The Old Hillsborough Post Office, a two-story brick and sandstone building, stands proudly on Main Street in Hillsborough, showcasing the Beaux Arts style of architecture. The original wall of mailboxes behind the double front doors still guards the public area, where for ninety-seven years, the joys and sorrows of the villagers waited behind brass and glass doors to be revealed by the box owner’s key.
At the turn of the 20th century, Hillsborough’s population doubled, and agriculture continued to expand, while a new seam of Albertite attracted capital and workmen. The gypsum quarries and plaster mill increased their output, and the Hillsborough and Salem Railway had offices and repair shops in the village. The waterfront was still thriving with exports of minerals and lumber, and thirteen retail stores, two woodworking factories, three doctors, a bank, and five churches served the community.
In recognition of Hillsborough’s booming economy in 1912, the Government of Canada built a new combined excise, duty, and post office in the village, featuring red brick highlighted by local sandstone door and window surrounds, stringcourses, keystones, entablature, and foundations. Completed in 1913, the Old Post Office’s design, material, and construction techniques were more recent than its neighbors, setting it apart along the streetscape.
In 2005, the post office decided its needs would be better served by a single-story building on the marsh at the edge of town.
The Village Council of the day acquired the abandoned post office and renovated all three levels, attracting a new tenant that has become the largest employer in the area. The practical result of this decision was the preservation of the old building’s historical and architectural significance.
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