conditions are difficult – the postmaster in smaller offices has to pay his own rent and heat, must purchase some of his equipment, and works on many holidays – the position is highly desired. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the craft is generally learned on the job and by members of the same family. Often the position is handed down from generation to generation. Over time, women play an increasingly important role in postal operations as postmasters or as assistants.

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    Date created: May 13, 2008 | Last updated: June 30, 2010