You’ve Got Mail — The First Post Offices of Lanark County



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Perth Courier, March 7, 1968

The First Post Offices


A post office called Perth Upon Tay was established right away in 1816 with the man in charge of the settlement for the government, Daniel Daverne, as post master.  When Daverne absconded with funds, which were in his care, he was replaced.  Perth-Upon-Tay now became simply Perth.  A letter by Taylor in the Ontario Archives of P. Robinson, Commissioner of Crown Lands, York, written on January 31, 1831, is postmarked with a small double circle broken by Perth with the date written in red.  In 1837 Francis Allan took over as crown lands agent and postmaster in Perth.

In the spring of 1821 Alexander Ferguson opened the second store in Lanark Village and the same year completed a grist mill.  The next year the Lanark Post Office was opened with J.A. Murdock as post master.  He was replaced in 1835 by John Hall who was to be postmaster into the 1850’s(?).

Along the southern edge of Lanark County the route of the Rideau Canal was surveyed in 1826(?).  The Rideau Canal was completed in 1832 when the lumber trade began to assume considerable dimensions at Perth.  The Tay River was deepened and had locks built on it and a branch canal of eight miles made to connect it with the Rideau.

Many were attracted by the prospect of obtaining work on the building of the Rideau Canal and a village sprang up on it in Montague Township, five miles south east of Smith’s Falls. Kilmarnock Post Office came into being at this village in 1828(?)1829(?) with James Maitland as post master and he was to continue in the position until the 18590’s.





Smith’s Falls took its name from two circumstances.  The first was a succession of falls on the Rideau River at that point to be largely done away with by the locks of the canal.  The other was the ownership of the land it was to occupy by a man named Smith who waited for high prices so that the forest remained on the site while Perth and other places were already springing into importance.  In 1828, however, this land lying mainly on the Elmsley north township side of the line with Montague, came into the hands of Abel Ward who built the first house and grist and saw mill.

That year to Rideau Canal was being planned and expectations of its being constructed brought quite a number to Smith’s Falls foremost among them William and James Simpson who bought half of Ward’s land and together with him laid out the original village.  Locks reduced the water power of the falls to manageable shape which was used to propel a number of industries.  Smith’s Falls Post Office was opened in 1830 with William Mittelberger as post master.

In 1832 William Simpson became post master of Smith’s Falls, replaced in 1837 by G.C. Mittelberger.  He held the position till close to 18?? (illegible) when James Shaw, Jr., took over.  There is a letter in the Ontario Archives from James Shaw written to Surveyor General Parke on August 10, 1840.  It is post marked by a large double circle enclosing Smith’s Falls in italics with 17th Aug., 1842 written on it.


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In 1818 Edmund Morphy and his sons located in Beckwith Township where Mississippi Lake discharges its waters into the river of the same name.  In 1820 Hugh Bolton built the first mill there between Perth and Bytown, now Ottawa.  Around this nucleus soon collected stores and a hamlet called Morphy’s Falls.  When the post office was opened in 1826 the name was changed through the influence of its post master, Caleb S. Bellows, to Carleton Place suggested, perhaps, by its proximity to Carleton County.


January 17,1913

The rural mail delivery from Carleton Place to McCreary, Scotch Corners and Boyd’s will commence on Feb. 1st. Mr. Albert Wynne is the courier.


Related Reading:

The Hidden Postcard Gallery in Carleton Place

Who Worked for the Post Office the Longest in Lanark County?

How Much Did the Old Post Office Perth Sell For?

Take a Letter Maria– Carleton Place Post Office

As Time Goes By — The Old Post Office Clock

My Baby, Just-a Wrote Me a Letter– The Carleton Place Post Office

Memories of Carleton Place — The Roxy and Marilyn Monroe

Crime and Punishment? –Tales from the Almonte Post Office


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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