has provided this site to help Brandon celebrate its 125 anniversary.
The year 2007 marks the 125th anniversary of Brandon as a city. This exhibit illustrates some of the features of the important role the mail played in the early days of settlement in the Brandon area. Except where noted, all of the images in this exhibit are of the property of the author, Robert K. Lane. Acknowledgments and references are found HERE.
Settlers coming to the Canadian plains were attracted by locations that had schools, churches, the railway and a post office. It also helped if there was a Land Titles Office. When the CPR selected Brandon as a divisional point, and the first train arrived in 1881, all those things were possible and Brandon grew rapidly.
The post office was established on August 1, 1881, almost a year before Brandon became a city. Before that, the nearest post offices were at Grand Valley and Brandon Hills. Mail destined for Brandon was said to be sent to Brandon Hills, often via Rapid City, where it was picked up each day and deposited on the floor of a Brandon hardware store. Conveyances were stages and buggies.
Note: the images for the post office markings to the right were taken from proof books; except for the Brandon top-left image which was taken from an example shown below, and was enhanced.
This postcard is dated November 21, 1881, about three and a half months after the opening of the first Brandon post office. It is addressed to Lt. Col. O'Malley.
The imprinted stamp on the cover was struck with an "obliterator" or "killer" device used to cancel the stamps on letters. In this case the device is shaped like a bulls-eye. The "dater" shows the name of the post office and date.
This is an example of the CANADA POST CARD postal stationery used at this time and shows the 1-cent postal rate for postcards.
This cover is dated November 22, 1881, one day after the card shown above. It is addressed to Mrs. J. M. Fee in Ontario. It is part of an extensive "FEE" correspondence to and from the Brandon area between 1881 and 1885.
This cover carries stamps of the "Small Queen" issue - the letter rate was 3-cents.
The first "Brandon" postmark:
The post office department designed Brandon's first steel hammer for processing the mail when Brandon was still part of the North West Territories. However, by the time the post office was opened, Brandon was part of Manitoba. That "BRANDON N.W.T." hammer was never used at the Brandon post office, although two examples of its use are known.
This N.W.T. hammer was later converted to show BRANDON MAN - it is the hammer used on the two examples shown above and was the first hammer used at the Brandon post office. The style is called "split-ring", or "split-circle", or "broken circle".
Menu 1882 business mail the first hammers the first postmasters the post office buildings
postmarks of Brandon railway post offices
Please Go To Page 2 of this exhibit (1882)