|The post office was constructed by E.A. Smalley who was the post master
for 35 years. This office used to handle all the mail for northwestern Manitoba when it
was still a postage stamp province.
The Westbourne Post Office was moved to the
Homesteaders Village in 1972 and was restored and opened to the public in 1973.
The post office is authentically furnished with original mail bags, roll-top desk, coal
oil lamps and an ornate cook stove with a jug on top for boiling coffee.
The postmaster, Mr. Smalley, was so short that he had to use a chair to stand on so he
could see through the wicket.
The heavy white canvas bag was durable enough to endure the train ride. It was quickly
fastened, taken to the train station and dumped on the platform.
From 1870 to 1885, postal service in Canada was rather hit and miss. Mail was often
delivered by hand and it was not uncommon for a letter to take a year to arrive. In 1885,
the completion of the Trans-Continental Railway improved postal service not only at
Westbourne but also throughout the Dominion.