Stories of Rural Life! Horning's Mills Post Office - Part 1
Date Posted: 10/02/2015
By Tony Reynolds, Orangeville, Ontario
For years now, mail in Horning’s Mills has been delivered to the ubiquitous green boxes but when we moved there thirty-odd years ago, the village had its own post office and postmaster. In fact he was one of the first people we met there. He and his wife introduced themselves one afternoon, Emerson and Aileen Lightheart. Emerson Lightheart, what a great name! I remember thinking it belongs to a Knight of the Roundtable. However, the twinkle in his eye and smile that always lurked at the corners of his mouth also made his nickname suitable. Everyone called him Pat.
Pat and Aileen lived in an old frame house that stood on Main Street just south of the River Road turn. The house has been transformed but the river still flows. The Pine River runs right behind the house and under the place next door before tumbling down the valley. Rumour had it that Pat’s neighbour used to dip river water through a hatch in the kitchen floor and sometimes catch speckled trout.
The Post Office was right inside Pat’s front door. The room was divided in two: the public side and the postmaster’s domain, and between them, a wall with a wicket, through which Pat would hand you your mail and dish the latest gossip around town. When that was done we might talk about world news or Pat would reminisce about life on the farm a half century before. I could never go in there and be in a hurry to leave.