Australia's First Post Office
Below are two sketches of Old George Street showing the locality where we are standing—one in
1829, the other in 1847. On the latter you will see a building with the name "Paxtons" above the windows. This
house, built in 1808, was the home and store of Isaac Nichols, and is historic as the first post-office in
Australia. On April 25th, 1809, Nichols was appointed post-master, and as a remuneration he was permitted to
collect one shilling on every letter delivered, with the exception of soldiers' letters, on which one penny was
charged. This did not mean delivery as we know it—all letters were called for and the mail came only from England.
Mr. Nichols was one of early Sydney's enterprising men. This house, with its stores in the rear, was one of the
principal establishments of the period. Nichols, in July, 1811, opened the house as a hotel, but closed it as such
in November, 1812.