Sarah Gill (1825-1897)
Sarah Gill is one of the countless women of Peel we know about only because of an archival record. At PAMA, we have a contract she signed in 1884 to carry “Her Majesty’s Mails” between the Streetsville Post Office and the Credit Valley Railway Station.
This period was the golden age of the postal system in Canada and around the world. The mail was the primary communication network for a growing population. Service included deliveries several times a day, six days a week.
For $100 a year, Gill agreed to walk her bag of mail almost a mile from the train station into town up to four times a day. We know from the census that she was a mother of four children. By carrying mail, she was supporting her family in a physically demanding way. Having access to peoples’ personal and business letters was also a trusted role. Still, it would be many years before women like Sarah Gill won the right to vote.