This post details what I have so far found on the history of the Chatsbury Post Office. As I find more information, I will updated this post. If I find sufficient information that warrants it, I will write a separate post about the Chatsbury Inn.
It appears that the Chatsbury Post Office was first established about 1884. The first Post Mistress was Mrs Margaret Martin, who commenced duties on 24 April 1884. Sureties for the bond of £200 were posted by Thomas Taylor, farmer of Taralga, and Charles McAlister, Hotelkeeper Auburn Street Goulburn. The Post Office was run adjacent to the Chatsbury Inn, which was owned by Mrs Martin.
Margaret Martin was the daughter of Donald McDonald and Catherine Cameron. Donald and Catherine McDonald, together with their seven daughters and Donald’s parents, Duncan and Margaret (nee McPherson) McDonald, arrived in NSW on the “British King” in 1839. Catherine McDonald died three months after the family arrived. Margaret McDonald married John Martin on 27 May 1842. John Martin received a pardon on 1 February 1843, the pardon was recommended by Charles Cowper. John Martin’s occupation at the time of pardon was footman. John and Margaret’s address in 1844, as provided on the birth certificate of their second child, was Tarlow (sic) River. By 1848, they were living at Strathaird (from the birth certificate of their daughter, Rebecca). In 1850, their address is stated as Carrabungla. In 1855, it was Cotton Valley (near Laggan, now known as Cotta Walla). By 1858, they were back at Tarlo. In 1860, their address was Chatsbury. John Martin appears to have first taken up land at Chatsbury about 1862. John and Margaret had 11 children.
Greville’s Post Office Directory of 1872 lists John and William Martin of Red Hill in the Tarlo Postal District as farmers. John Martin died 14 August 1874 at Red Hill, Chatsbury.
The earliest mention I have found of the Chatsbury Hotel (or Chatsbury Inn), is in the Goulburn Evening Post 5 April 1881, when a farewell to a local resident, John Simons, was held at “Mrs Martin’s Chatsbury Hotel”.
Mary Margaret Martin, daughter of Margaret, was Assistant Post Mistress, and in 1902, applied to take on the Post Mistress’ role, as a result of her mother’s declining health. She was appointed Post Mistress and commenced duties on 17 June 1902.
Margaret Martin had died on 15 June 1902 aged 66, and was buried at Stonequarry Cemetery Taralga. Mary married Edward Michael Hughes on 29 April 1903. Edward was born in Hartley in 1863, and died in Bowral in 1947. In 1903, it appears that the Chatsbury Inn was sold “from the estate of the late John Martin” to Edward Hughes.
Margaret Hughes continued on as Post Mistress until 1907, when she leased the Chatsbury Inn to Robert Alexander Gordon. Robert Gordon also took over as Post Master at this time. The Post Office was then run by members of the Gordon family until about 1966.