The Mount Forest Post Office was constructed for the Department of Public Works of the Dominion Government in 1912 at the junction of Main and Wellington Streets, once a butchers Shop owned by John Corley.
The Post Office itself with its distinctive front entrances was a social centre of the community where people gathered daily to discuss the news. The second floor included a caretaker's apartment and the first public health offices. The basement contained the town jail.
The Old Post Office, pictured below in 1927, shows the bell situated at the back of the clock tower.
The rear part of the building was used as an armory during World War One, and during World War Two as a Red Cross Office. It was staffed by local women who made items for the soldiers and civilians overseas. Following the War, the rear section was used as a sorting area by the six rural mail carriers.
The building features a unique clock tower with a timepiece manufactured by W.F. Evans & Sons of the Soho Clock Factory of Birmingham, England. The clock is still keeping near perfect time and remains Mount Forest's most distinctive and useful landmark. In 1974, the building was sold to the Town of Mount Forrest for a municipal office, council chambers and police office.
In 1999, Mount Forest amalgamated with Arthur Township, West Luther Township and Arthur Village to become Wellington North. At that time the building ceased serving as a municipal office.
Jean Weber was instrumental in having the building used as the Mount Forest Museum and Archives. One of the rooms has been dedicated to her memory. The Jean Weber Reading Room provides a quiet place to research persons from the past or just read about local history.
With the increasing amount of Artifacts and Photographs being donated to the Archives, the many volunteers are kept busy cataloging and entering data into digital files.
Past exhibits have included "School Days," Guides and Scouts," and "At Home." The exhibits change regularly so contact the Archives to check out what is on. We held a successful fundraiser with a Victorian Tea as well as selling old movie posters from the Roxy Theatre.
Recently, oral histories of long-time local residents are being included in order to preserve our heritage.
Come on in, and take a tour down memory lane.
“Photo by Chris Clark courtesy of the Mount Forest Confederate”