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The Sandwich Post Office

As with most small towns, the post office was the place to get all the gossip. You could pick up your mail and spread the news, all in one stop!

In the days when post offices were key centres of communication, the Postmaster was held in high esteem. He was responsible for the delivery of the town’s mail, bringing news from other parts of Canada — or the world — to townfolk.

The first Postmaster of the town of Sandwich was William Hands, who held the title from 1800 to 1835. He also held the positions of Sheriff, District Treasurer, Customs Officer, Judge of Surrogate & Registrar Surrogate. He died Feb. 20, 1836.

During Hands’ term as Post Master, he ran it from his home, built in 1780. This first Sandwich Post Office was located on Main Street (Sandwich St) at the north end of town. Close to the street was a gate and a "Sentry box" type hut, where town folk picked up and dropped off their mail.

After the death of William Hands, the position was given to George Gentle in 1834. He operated a General Store and post office, across the street from the Courthouse (McKenzie Hall).

Edward Holland was the PostMaster from 1838 until his death Feb.7, 1843. This post office was at his residence on the corner of Mill & Peter.

Pierre Hector Morin was appointed PostMaster in 1843. He kept the post office in the William G. Hall building, at Lot 5, East Bedford Street (now Sandwich St).

Calixte St. Louis took charge of the post office in 1865 and retired in 1881.

In 1881, Victor Ouellette became PostMaster and ran it from several locations, including the McKee building, Clarke Bros Shoe Store and the House & Girardot building. The Girardot Building remains at the northwest corner of Mill & Sandwich. The words POST OFFICE can be seen in the step on the south side of the building at the doorway.

On August 8, 1885, John Spiers received the appointment of postmaster, held until June 1, 1907. He kept the post office in his General Store.

The Dominion Government secured a permanent home for the Sandwich Post Office in 1907 on the southeast corner of Mill & Sandwich. This brick & stone three-story building was erected at a cost of $15,000. Mr. Spiers and Miss Jessie Spiers were postmaster & postmistress, respectively.

The Honourable R.F. Sutherland K.C. M.P. was chiefly responsible for securing the monies needed to build the post office.

The second-floor apartments were for Inland Revenue & Customs House. John McLean was the Customs Inspector. John Mcleod was appointed janitor; he lived with his family on the third floor.

During the Old Boys Reunion, August 2-7, 1909, a former resident of the town of Sandwich, William Leech, donated a large fountain for the front of the post office.

From the Sentry Box, to Postmasters’ homes, from General & Shoe Stores to the Sandwich Post Office, Sandwich has had its share of different locations.

The post office is currently in the building built in 1907 at Sandwich & Mill Streets.

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