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F8

Post Offices excerpts by A. B. Estlin

The distribution of mail was a very interesting phase of pioneer life. It was regarded as a sacred trust and one that never seems to have been violated. The first mail for this district came to the Land Office at Deloraine. It was usually put in a grain sack and sent on to Gould and Elliott's by the first traveller going west. If he was not going all the way, he would give it to someone else who was. Here it was opened and sent on as chance occurred. Often letters were carried by chance travellers one hundred miles further west. Some letters would be badly worn and the writing blurred, showing how the carrier had got caught in a thunder storm, or had had a mishap crossing a flooded creek, river or slough, but no matter, the letters got delivered. The outgoing mail was handled in the same seemingly haphazard manner. It was a maybe a few weeks late, but arrived safely.

During the summer of 1882 a small store, opened by Warren and Snider in a tent, and a regular Post Office was installed there, the name of it being "Sourisford". The post office remained there until the railway was built to Coulter and Lyleton in June 1903. Then the store was moved to Pierson by Mr. Gould, (see footnote)

Settlement progressed by leaps and bounds. T. B. Gerry opened a blacksmith shop on his place on the east bank of the river, just below the crossing. Further north, F. B. Warren opened a store on 36-3-27 and R. M. Graham in the new town of Manchester on 36-6-27 and Pat McConnell on the SE 34-3-27.

The Warren store was run for two or three years and was closed up when the proprietor rented his farm and left the district. R. M. Graham's store, was moved into Melita in 1892 and Pat McConnell's to Deloraine about the time the railway arrived there in 1886. Editor's note:
The Postal Department states that Alfred Gould was Postmaster at Sourisford from 1884-1896 and following his resignation David Elliott from 1896-1920.

Cameron also had a post office starting in 1903 with Postmaster W. D. Hamilton. This office closed about 1929.

Other post offices in the area of this history are recorded in the town history of their location. These are Bede, Coulter, Coultervale, Elva and Napinka. Melita has a separate postal history.