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Commanda, Ontario: Canadian History in Vintage Postcards

James Arthurs, Founder of the General Store in Commanda

Greetings from Commanda, Ontario! Highlighting in vintage postcards the history of towns and townships in the greater Lake Nipissing and Lake Temagami areas of Northern Ontario, Canada, including the Nipissing District and portions of the Parry Sound district which are in the “Blue Sky Region.” These Canadian postcards are shown in digital, virtual museum format for educational purposes. If you have images or historical information which you’d like to share with our virtual museum, feel free to do so. To navigate these pages, mouse over the top navigation bar. Drop-down menus will appear of the areas of interest. Click on the thumbnails for larger images. Close the larger image before opening another thumbnail. The occasional duplicates for sale can be found using the search box on the main (home) page of This is an ongoing project; comments and questions to the webmaster at webmaster - at sign - are welcome.


Please note that while you are certainly welcome to visit the virtual museum as often as you’d like (and we encourage you to do so), these scans are owned by and, as such, they are not to be re-used or re-purposed in any way, for any other reason — including use on another website, on social networking websites, in brochures or print-outs, etc. — without our prior express written permission. Under the terms of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), such use without permission constitutes copyright infringement and intellectual property theft. We hate to have to make that so clear, as we want you to enjoy the museum and we put these images up due to our love of Canada, but the actions of a few have prompted this notice. For further information, please see the footer of this page.


We also maintain an entertaining and frequently updated postcard blog. Or, browse the world’s largest postcard bookstore.


The general store served the community for 92 years, moving to a new location in the early 1930s, where it remained until its 1977 closure. It was the hub of the community, and is a notable example of High Victorian commercial architecture. The store most recently has housed a museum highlighting the history of this once-thriving community, seen in the postcard below.


The first post office opened in 1877, when the area was known as Commanda Creek, with Thomas Carr serving as postmaster. The post office name was changed to Commanda in 1881. At some point after this, as best we can piece the dates together, the post office was in the Commanda general store. After postmaster Carr’s death in 1900, his wife, Adeline Carr, was postmistress until April 1905. Mr. and Mrs. David Watt ran the post office at the time this scarce Commanda postcard, postmarked at Commanda in August 1908, was mailed to Miss Ella Moore of Golden Valley. The sender wrote of a bountiful supply of berries, most likely blueberries.

General Store at Commanda, Ontario

The antique postcard is made scarcer by the fact that the cancel is from a DPO (dead post office) and the name on the front of the vintage postcard is misspelled as “Commando.” The image appears to be in a picture frame, which is a trompe l’oiel (“fool the eye”) artistic technique not commonly seen in vintage postcards. The technique is employed here in the suggestion of a three-dimensional wooden picture frame surrounding the image.


Other Commanda postmasters included H. Schwarze, Benjamin E. Schwarze, Mrs. Florence Edith Smith, Charles James Hoffman, George Otto Hanselman and Lynda J. Verhage.


Read more about the 162nd Battalion in Sundridge, Ontario, which was founded by James Arthurs of Commanda. More military history is available on the Mattawa military history and North Bay military history pages.


Old antique postcards tell the stories of North Bay, Temagami, Bear Island, Bonfield, Callander and Corbeil, Commanda, the Ferguson Highway (Highway 11), Lavigne and Verner, Marten River, Alderdale, Monetville and Noëlville, Nipissing Village, Powassan, and Trout Creek, Sturgeon Falls, Sundridge, Trout Lake, Restoule, South River, Tilden Lake, Dokis, Rutherglen, Tomiko Ontario, Trout Mills and other areas of interest. Read the story of Frederic Remington’s moose hunt, taken over 100 years ago near Mattawa, or see an Orangemen Parade. We also maintain a variety of rare New Ontario Brewery collectibles.

See the postcard collecting, Canadiana and Northern Ontario Postcard Photographers pages for more information about collecting vintage postcards. You can learn more about this postcard dealer on the About Us page. Additional information about postcard styles and prices are on the Old Postcards and Antique Postcards page, and the Postcard Price Guides page.

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For collectors of vintage postcards, old postcards and the antique postcard. Deltiology, the hobby of collecting vintage postcards, is one of the fastest-growing collectibles hobbies. Old postcard collections interest collectors of antiques, memorabilia and ephemera; collectables such as old vintage postcards are used by museums and historians to document what was.

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