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Paterson River history

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Paterson Post Office

Early days

Paterson Post Office in 1884 or early 1885

Paterson Post and Telegraph Office in 1884 or early 1885. The front verandah had not yet been added (photo: National Archives of Australia).

A Post Office was establised at Paterson in 1832 [1] but it was probably located at Old Banks at Patersons Plains, because the village of Paterson was not gazetted until 1833. Paterson's first postmaster was John Allman who was also Clerk to the Bench of Magistrates. He probably operated the post office from the courthouse/lockup at Old Banks.

In March 1835 Allman was replaced as postmaster by Edward Hardy who, like Allman, was also Clerk to the Bench. By April 1835 a new courthouse/lockup had been built and was in use in the new township of Paterson so the post office may have operated from there at that time. William Thomas Phillips became postmaster on 1 September 1835 and still held the position in 1841 [CS Annual Returns of the Colony].

In 1848 Peter Keppie had a contract for £60 per year to take the mail between Paterson and Morpeth each day in a horse-drawn cart. James Tyrie had a contract for £36 per year to take the mail from Paterson to Gresford on horseback three times a week.

Separate Post and Telegraph offices

The Electric Telegraph Department began in New South Wales in 1858 and telegraph stations were opened at Clarence Town and Paterson in 1874. Although the postal and telegraph departments were controlled by the Postmaster-General from 1867, the offices were not amalgamated at Paterson until 1875.

In September 1883 a contract was accepted for a new, official building[2] and a verandah was added in 1884.[3] After nearly two years of construction, the building opened on 4 May 1885 as the Paterson Post and Telegraph Office,[4] and this building survives today as the Paterson Post Office.

Paterson Post and Telegraph Office

Above: Paterson Post and Telegraph Office, year unknown (photo: Paterson Historical Society).

Paterson Post and Telegraph Office in 1901

Above: Paterson Post and Telegraph Office in 1901 (photo: National Archives of Australia).

Paterson Post Office in 1975

Above: Paterson Post Office in 1975, with a red phone box on the front verandah (photo: Athel D'Obrain Collection, University of Newcastle).

Paterson Post Office in 2013

Above: Paterson Post Office in 2013 (photo: Brian Walsh).

Notes

1. Cremer, Val. Paterson Post Office History. Unpublished, 1988 (copy held at Paterson Historical Society's Courthouse Museum).

2. Australian Town and Country Journal, 15 September 1883 p15.

3. Threlfo, Shirley. Heritage Photographs, series 2. Paterson Historical Society, 2007.

4. Evening News, 9 May 1885 p6.

Paterson Post Office in 1884 or early 1885

Close-up of Paterson Post and Telegraph Office in 1884 or early 1885. The front verandah had not yet been added (photo: National Archives of Australia).