The first Post Office
occupied a building on Lot 1 Section 20 on the corner of Mudgee Road and Bent Street, the image from the
shows the building in a deteriorating condition, comments regularly being made about its state of disrepair.
The First Post Office at Lot 1 Section 20
The Second Post Office
Image Courtesy of the State Library of NSW
A brief background to the eventual occupation of Lot 12 Section 3 as the future Post Office began in 1872 when a
in Feb 1872 noted that Mrs. Beard was about to build a new store and dwelling house, the brick store and dwelling house was to be built on Lot 12 Section 3, coincidently the reference to her hotel in the newspaper article is the "Railway Hotel" on Lot 1 Section 4A.
An image from the Holtermann Collection looking up Mudgee road shows a timber vertical slab building with corrugated iron roof on the Lot at the time that particular Holtermann image was taken. This is supported by the image of the blacksmith shop located on Lot 13 which shows the southern wall of the vertical slab building in the left of the image. Whereas in another Holtermann Collection image the image of C.E. Wrights chemist shop on Lot 11 shows in the right of the image vacant land. This confirms construction work took place in 1872 as per the newspaper article. An image taken by an unknown photographer circa 1900 looking over the township does show a brick building with front verandah located on this site.
On completion of the new building Harriet Beard leased the Lot to James Tingle who was noted as being a storekeeper, she retained this Lot until she passed away in 1906.
May 1873 land was surveyed at Lot 1 Section 10 later known as Section 23 for a Post Office, the Plan (12-1710) was submitted to the Surveyor General in September 1873 but in the same year the Plan was annotated that it was "Not required for Post Office site see Misc. 73-6364" and again in 1889 the Plan was annotated as being "Not suitable for Post Office site see Misc. 89-15832".
An archaeological excavation was undertaken on Harriet Beards Lot 12 Section 3 in 1975 by the University of Sydney, the following link will take you to the NSW Archaeology Online
web site page for this report, the item of interest is on page 162.
The Australia Post Historian stated in the Archaeological Research Paper undertaken for the building that Post Offices shared space within public buildings or businesses and did not have buildings dedicated specifically for Post Office business, this may only refer to situations in rural area's.
The building was used as a General Store when built and due to the dilapidated state of the existing Post Office at Lot 1 Section 20 arrangements were made to occupy space in the General Store at Lot 12 Section 3.
To be Continued