The Fairview Post Office

Submitted by Devonna Edwards

The Fairview Post Office was located on the corner of Main Avenue and Titus Street. Today a KFC occupies the site. In 1931 Bert MacDonald’s family established and operated the Fairview Post Office.

Lillian MacDonald was the Post Mistress for 17 years and her children Evelyn (Essie) and Randall, as well as Evelyn Faulkner, worked there at one time. Angus MacMaster took over as Post Master in 1948.

The post office was the heart of the community and a busy place where people came to collect their mail and have a friendly chat. It also had a canteen on its premises. The Fairview Post Office served an extensive area that included Rockingham, the area from Africville to the Fairview Middlemore Home (Close to Bayview Drive on the Bedford Highway) and from Fairview over to the Ashburn Golf Club. The mail arrived by train twice daily. It travelled along the tracks in front of the Fairview Train Station (located near the Fairview Underpass with the Bedford Basin in the background) without stopping, a railway attendant on the train would reach out and hang the mail bag on a pole as the train passed by. Lillian’s son Gordon MacDonald would then pick up the mail bag and bring it to the Fairview Post Office.

Before Social Insurance Numbers were issued, residents had to register at the post office when they turned 16 years old.

During World War Two, the post office accepted payments for radio ownership license which cost $1.00 per year.

When the post office was no longer needed, sometime in the 1950s, the building was sold, put on wheels and moved further up Main Avenue, where it became a private residence.

Bert and Lillian MacDonald lived on Main Avenue in Fairview They owned extensive property from Titus Street up Main Avenue beyond Dunbrack Street, and over to Randall Park. Randall Park is a 27 acre subdivision, built with the help of Bert’s son Aubrey in 1965. Randall Park was named after Bert and Lillian’s son Randall.

The MacDonalds also owned the trailer park on Main Avenue. Glenda Crescent, a street in the trailer park, was named after Essie (MacDonald) MacQuarrie’s daughter Glenda who died young in a tragic accident on Bayers Road in 1966. Gordon Avenue was named after Bert and Lillian’s son Gordon. Berts Drive was named after Bert MacDonald

The MacDonald children all had chores to do before school, delivering milk was one of them. Essie and her siblings could be seen, in the early morning hours, travelling through the dirt roads of Fairview doing their deliveries. In the earlier years the children delivered milk by horse and buggy, but soon that was replaced by an automobile.

Bert was in the roofing contracting business with his father. They first started the business on Barrington Street before moving to Fairview.