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Jones said the Thames pillar boxes were very rare, especially as a surviving group, and their value is also enhanced by what they represent.

“The pillar boxes have been part of the daily fabric of people’s lives for a century and a half because of the importance of their function.

Instead he privately contracted with people to pick up their mail from the postoffice and deliver it to them promptly for a fee.

“One of the pillar boxes in Pollen St is the oldest in use in the North Island, and the second oldest in the country.

People have used it to post letters for almost as long as the township of Thames has been in existence,” he said.

Cobalt is located off of Highway 11, the Trans Canada Highway, in northeastern Ontario.

To get there from large centres to the south, such as Toronto or Ottawa, take the Trans Canada to North Bay. Along the drive you will pass through miles of beautiful northern Ontario scenery of forests and lakes, including those in the area around Temagami.

( Amendment : according to Kae Lewis, who is knowledgable on early Thames life, Charles would not have been employed by the Post Office, but a Letter Carrier.

Kae states” It seems to me that Charles was never appointed as an employee of the postoffice (as you imply) so he was never actually a ‘postman’ as we use the word today.If Charles Rowley started delivering mail in mid to late 1868, and was still delivering letters up to 1873, then he must have used, or known of these very posting boxes.On a recent visit to Thames we took some photos of the old posting box in Pollen Street.You will also see at several places along the drive the tracks of the Ontario Northland Railway the same route that took the early miners and their families to Cobalt.Cobalt is on Highway 11B, since the main Trans Canada Highway has long since bypassed the town.»Link to Google Maps to get map and driving directions Driving along Highway 11B from the turn off at the Cobalt Truck Stop, the visitor has little indication of what is come.The scenery along the short drive to town is typical northern Ontario scenery.The early settlers of The Thames were prolific letter writers, sending news back home to family in their country of origin.Cobalt is Ontarios Most Historic Town, and the area is designated as a National Historic Site.Used for posting personal and business letters, they were part of a communications revolution that allowed ordinary people to keep in much greater contact with others in and beyond their community, including overseas,” he said.Levinge-style post boxes were limited to New Zealand’s main centres and their presence in Thames reflected the settlement’s dramatic emergence as an important economic force, growing to become the country’s fifth largest centre within a couple of years of its beginnings as a mining town.” Street letter boxes or letter receivers as they were called were installed to provide an easy way to post letters.

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