Old Post Office

Saint-Jacques’ Mail

Before the construction of the railway, so before 1905, St-Jacques’ mail was coming by L’Épiphanie and Sainte-Marie. The first local post office dates back from around 1875. Notary M. Granger was in charge of it. Before rural mail was established, sub post offices were distributing mail to people of Haut-du-Ruisseau and Ruisseau Saint-Georges.

1875: Opening of the First Post Office

A first post office opens in Saint-Jacques around 1875, and notary Magloire oversaw it. As of 1908, the municipality requests the construction of a post office to the federal government.

On March 9, 1909, the government acquires a site from Damase Marion, where stands a brick house with a damaged roof. In due time, that house is transported to the next street, where it still stands.

It takes about 20 years before the construction of the new post office starts. Meanwhile, Marion Street has opened, offering a prime location for this public building. It must represent the federal government proudly.

Our Small Government Building

The red-bricked building, one-and-a-half-storey rectangular plan, is topped with a truncated hip roof with dormer windows. A dwelling is provided to the postmaster in the attic space.

This building is inspired by a small post office model created by the Chief Architect’s Office of the Department of Public Works during the 20th century’s first decade. In 1920, those government buildings start to appear throughout Canada. Of small dimensions, they are designed to meet the rural municipalities’ needs. These one-room post offices represent, for 10 years, most of the new construction sites of the Department of Public Works.

St-Jacques’ new post office is finally inaugurated in 1927 by Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (1879–1946), minister of the Department of Marine and Fisheries. It is also hosting an excise office for a while, responding to the needs of a tobacco-growing area; it is located in the annex behind the main section of the building. The annex is expanded in 1958 for mail storage purposes.

A Better Suited New Building

St-Jacques’ post office loses its function in 1975 following the construction of a new building that better responds to the municipality’s needs. It would be used for a while by the Seniors Association, while the second floor remains a dwelling. In 1995, St-Jacques’ former post office passes into private hands. In July 2000, this well-preserved service building is transformed into a single house. 

Historical and Architectural Values

The architectural and historical specific features of Saint-Jacques’ former post office include, among other things:

- Its massing, including a rectangular plan, a one-and-a-half-storey elevation, a truncated hip roof, a rear annex (rectangular plan, single storey and flat roof) and an open porch overlooking the rear annex;

- Its materials, which consist of a brickwork siding, a shingled roof, concrete foundations and porches, dressed stone sills, granite stairs, wooden openings and the porches’ wrought iron;

- Its openings, such as the main glazed double door, the first floor gemelled hung windows with small panes, the dormer windows, the small-paned hung windows and the four-paned glazed side door;

- Its ornamentation, including the darker bricks, designed to create large arches framing the openings of the first floor, the brick belt courses, also of darker colour, one lying at the wall base, and the other one protruding at the top of the elevations;

- Its globe-shaped porch lamps on each side of the main door and a sign bearing the inscription ‘SAINT-JACQUES, 1927, BUREAU DE POSTE, POST OFFICE’;

- Its location, slightly set back from Saint-Jacques main street, diagonally across from the parish church.

References

Lanoue, François. Une nouvelle Acadie, Saint-Jacques de l'Achigan, 1772-1972. Joliette, Mise à jour, 1972. 410 p.

Gouvernement du Québec Culture et Communications Québec, Ancien bureau de poste de Saint-Jacques, Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec. 2013.

Ville de Trois-Rivières, Histoire et patrimoine – patrimoine architectural, s.d.
 



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