Tryphoena Ni­choll dis­play un­veiled

The Compass - - OPINION -

A new dis­play that pays trib­ute to a postmaster who died in a fire more than a cen­tury ago was un­veiled last month at the Car­bon­ear Her­itage So­ci­ety Mu­seum on Wa­ter Street.

Tryphoena Ni­coll, a Canada Post postmaster, lost her life in a fire at the post of­fice in 1904.

The dis­play con­tains three framed glass en­case­ments. The chris­ten­ing dress dis­played was sewn and em­broi­dered by Ni­coll, and 15 mem­bers of her fam­ily were chris­tened in this over the years. It was do­nated by the Ni­coll fam­ily.

Canada Post do­nated $1,500 to pay for the dis­play cases.

Ni­coll per­ished in the fire af­ter sav­ing two other res­i­dents. Her great niece, 94-year-old Nan French, who lives in Belleville, On­tario, at­tended the cer­e­mony.

In the book “Sto­ries of Car­bon­ear,” au­thor Chris Rolton writes, “On June 25, 1904, at 1:30 a.m., a fire started in the base­ment of the old post of­fice and spread quickly. On the first f loor, post­mistress Tryphoena Ni­choll was the first to no­tice the smoke and flames. She quickly ran up­stairs to alert her niece, Su­san­nah Pike, and Rev. Levi Cur­tis, who was vis­it­ing the town.”

Both Su­san­nah and Rev. Cur­tis sur­vived but Tryphoena “was forced back by rapidly spread­ing fire. She was over­come by smoke and flames and col­lapsed. Her charred body was found when the fire was ex­tin­guished.”

A mon­u­ment was erected in her hon­our and in part, the in­scrip­tion reads: “Erected by vol­un­tary sub­scrip­tion in memory of Tryphoena Ni­choll, Post­mistress, who gave her life at the Post Of­fice fire, in heroic and suc­cess­ful ef­fort to save the lives of oth­ers. The Post Of­fice was de­stroyed by fire on June 25, 1904.”

— Sub­mit­ted by Canada Post

Sub­mit­ted photo

A dis­play that pays trib­ute to postmaster Tryphoena Ni­coll was un­veiled last month at the Car­bon­ear Her­itage So­ci­ety Mu­seum. Among those tak­ing part in the cer­e­mony were, from left, Her­itage So­ci­ety Mu­seum mem­bers Carol Ho­gan, Loretta Oates, Ron How­ell, Jean Par­sons, Bert Par­sons, Nan French, Glenda Pike, Dan Pike, Pa­tri­cia Mullins and Ed­wina Su­ley.

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