Death of Queen Victoria, January, 1901, Antigonish Post House at College and Main Streets, formerly StFX’s first building. Courtesy of Antigonish Heritage Museum. Restoration: Joe Fraser.
The Bishop decreed that on the day of the Queen’s funeral all church bells in the diocese should be tolled for at least a half hour “in token of loving respect for her Majesty’s memory” (see Laurie Stanley-Blackwell & Ray MacLean, 2004, p. 230).
The two-storey temple-fronted Greek Revival wooden edifice in the photo was erected in 1854 at the corner of Main and College Street. Alexander MacDonald was the builder, known locally as Sandy the Carpenter. It served initially as the first college building of StFX, accommodating a public school as well as a lecture hall for seminarians . Classes were held at this location between 1855 and 1881, at which time the federal government purchased the building and renovated it to serve as the post office. This was its function at the time of Queen Victoria’s death (ibid, p. 98).