Over 120 years old Post Office Museum, Manitoulin Island

“The Postal Museum is located near the Old Mill Heritage Centre and is the former Spring Bay Pioneer Post Office, which was relocated to Kagawong on Manitoulin Island in October 1993.

The museum was originally built in 1890 and served as a general merchandise store and post office.
Of interest are not only the surviving communications equipment and everyday items, but also interesting personal artifacts of the people who served in the post office. The atmosphere of the time at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries is truly unadulterated.

A brief history of the postal service in Canada:

As early as August 3, 1527, the first known letter from present-day Canada was mailed in St. John’s, Newfoundland. John Ruth, in St. John’s, wrote a letter to King Henry VIII about his findings and planned voyage.

The British government begins offering postal services in Canada in 1775. It lasts until 1851.

The first post office building in Toronto was built 1832-33. In use since about 1836. Has served as the First Post Office Museum since 1983.

The first postage stamp, The Three-Pence Beaver (designed by Sandford Fleming) began to be sold in 1851.
(The beaver we now see on the back of our five-cent nickels became the official emblematic animal of Canada on 24 March 1975.)

The Act of April 1, 1868 provided for a single postal service, The Royal Mail Canada.

The first free rural postal delivery service was established on October 10, 1908.

The first airmail flight took place on June 24, 1918, carrying mail from Montreal to Toronto. Regular air express service began in 1928.