Post Office and Rural Mail Delivery[i]
Mrs. Anne MacNeil comes from a rich family tradition of mail delivery. Her grandfather Bill Peirce was postmaster for the Elmira area for 35 years, her father Joseph Conway carried on the tradition which was later adopted by his wife Adelaide and finally Mrs. MacNeil and her husband continued the delivery until recent years. Mrs. MacNeil also grew up in the post office, which was attached to her family home. She has memories of meeting and greeting neighbours as they gathered in the waiting room of the post office to pick up their daily deliveries. Mr. and Mrs. MacNeil still reside in the home that once housed the post office for the Elmira area. They renovated some areas of the house in the past few years but have kept the original flooring and made use of the shelving unit that were once mail boxes. Mrs. MacNeil’s mother, Mrs. Adelaide Conway assisted her husband for many years with sorting the mail and greeting many area residents, all while raising eight children and many foster children. She went on to take over her husband’s position, when he decided to begin driving a school bus.
There were two mail routes in Eastern Kings, one in Elmira and the other in East Baltic. Mr. Pius Cheverie is best known in the Eastern Kings area for running the mail wagon from Elmira to East Point for 40 years. He began his career by following in his father’s (and older brother’s) footsteps, taking over the mail delivery in 1945. Mr. Cheverie is also well known for his mail sleigh, which was a covered sleigh that he depended on to keep him warm throughout the winter months. His sleigh had windows on both sides of the box cover, which served a dual purpose. Initially this was because mail boxes were on both sides of the road but also in case the sleigh tipped over; he would be able to get out on either side. Mr. Cheverie began the mail delivery in 1939, at the time trains did not run past Souris; therefore he travelled four times a week to Souris to pick up mail. Mr. Cheverie recalls delivering in all weather conditions: rain, sleet, snow, hail, and everything in between!
His normal route began at Elmira, where he picked the mail up from the train station. He continued to North Lake, around East Point, up and down the Lighthouse road, continued to Mossey’s General Store (now Elliot’s) and returned to Elmira.
For a list of Postmasters in Elmira, visit:
Another well-known name for delivering mail in East Baltic is Mr. Wallace Rose. Mr. Rose delivered the mail for a total of 21 years. During this time the mail was shipped and sorted at Peter Mossey’s house, less than a kilometer away from the railway station; it was first delivered there as a bulk package. The Mossey’s sorted the mail for many years until the task was taken over by Dixon’s Store. The mail was delivered everyday except Sunday, by a horse and cart or horse and sleigh in the winter. The East Baltic delivery person was responsible for delivering the mail to Red Point, Kingsboro, Munns Road, the North Side Road, and East Baltic. Munns Road was the half way mark and the delivery man, especially Wallace Rose, often stopped at the stream to water his horse and often eat dinner with a local family. Mrs. Jessie Dixon, daughter of Wallace Rose recalls that they use to take the horse and wagon to Sunday school, and out of routine the horse use to stop at each mailbox on the way there.
For a list of Postmasters in East Baltic, visit:
Rural mail delivery is still in place today; many homes in Eastern Kings receive their daily mail in the mailbox at the end of their driveway. Elliott's General store serves as the area post office. Mail can be both sent and received here, especially larger packages that do not fit in the standard mailbox.