I’ve left the Kauri Museum, but literally right next door is a delightful little building reminiscent of many New Zealand country town public service buildings. It’s an old post office and there’s an information board giving a little of it’s history.
Matakohe Post Office 1909-1988.
Early mail delivery was to Mangawhai, Waipu and Pahi. The Matakohe settlers had to make their own arrangments to pick up their mail fom these settlements.
Later on mail came to the Matakohe wharf, built in 1881. The first postmistress was Catherine Smith who issues mail from her home “Devon Grove”. When a store ws built at the Matakohe a small postal area was included. This was operated for a number of years until this post office was built in 1909.
The Matakohe post office was a centre of this area for the rural deliveries of Tinopai, Hukatere, Ararua, Oparakau and Parahi until 1988 when postal services were replaced by an agency.
It will come as no shock to find that I adored this place the moment I stepped inside… even though it’s sealed off behind a glass or perspex wall it reeks character, history, and I have a deep fascination with things like old ledgers, bank books, ink blotters and wooden post office boxes.
Maybe I was born in the wrong time…I’d love to have worked here, but I still adore (parts) of today’s technology… so it would have been a deal breaker if I was unable to combine it with my laptop and the internet. (I know, I know… is there anything worse than a half hearted cold footed historian?).