The only mail transportation in the early years to and from our Red River area was by packets or brigades of the Hudson’s Bay Company or the North West Company. These fur company expresses travelled back and forth between Montreal and Red River at least twice per year and as a courtesy, often carried mail for the settlers.
The Hudson’s Bay Company express was basically semi-annual with one brigade heading east via the Winnipeg River, Lake of the Woods route to the Lake head and on to Montreal by following the northern shore of Lake Superior, to Lake Nipissing and finally the Ottawa River. The other route, by packet, went up to York Factory on Hudson Bay where it met up with a boat from England incoming with supplies and mail. A dog team and sleigh carried the mail to Norway House on Lake Winnipeg where it met up with another dogream from Fort Garry. Incoming and outgoing mails were exchanged at this point and thus the settlers received their six month old mail from overseas. Therefore. it is to the fur companies that we owe gratitude for providing the first mail services we enjoyed along the Red River and Lake Winnipeg area in the earlier years.
In 1844, the local Governor and Council of Assiniboia issued a proclamation that all letters from Red River should be turned over to them, opened, by Jan. 1 for distribution. This precipitated the looking for a new mail system and within a short time (1846) a post office was established at St. Paul and our mail went south for handling in the United Stares. The Kittson express, as it was called, was not too regular or dependable. In 1855. Ross House was organized as the first post office at Red River with William Ross as postmaster. In l850 the Pembina Post Office, just 70 miles from Red River, had been set up, and in 1855 it was this connection between these two points, that became our first regular monthly service. By 1858 we had an all-Canadian route between the east. For William, and the Red River area at least twice per month, but it only lasted two years owing to the difficulty of the route that had to be travelled.
Eventually, by 1862, a post office was opened in St. Andrews.
When Manitoba became a province in 1870. we had five post offices and three mail routes. The principal route ran down Red River from the south. the second followed the Red River to St. Andrews and the third connected Winnipeg with two western points, once per week.
In 1878, with the building of the railroad, mail was carried between Winnipeg and Pembina and eastern Canada by an all-rail route for the first time. Just prior to that the mail had to be carried to Pembina by horseback, stagecoach and Red River Cart.
ln 1885, when the CPR was completed, our mail was able to travel to eastern points on an all-Canadian route.
However, we had several post offices in place before the railroad was completed. As mentioned, the St. Andrews office was opened in 1862, Dynevor was open and operating in St. Peters by 1871. It was called the St. Peters Post Office up until May 1, 1876 and then changed in name to Dynevor.
We used the Dynevor postal facility a lot. It was first run by Edward Thomas who was appointed July 1, 1871 and when he resigned in 1879, James Stevenson took over from him for about one year. The Reverend Mr. Abraham Cowley did the postal service from 1880 up to the time of his death in 1887. Mrs. Arabella Cowley managed thing: after that. and it was closed up in 1891. It remained closed for a period of years until Baptiste Spence was appointed in the spring of 1895. However, he passed away in 1896. While Mr. Spence operated the postal service, it was located on Lot 43 in 14-5E. Henry Spence ran the Dynevor postal office from July 1, 1896 up to the time of his death in 1909. the postmaster. from that point on were William Doherty (Feb. 1, 1910 to July 14, 1911 ) Reverend Laronde (April 1, 1912 to July 31, 1914), Miss Muriel Gill (Oct. 1, 1914 to Sept. 7, 1920), Miss Isabella Bunn (Jan. 4, 1921 to Sept. 4, 1923). Miss Muriel Gill (Dec. 15, 1923 to March 13. 1925). Vis, V. Cameron (June 15, 1925 to June 23, 1925). On June 30. 1925 the Dynevor Post Office closed up.
The Mapleton Post Office served our river lot people in the south end of our municipality in 1871, but it didn’t remain open too long. John Kippling was the first postmaster in 1871 and resigned a few years later. Alexander McKenzie took over the postal duties at Mapleton on Aug. 1, 1873 and ran things until his death in 1874. After that, only one more postmaster was appointed, John peers, who stayed from July 1, 1874 until June 21. 1875. The Mapleton facility was officially closed to the public on Jan. 31, l876and never opened again.
The Lower Fort Garry Post Office was opened up at an early date and served both sides of the Red River. Donald Gunn was one of the early Postmasters, resigning on July 11, 1874. William Felt filled the post from Jan. 1, 1875 until Sept. 1883 and was replaced by J.W. Holloway, who only handled the mail for a few years, resigning in mid-1886. The next postal authority was W.J. Mclean who was assigned the post Jan. 1, 1887 and stayed on until Oct. 3, 1892. J.E. O’Meara was in the position less than one year when he resigned and Mr. J. Stanger was appointed to fill the vacancy. Mr. Stanger stayed on handling the Lower Fort mail activities until Oct. 21, 1911. The last official at this post Office was a woman, Miss Helen Isbister, who handled the mails from Feb. 1, 1913 to Nov. 5, 1915, when she resigned the post. The Lower Fort Garry Post Office was officially considered closed to the public on the 30th of April, 1916.
The East Selkirk Post Office was established in 1880 with the first official Postmaster appointed being Mr. Harvey McNabb. He remained at the post only a short time and resigned. it was looked after by whoever happened to be there until McNabb was officially replaced by Mr. William Brown in 1882. Mr. Broun resigned after about one year. The next postal official was Alexander Purdy who was appointed on July l, l885 and performed the duty until he resigned on May 28, 1888. The next gentleman to handle the East Selkirk mail was Isaac. A. Yerex who only stayed at the job from Aug. to Nov. in 1888. In the spring of 1889, Mr. Donald McLeod Jr. was appointed and his untimely death. By Sept. 1889 left the post vacant again. Donald McLeod Sr. took over and resigned in 1891. The next appointment was Mr. David Millar in Aug. l89l and he fulfilled the postal duties until Feb. 1898. In May 1898, Mr. David Lyons became Postmaster in East Selkirk, a job he faithfully performed until his resignation Feb. 15, 1911. A fellow by the name of R.L. Vincent took over from April 6, 1911 until July 26, 1912. Mr. Murdoch Daniel McLean was appointed Postmaster on Nov. 22, 1912 and served in the capacity during the First World War years and right up to the beginning of the depression. He passed away in 1929 and his wife, Eva Cameron Mclean carried on in his place. Mrs. Mclean served as Postmistress at East Selkirk up to the 27th of Feb. 1941, and was replaced by Mr. John Smiley. Mr. Smiley retired from the position on May 5, 1959, and Mr. Frank Komadowski was appointed the very next day and continued operating the postal service in East Selkirk until Sept. 25, 1974. Frank retired and his wife, Gisela Komadowski took over the position. Gisela resigned on Aug. 12, 1975 and Mrs. Margaret R. Davisson was appointed in her stead. Margaret Davisson is the present Postmistress at the East Selkirk Post Office at the time of this writing. The 100th Anniversary of the East Selkirk postal facility was celebrated in Nov. 1980, and we include a pictorial review of the most important occasion for your viewing and interest.
Poplar Park opened as a Post Office on Jan. 1, 1885 and Ben Davis being the first appointed Postmaster, a position he continued to fill until Jan. 26, 1894. Johannes Anderson replaced Ben Davis at this post office by May 1, 1894. Miranda Mattson Woodward remembers when the Anderson family operated this postal service from their home. Miranda says, “the central Post Office was in East Selkirk and every Friday, Henry George Thomas from Balsam Bay brought the mail from far reaching areas. He usually arrived at Johansson’s about 11 a.m. and would have lunch with them. After collecting all the outgoing mail, he proceeded on to East Selkirk, where he stayed overnight. Saturday, he would return with the incoming mail. After lunch he would return to Balsam Bay with the mail for northern areas. He travelled by democrat in summer and sleigh in winter. Once the railway came through, the train brought the mail to the Libel Post Office, either at Greenings or the Red and White Store. Gisely Gislason would pick the mail up at Libel and deliver it to the Post Office at Johannasson’s. ln the 1930’s the Post Office moved to a small store at the Poplar Park Spur, mile 38 on the railroad, which was operated by the Sopko’s. Anderson’s ceased their postal connection by Sept. 28, l90l and were replaced by Charles Mattson by Jan. 1, 1902 but only looked after it for that year. The following Postmasters were in charge of the Poplar Park Post Office until it ceased to function, effective Sept. 29, 1955: Gestier Johnson (April 1, 1903 to Feb. 22, 1925), Oscar G. Johansson from June 1, 1925 to March 1, 1932, Mrs. Helen Sopko (July 1, 1932 to Sept. 16, 1939), Joseph Tustonowski (Sept. 30, 1939 to May 21, 1946), Emil Joseph Borsa (July 1, 1946 Acting Postmaster until appointed on Oct. 19, 1946. He held the post until Feb. 27, 1948). John Hunnie acted as Postmaster on May 9, 1948 until his official appointment May 12, 1948, a position he held until he resigned effective July 2, 1955. The Post Office closed at the end of Sept. that year.
Gonor Post Office. Down in the south end of the municipality the Gonor Post Office opened up by June 1, 1885 with Postmaster John Gunn in charge. He operated the service out of his residence until his death on Sept. 10, 1898. Mr. J.J. Gunn took over from John that Nov. 1898, and filled the post until he resigned March 13, 1905. John Hay was the next Postmaster and looked after the Gonor mail until his resignation Aug. 28, 1913. That Oct. saw Philip Hoffman in charge of the post office at Gonor and he continued on until Feb. 20, 1917 and was eventually replaced by Mrs. Dora Gullivan who Operated the post office until Oct. 16, 1922. Mrs. Minnie Leonard, wife of William Leonard looked after the Gonor Mail for many years, replaced by Mary Shajeski. Minnie took over After Dora Gullivan’s term ( Lot 195). It was in 1950 that Mrs. Mary Shajeski was appointed Postmisterss of the Gonor Postal Service.She remarried, and operated it as Mrs. Mary Gawriluk, non-stop until June 2, 1964.It was handle out of the Gonor Store ( Lot 188 and 189) during these years. The Gonor Post Office continued to be located in the Gonor store after the resignation Of Marry ( Shajeski ) Gawriluk, as it was taken over by her daughter, Pauline Anne ( Shajeski ) Starodub on July 1. 1964. Pauline Starodub ( wife of Peter Starodub ) filled the position as Postmisterss until the service became a Rural Route of the Winnipeg No. 3 run on the 15th of April, 1976. The Gonor store was also phased out as a mercantile facility and greatly missed by the resident along Henderson Highway. The Post Office and Store had been a meeting place where one greeted their neighbor, passed a few minutes in conversation and learn the news of area. You then picked up your mail. A few groceries, a money order and maybe mailed a Birthday Card or Christmas Card. The Store was also the place you warmed up your toes after the long walk. Shirley Herda remembers pulling by sleigh all four of her children to the Gonor Post Office and enjoying every minute of it, especially after a fresh fall of snow. Now The rural Route No. 3 postal boxes, with their cold green exterior, dot the roadside in increasing numbers.
The Brokenhead Post Office served our east Ward of the municipality in the early years. It was started in late 1886 with E.A duggard as Postmaster. He handled the mail for a decade and handed the duty, when he resigned, over to George Sidebottom. Geo. Became Postmaster on Feb. 1, 1897 and was the postal authority at that location until 1915. Mr. Paul Billy served for the next 29 years 9 from April 1, 1918 to June 10, 1947 ) and Stephen Nicholas Kozyo served for about 5 years ( July 4, 1947 to Sept. 1, 1952 ) . Stephen, upon his resignation, was immediately only remained a short term due to his untimely death, Paul Kindeford temporarily filled the position as did Charles Staska until Nov. 24, 1954 when Charles accepted the permanent appointment as Postmaster. Charles filled the post until March 31, 1968 when he was replaced by Mrs. Rosalie Ann Molinski, who stayed in the position until the office was closed up July 13, 1970. This Post Office became a part of the Beausejour Rural Route No. 3 run.
Balsam bay Post Office was officially opened for the business of mail on Nov. 1, 1887, with Magnus Craigie as the first Postmaster. He remained in that post for a few years, resigning by April 7, 1890 and had resigned his duties by Feb. 22, 1892. Magnus Craigie was back at it again in Jan. 1893 and stayed at it for six years, this time, resigning in Oct. 1899. When Magnus resigned, J. B.Orvis took over then and looked after the Post Office until the end of Nov. 1904. Mr. Alexander Anderson accepted the appointment April 1, 1905 and put in about 8 years, resigning on April 17, 1913. Mr. Fred Orvis was next to handle the mails Balsam Bay and served the people in that capacity for over a decade. Mrs. M. McCarthy replaced Fred on Dec. 15, 1923 but only filled the post for awhile, resigning on April 7, 1925. Mr. Alexander Anderson bid on the position again and this time served from June 16, 1925 right up to April 21, 1949. Mrs. Marjorie Newman accepted the responsibility May 1, 1949 and carried on handling the mails until June 17, 1952. The last Postmaster at Balsam Bay was Mrs. Esther Ruth Thomas who remained Mail was first brought from Selkirk to the Balsamined until the Post Office was officially closed on the 24th of March, 1959.
GENERAL STORE AND POST OFFICE IN BALSAM BAY
submitted by Betty Linklater
Mail was first brought from Selkirk to the Balsam Bay area by John Anderson. He drove a team of horses to deliver the mail. Balsam Bay was where the first post Office was located. Daniel Thomas was the mail runner from Balsam Bay to Traverse Bay.
Mr. A.J. Phillips built a store on the gravel ridge by the first road in Grand Marais, which run all the way Grand Marais point, it was here that the first post Office for Grand Marais was stationed. In 1918, Mr. Phillips built another store on what is now the Grand Beach Road. The Post Office also moved to this new store. In April of 1928, Mr. Phillips sold the store and post Office to Mr. Bernard Tessmer, who kept the store until June 1945, when it was sold to Mr. Wm. Lowalchuck. Mr. Tessmer continued to run the post Office until Feb. 28, 1959. The mail came on the train twice a week. he would meet the train with a wheelbarrow in summer and a hand sleigh in winter, to take the mail to the post Office. Mr.. Tessmer gave up the post Office in 1959, when Ted Wonnacott became the new post Master. Ted worked at the Post Office in Kowalchuck’s store for two years, when it was moved to his own home, next to the first post Office. In 1962, we had daily mail ,service, Mr. Zirk trucked the mail in from Beaconia. Ted passed away in Feb. of 1969. Hi wife. Grace then took over and. continued the Post Office, until she retired in Aug. 1982. Mrs. Doreen Schnieder is now the post Mistress.
The St. Andrews North Post Office was officially declared a Post Office on June 1, 1894 with Peter R. Young working the system from Lots 38 and 39 ( Blk. 2 River Lot 100). Peter resigned on Sept. 4, 1911 and was replaced by Mrs. Harriet Maria Ross that Nov. Mrs Ross continued to handle the mail until Dec. 8, 1924. The post Office experienced a change in name on June 1, 1920 from St. Andrews North to that of “ Lockport”, a name they carry to this day. Mr. A Lerner replaced Mrs. Ross by Dec. 9, 1924 and carried on serving the Lockport area until April 24, 1931. After that the following Post master have been appointed for the Lockport area: Mr. Harry Maurice Frinkleman April 25, 1931 to July 24, 1932, Mrs. Irene Lillian hart from July 25, 1931 to April 17, 1956, Mr. Paul T. Storozuk from April 17, 1956 to Oct 17, 1969, Mrs. Katherine Storozuk from Oct. 18, 1969 to Nov. 15, 1972, Mrs. Eduth Peebles from Nov. 16, 1972 to June 1, 1974 and Mrs. Ada Mowatt from June 2, 1974 to Sept. 7, 1976.
At the present time Mrs. Donna E. Massey is the Postmistress at Lockport, a position she has been faithfully filling since Sept. 7, 1976, a period in excess of 7 years.
The Libau Post Office first opened up under the name of “Kreiger” in the spring of 1903, with Julius Kreiger of Sec. l0-15-6E as Postmaster. He remained the Postmaster for a short while, until Nov. 10, 1905, Mr. Leopold Schalme took over the duties on Dec. l, 1905 and on Feb. l, 1906 the Post Office name was officially changed to that of “Libau”. Mr. Schalme discharged his duties in a diligent and faithful manner up to the time he resigned, on April 3, 1916. Mr. Emil Greening was appointed Postmaster July 1, 1916 and carried on handling the Libau area up until 1927 when Albert Petznick was appointed, but his newest appointment was very short lived. Mr. Petznick resigned within one week of his appointment. Mr. Geo. Reichert accepted the appointment on Sept. 3, 1927 and continued on until Nov. l. 1949. The next appointment was Mr. John Gloss who remained in the post from 1950 until the summer of 1962. Mr. Geo. H. Hopcott became the postal authority on Sept. 18, 1962, up to Sept. 28, 1963, just a little over one year. The next appointment only lasted about three years and Laurie W. Kubesh filled the post. (Jan. 29, 1964 to July 25, 1961). In 1967 Geo. Raymond Gilson filled in temporarily until Ewald Emil Greening received the appointment effective Dec. 13, 1967 a duty he performed up to the 3lst of Oct. 1978. Since the lst of Nov. 1978, Connie Hocaluk has been handling the mail for the Town of Libau and the surrounding area. How many people remember that memorable occasion back in Dec. 1967 when a group of Libau residents challenged the authority of the Postmaster General and the Federal Government and kidnapped their own Postmaster. Evidently the trouble started when the Post Office first announced they were going to move the Libau Post Office. Petitions were widely circulated and largely signed to stop the action. It appears the residents wanted Mr. Geo. Raymond Gilson to receive the appointment and not Mr. Ewald Emil Greening. The transfer formalities were to be administered by Percy Pears of the Selkirk Post Office, who was unable to sort out the problem, and Winnipeg authorities were enlisted to handle the situation. Mr. Leo. Menard, Field Service Officer arrived on the scene, and was also unable to complete the transaction of transfer. Wpg. Instructed him to distribute the mail at Gilson’s store. So Mr. Leo Menard can go down in history as a temporary Libau Postmaster, of short duration. The whole situation reached national news coverage and gained a lead spot on local and national T.V. as well as through radio hotJine discussion. The Postmaster General in Ottawa fumed over the whole episode. However, the Federal Gov’t did officially transfer the Post office location and appointed Mr. Emil Greening as Postmaster at Libau effective Dec. 13, 1967.In protest, many Libau residents are said to have transferred their mailing address to East Selkirk and were privately paying and giving Ray Gilson the authority to pick up their mail for them. Some of the problem seemed to stem from lack of communication as to why the post office was moved from Cilson’s store to Greening’s Store about 75 yards from one another and also why the position wasn’t advertised for competition as was usual with Post office appointments. At any rate, the whole problem eventually simmered down, but the story still gets told about the time Mr. Gilson was kidnapped by a group of Libau women opposed to the move other Libau Post Office, in 1967.
The Scanterbury Post Office was first opened in Sept. 1905 and the Reverend Mr. R.W. Coates was the Postmaster. He kept it in operation until March 12, 1908. At this point it was officially closed down. lt was officially re-opened toward the end of Nov. 1909, under the able supervision of Mr. Philip Monkman who continued to serve the postal needs of the area until July 30, 1930. We have included a few photographs, courtesy Marg Monkman, of the old Monkman Post Office (Scanterbury P.O.) after Philip, came Simon Wolfman, who operated the postal needs at the same location (30-16-7E) but only for about one year, resigning on July 13, 1931. ln Sept. 1931, Mrs. Agnes Monkman was appointed and carried on for many years with this federal responsibility for the Government of Canada. The people of Scanterbury owe all these people a very real debt of gratitude for performing the postal function, especially the Monkman family who filled the position almost non-stop from 1909 to 1961, it would appear. ln 1961, the Post Office at Scanterbury was turned over to Peter Hocaluk (July 18, 1961) and he performed postal duties right up to Aug. 31, 1974, when Clarice Jessie Long bottom took over. Scanterbury Post Office is still under the able stewardship of Clarice Jessie Long bottom and continues to well serve the residents of the area. Being Postmaster is a most honorable profession and we salute all those who
have served in this capacity.
A unique Postmaster at Scanterbury. He was a most generous man. He never had too much in worldly goods but he shared it with everyone. when the mail would come in, he never sorted it or put it in the pidgeon hole cupboards that was supplied by the Post Office. It was always filled up with everything but mail. He tied the mail with a string and left it on the table. He always sat in his big easy chair. When someone came in for their mail he would tell them to look on the table. The person would untie the bundle get his mail and retie it. He always told whoever came in the tea pot is on the solve to help themselves and Tannie (he called every girl this), just made a cake. The cake was Bannock. He never ordered stamps from the Post Office. If someone was going to Grand Marais, or some other place that had a Postmaster, he would send for $2.00 worth of stamps. When the mail started to arrive by train, Beatrice Wiegand, who was always hanging around with Grandpa Monkman went to the station with him to get the mail. Of course the train was usually late. After a few times he said to her, My Tannie this is silly both of us sitting here waiting for the mail I’ll swear you in. So with a hand on the Bible she was made – the Official Mailman.
Thalberg Post Office was first established on March 25, 1907 with the appointment of Fred Otto as the first Postmaster. The location was listed as l8-16-8E and classified as a separate building from the residence. Mr. Otto was a familiar sight at Thunberg and performed his postal duties in a diligent and friendly manner for many years. He resigned from the post on Jan. 13, 1920. Mr. Klann handled the mail for the next 6 years, resigning on the 11th of March 1927 . Mr. Herman Ludwig Otto was appointed Postmaster to succeed Mr. Klann on April I I, 1927 – Mr. H.L. Otto remained at his post right up to late 1944, resigning on Nov. 21, 1944, a little over 17 years of serving the postal needs of the Thunberg area. Mrs. Mary Newman was appointed as Postmistress on Jan. 3, 1945 and continued up to the time of her death which saddened the entire community. Mr. Paul F. Neumann took over the post almost immediately and fulfilled the postal duties up to the time of his death, in Sept. 1967. Mrs. Elizabeth Newman then carried the name forward by accepting the appointment on Sept. 25, 1967 up to the date the Thunberg Post Office was officially closed down on July 9, 1970. This area then became a part of the Beausejour Rural Route No. 3 run, effective same date as the closure. This post office was considered a smoothly well-run operation and those in charge over the years are to be commended for serving the public in the truest sense
of the word.
Garson Quarry Post Office. Mr. Charles Johnson was the first Postmaster of the Garson Quarry Post Office which officially opened at l0-13-6E on June l, 1908. Mr. Johnson remained in this post until his severance on Aug. 12, 1914. He was replaced on the same day by Mr. William Dunn who wanted out of the position by Sept. 1915. Mr. Harry Telemann was appointed to handle the Garson Quarry mails on Nov. 18, 1915 and performed the postal duties until June 5, 1918. Mr. Charles Johnson was convinced to tackle the job again for a few years up until March 11, 1920 (deceased). Then early in May 1920, the authorities appointed Henry James Pearce as Postmaster, and he was the postal supervisor for the next 30 years, resigning the position on Sept. 7, 1950. Mrs. Charlotte Martha Pearce took over within a few days and was Postmistress for the next four years, resigning at the end of Oct. 1954. Mrs. Frances Strembicky (SE 9-13-68) was the next appointee and officially took charge of her duties as Postmistress on Oct. 31, 1954 and the Strembicky name continues to this day under the able handling of the mail by Mr. Edmond Strembicky. There has been a Strembicky in charge of the Garson Quarry Post Office since Oct. 1954 to the present day, a total of almost 30 years. We salute these Postmasters and Postmistresses who have served the needs of their area in a diligent and caring way for over three quarters of a century.
The Kirkness Post Office was officially declared open for business on Feb. l, 191I and was named in honor of its first Postmaster, Mr. Magnus Brown Kirkness. Mr. Kirkness served a total of about 23 years as Postmaster, but it was not consecutive service. He first served from date of opening until Oct. 31, 1913, when he resigned from the position. Mr. John Gowryluk became the second Kirkness Postmaster serving from Jan. 1, 1914 up until May 1920. Mr. James Stannic followed Mr. Gowryluk, handling the mail at Kirkness from June 30, 1921 until his death in Nov. 1924, when Miss Mary Stannis filled in completing the duties of the postal department from Feb. 1925 to Jan. 14. 1926. Mr. Magnus Brown Kirkness was convinced to accept the appointment once more and did perform all related duties from March 29, 1926 to Nov. 6, 1947. From that point on the Kirkness Post Office was manned by a member of the Cox family right up to the official closing of the office: Robert Maurice Cox took over on Nov. 19, 1947 and continued as Postmaster until March 3, 1953. Mr. William Edward Cox was officially appointed Postmaster on May 2, 1953, although he had been “Acting” as Postmaster since late in Feb. 1953. He continued with the Post Office duties right up almost to the time of his death, in 1967. Mrs. Margaret Jane Cox took over, almost immediately, and remained in charge as Postmistress up to the time that the federal government declared the Kirkness Post Office officially closed on Nov. 6, 1970.
The Kirkness Post Office became a part of the Selkirk Rural Route No. 3 run on the same date as the closure of the old Post Office. The Kirkness Post Offices were located at 4-13-5E, 5-13-5E, SE l/4 of 8-13-5E, and finally the last location of SW 9-13-58 from 1947 to 1970.
Walkleyburg Post Office opened on Sept. 1, 1912 named in honor of the first Postmaster, Mr. James E. Walkley. Mr. Walkley remained in the position until Dec. 30, 1918. He was replaced by Mr. Wasyl Nowasad who was appointed on April l, 1919 and continued doing postal duties for over a decade, resigning in 1929. Henry Nowasad was appointed in Jan. 1930 and spent almost seven years filling the Postmaster position and meeting the postal needs of the Walkleyburg area. At the time of his death, the Post Office was looked after by Miss Eva Nowasad and finally in May 1937, Nick Grabowski took over as Official Postmaster. Mr. Grabowski served the public for many years, resigning in 1962. The Post Office ceased to function at that time and was declared officially closed. The site locations of the Post Office of Walkleyburg was at 5-14-6E, SE l/4 of l7-14-6E and finally SW 2l-14-6E.
Mr. John Bunio remembers the time when Mr. Grabowski was retiring and the Walkleyburg Post Office was being closed down. John says he wondered about starting up a rural mail route and said to himself there was only one way to find out, and that was to go into Winnipeg and talk to the postal authorities. This he did, explaining to the main post office that Walkleyburg and Fuller Post Offices had been both closed up and there was a real need for a rural route to be established. After talking to Winnipeg. John returned to the Walkleyburg area, solicited the aid of George Horanski and together they obtained a petition of many signatures in favor of a rural mail route. Some people felt it was a waste of time and would never come about, so refused to sign the petition. Eventually, Walkleyburg became a part of the East Selkirk Rural Route No. I run. John Bunio said his good friend George Horanski was very instrumental in causing this to happen and that he was most “interested, co-operative and helpful” in organizing the petition and getting the necessary approval to be included on the East Selkirk R.R. No. I run.
Narol Post Office opened officially on May l, l9l2 with Gustav Ludwick as the first Postmaster. He remained in the position until March 6, l9l5 and was replaced by E.J. Sinkewicz by April l, 1915. Mr. Sinkewicz continued to fulfill the Postmaster duties for over a decade, resigning on Aug. I l, 1925. At this time Mr. Echeal Stern was appointed to the post and faithfully carded out his duties for the next 34 years, being replaced by Morris Stern on Nov. 1, 1959. This arrangement remained in effect with Morris Stern serving as Postmaster of the Narol Post Office up until the time it was officially closed on Feb. 27, 1970. So it could be said quite truthfully that the Stern family performed the postal duties at Narol for a total period of some 45 years. This, we believe must be a record within our municipality.
The Narol Post Office was included as a part of the Winnipeg Rural Route No. 3 run at the time of closure.
Morris Stern can still be seen working about the Stern Store where some of the rural route group boxes are stationed. Mr. Stern and the earlier Postmasters are to be commended for the diligent and caring way they performed the duties of their office and met the postal needs of the area. Morris, if you happen to be reading this, the Narol area salutes you and the Municipality as a whole recognizes your public service contribution.
The Grand Beach Post Office opened up its doors officially on Aug. l, l9l6 with J.A. McIntyre appointed the first Postmaster. He only remained in the position for a period of about two weeks when his postal services ceased. The second postmaster was David Mulligan who remained at the post for a bit longer, just order one year, resigning on June 27, 1918. That Sept., H.B. Wollen was appointed to handle the Beach mail, but he only filled the post until June 19, 1919 and resigned. The next appointment was A.S. McLean who officially took over on July 26, 1919 and was Postmaster until his resignation, effective May 30, 1923. Mr. Wollen was reappointed on June 9, 1924 and filled the post for almost a decade, leaving on April 21, 1934. Thos. Lec Downs was appointed the new Postmaster on June 28, 1934 and agreed to stay for only two years. John Wm. Philip Jones replaced Downs on June 15, 1936 and he fulfilled the postal function at Grand Beach for the next five years, resigning on June 7, 1951. Harvey John Emke was appointed on June 23, 1951 and the post became vacant again due to the untimely death of Mr. Emke, who was only 49 years of age. Mr. George Raymond (Ross) Macomb was temporarily placed in the post office in Aug. l95l and Wm. James Postolu in June 1952. Mrs. llsa Emma Anne Tessmer was appointed Postmistress of the Grand Beach Post Office on June 12, 1957 and faithfully carried out all the duties of the position until the date of her resignation on the 3lst of June, 1965. Mrs. Florence Elizabeth Blake-Knox was a temporary replacement from Mid-June, 1965 and received permanent posting to the position on Sept. 15, 1965, and carried out the official postal duties up to the time of her resignation, which is recorded as May I, 1981. It was on May 12, 1981 that Dorothy Blake-Knox was appointed the new Postmistress of this beautiful Resort area, hugging the southeast tip of Lake Winnipeg.
Beaconia was declared a post office on Aug. 8, l92l with A.C. Trapp filling the position of Postmaster in this beautiful location (SW I /4 l5-17-7E). He continued the postal service without interruption until his resignation effective May 20, 1932. Mrs. Minnie Trapp became the first Postmistress in 1932, to handle the mail and her term ceased at the time of her resignation on Oct.22, 1947. Mrs. Natalie Zirk was next and served a total of 22 years in the post office, performing all the duties related up to the time she resigned, Sept. 3, 1970. Since that time Mrs. Lila M. Smith has been serving as Postmistress up to, and including, the year 1983.
Grand Marais opened on April 4, 1923 at l8-8-7E with A.J. Phillips as the first Postmaster. He carried on with the postal duties up until his resignation which is recorded as May 2, 1921. Mr. Bernhard Tessmer was appointed Postmaster of Grand Marais on Aug. l, 1927 and retired in the position on Oct. 15, 1956 at age 75 years. He was replaced by Edward Wm. Wonnacott who was appointed Postmaster on Feb. 27. 1957 and continued his postal duties up to the time of his death, which is recorded as mid-Feb. 1969. Mrs. G. Wonnacott took over on Feb. 21, 1969 and Doreen Isabel Schneider in Aug. 1982.
Victoria Beach officially had a post office opened on Aug. l, 1916 when Mr. F.C.N. Kennedy was appointed the first Postmaster. The location is listed as 9-20,7E. Mr. Kennedy carried out all the postal duties until May 13, 1920 when he resigned. The second Postmaster was James Paulson who was appointed to the position on Aug. I, 1920. Mr. Paulson manned the postal facility at Victoria Beach until Nov. 23, 1921. He was replaced by Geo. B. Barager who was appointed effective Aug. 13, 1923. M’-. Barager was a familiar face at the Post office at Victoria Beach from 1923 to May 31, 1944, which was his last day at work. Mrs. Violet Petrun Stewart has the distinction of being the first Postmistress of Victoria Beach. Her term of office was from June l. 1944 to June 8, 1950. Mr. Hugh Winston Steward was appointed on June 9, 1950 and remained as the Postmaster until Dec. 31, 1969 which is listed as his date of separation. Mrs. Edna Stewart was officially appointed on Jan. l, 1969
and remains in the position until this day.
The Post Office at Stead shows July 1, 1926 as the official opening day of establishment with Jack Hawryluk as Postmaster. He remained in charge of the Stead postal facility from the opening day until his resignation on Feb. 2,1, 1944. Mr. Joseph Frank Chrushch was his replacement who commenced duties on March l, 1944 and continued filling the post until May15, 1952. The first Postmistress to serve at the Stead Post Office was Mrs. Jennie Soluk whose appointment officially commenced on May 16, 1952. Jennie remained in charge of this postal facility until Oct. 20, 1972, which is the date her resignation took affect. Her term of duty and public service spanned over 20 years. The next postal official appointed to the Stead Post Office was Mrs. Pearl Prokopec who started her term on Oct.2l. 1912. Mrs. Prokopec is the present Postmistress al Stead. In conclusion. the Fuller Post Office outline is covered under the family name of Fuller, and we invite you to view that interesting story. Finally, it was our intent to cover as many postal stations as possible and preserve the names of all the men and women who have provided dedicated service to our communities during the past 100 years. lf we have forgotten any postal personnel, we apologize, it was inadvertent.