The first Post Office was a box on a tree on the side of the Post Road, two miles out of the settlement. If letters were important, then the sender waited for the stage coach to come along, on its way to or from Halifax and Yarmouth. Much shipping mail was sent that way and received. 1
“Hantsport passed from an isolated village officially in 1849 when it was established as a postal way office as part of the provincial system. Indeed a directory of Nova Scotia post offices published in 1850 (London) listed Hantsport by name. Within four years it was upgraded to a full post office stop (6 July 1853) with D.G. Harris as the first Post Master. He was succeeded in 1855 by Nathan T. Harris who was to serve until Confederation. The earliest Hantsport postmark located is dated 1856.” 2
The Post Office kept by Nathan Harris was on Main Street, the first Telegraph Office was on the corner of Main and School Streets, the operator was Miss Mary Barker, afterwards Mrs. George Yeaton. The mail had to be made up and sent out to Post Road to meet the Coach until the Railroad was built in 1871. 3
A postcard dated 1906 shows the post office located in the former Union Hall.
The Minister of Public Works for the Government of Canada purchased a plot of land on William Street for a Hantsport Public Building from W.S. Whitman in 1913 for $1,000. 4
The entire cost including the site was projected to be $24,500 according to statements made in the House of Commons and reported in the 25 April 1929 edition of “The Ottawa Journal”.
The Hantsport Women’s Institute were responsible for the clock on the new post office, the hand rail down the centre of the steps, and the stamp vending machine.
Built well after the era of the large and impressive nineteenth century post offices of Nova Scotia and before the much smaller contemporary ones, the Hantsport post office leans in style more toward the former and less toward the latter. Its size is suggestive of the nineteenth century buildings, yet it lacks the embellishment and adornment of those buildings.
High above the main entrance a single faced clock was included in the design, placed just below the peak of the gabled pediment. With a round face, it has numerals on the face, not the Roman Numerals to be found both on older and newer clocks. Above the clock, set in a diamond of mortar, is the date of construction, 1929, accomplished with stylized script.
“My father had the contract for delivering the mail from the post office to the station and back again, which meant that the trains had to be met four times a day six days a week, rain or snow, sleet or hail. As he only had Wednesday afternoons off this was not as bad a commitment as it might seem and if he did want to go away he could usually get his delivery man, Ted Patton in those days, to deliver the mail for him.
When I became older I did my share of delivering the mail. When we didn’t need the horse and wagon I had a sled in winter and a two wheeled cart in summer that Albert Cuvilier made for us to carry the mail back and forth. I spent a good many hours waiting in the station for the train to come in as the afternoon trains were often late. They all had mail cars on which the mail was sorted during the trip. It was possible then to send a letter to Windsor and have an answer back the same day.” 5
As a Centennial project in 1995 a rest area was constructed in front of the Post Office for people to stop and chat.
Hantsport Post Masters and Post Mistresses 6
- Name Date of Appointment Date of Vacancy Cause of Vacancy
- D. G. Harris
- Nathan T. Harris 1869-10-02 Non residence
- William Davison 1870-01-01 1884-09-12 Resignation
- Alice M. Shaw (Davison) 1884-12-11 1899-01-01 Resignation
- Albert Riley 1899-07-15 1909-09-01 Death
- Mrs. Adeline Riley 1909-10-01 1930-01-10 Death
- Hugh Everett Rolph 1930-06-02 1961-08-16 Retirement
- Miss Helen C. Patten 1961-08-17 1966-09-20 Retirement
Greg was a RCMP officer from 1969-1973 stationed in Ottawa. From 1973-1975 he worked with the Municipal Police Enforcement in the Town of Hantsport and then in 1975 he went on to work for Canada Post for 29 years, 15 of which were spent as Post Master.
- Diane Pinch
- Laura Fris
- Joni Kehoe
- Hantsport on Avon by Hattie Chittick (1964 edition p. 7)
- Tide & Timber by Allen B. Robertson (1996 p. 71-72 citing The Nova Scotia Post: Its Offices, Masters and Marks 1700-1867 – 1985, p. 263)
- Brief History of the Town of Hantsport by W. Chesley Graham
- Library and Archives Canada; RG2, Privy Council Office, Series A-1-a
- My Memories of the DAR by John Harvie (2000)
- Library and Archives Canada; Postal Heritage and Philately; Post Offices and Postmasters; Item 5162
- News & Views for Hants Border, Hantsport, and Beyond by Heather Davison (Friday, 17 October 2014)
- Valley Journal Advertiser, 21 Dec 2017