Stokes Bay Post Office Established Over One Hundred Years Ago
The first Post Office to serve Stokes Bay was opened in 1878. It was not in the village, but to the north, and possibly in Lindsay Township. The first postmaster, of whom little is known, was William Lyons. Mr. Lyons served from 1878-83.
Previous to this time Stokes Bay citizens had to travel to Lions Head for their mail. Postal service had been established there in 1875 and Mr. Wm. Stuart was the postmaster.
Mr. John Shute was the first postmaster in Stokes Bay Village, and he served from 1884 to 1903. Mr. Shute has a general store, and the Post Office was in his store. Mr. Shute also had the first and last telegraph office in Stokes Bay. Two people who learned the ticker talk were Ethel Martindale Kyte and M.J. McIver.
Shutes store was located east of Ada Scotts home, but as long as can be remembered this has been a vacant lot. John Shute moved to the Canadian West in 1904.
The next postmaster was Alexander Smith who, assisted by his daughters Ruth and Lillian, kept the Office in his home (1903-1916). The location is now known as Spruce Farms the original home burned down years go.
John McLennan had the Post Office and store in what was called the T.Y. Dealy Store. On moving from there, he took the Post Office to his next home, known as The Yellow House just east of the store. McLennan was the postmaster from 1916 to 1919.
Malcolm and Murdock McIver bought the T.Y. Dealy Store, and took the Post Office over, too. Unfortunately, the store burned down with the Post Office included. Therefore, McIvers had it for part of 1919 only.
Charlie McDonald was the next to have the Post Office. He opened up a general grocery in a new store – where Jeannes Restaurant was located. That was 1919-20. His wife Lizzie Lang who taught school in the area.
Malcolm and Florence McIver then took over this store and Post Office, and they returned to teaching school. Malcolms father John McIver built that store, and it is still in operation, as a restaurant, today.
The store was then purchased by Mr. & Mrs. J.T. Rouse from Miller Lake who kept the store and Post Office from 1922 to 1925.
The Post Office then was moved back up the road once again to the home of Alex Smith, who this time had it for 1925-26.
Next, the Office returned to the store then owned by Mac and Jeanne Smith. Mac was postmaster from 1927 to 1931. Jeanne Florence Smith then took over for 1931-32.
Eber Burley was the next postmaster and the Office was in his home 1932-41. This home, across from the general store, was the former John Martindale home; later it burned down.
Mrs. Mabel (Ivor) Smith was next and the Office was in the Smith home across from the Presbyterian Church, 1941-42.
Mrs. Annie (Jack) McLay was the next postmistress. The Office was in their home down on the shore, next to Bob Goldens. Mrs McLay held the office from 1942 to 1952.
Miss Lillian May Smith then took over and had the post office in her home and Beauty parlour, 1952-55. As Mrs. Clyde Aker, Lillian was reappointed for 1955-57.
Mrs. Wilma (George) McLay was next with the office in her home, from 1957 to 1968. Incidentally, this was the site of the T.Y. Dealy Store which was built in 1898, and burned down in 1919.
Mr. and Mrs. George Vaughan bought Kenny Smiths cabins on the shore, and this is where the post office moved next, as Vaughans added a small store. The site was known as Vaughans Fishing Camp. They held office 1968-72.
Fred and Anna Forbes took over the post office in 1972 and are still carrying on the postal service for Stokes Bay and vicinity. (1983)
That makes a total of 17 postmasters in 105 years, Mr. Shute leading the list with 19 years served.
Page 167 of Benchmarks
A History of Eastnor Township and Lions Head
Compiled by The Eastnor & Lions Head Historical Society
Fred and Anna Forbes ran the post office from their office at Fredanna's Camp until 1995. This now makes Mr. Forbes the longest serving postmaster in Stokes Bay with 23 years of service.
In 1995, Val Liverance took over the duties of postmaster and moved the office to the Geberal Store at 13 Stokes River Road, until 1998.
The General Store changed hands to Joan Giefert in 1998, as did the duties of the postmaster, until 2002.
Robert Bob Smith became the 21st postmaster of Stokes Bay when he bought the General Store in 2002 and the job of postmaster. He moved to Mildmay in 2017 and put the store and house up for sale. Various postpeople kept the post office running until August when the property was finally sold the end of August 2018 at which time self-serve post boxes were installeh between the church and community centre.