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
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.