THE GENERAL POST OFFICE
As I have already said, was originally situated on the site of the Small Cause Court, close to the old Ice House on the west side. This is one of the very few buildings in Calcutta about which I have the least recollection, I suppose owing to it having been one of the first to be demolished. It was no longer in existence at the time of the great cyclone of 1864. As far as my memory serves me, it was a low-roofed, one-storeyed building, having a decidedly godownish appearance, fenced in on the south side, which was the entrance, by a row of low, green-painted palings with an opening in the centre. It was however notwithstanding a place of great interest for the time being, more particularly to boys like myself having recently landed in a strange country, for on the arrival of the mail steamer at Garden Reach, which occurred at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we used to go down after dinner to get our home letters, which in those days, I think, were more highly prized than they are now. I quite forget what occupied the site of the present post office building.
THE GOVERNMENT TELEGRAPH OFFICE.
I think most people will be surprised to hear that the magnificent pile of buildings stretching from Old Court House Corner along Dalhousie Square to nearly half the length of Wellesley Place, housing a most important Department of Government, had in the old days a habitation within a portion of the premises now occupied by George Henderson & Co. It was originally only an ordinary sized house, having one entrance in Clive Street, and the top floor was occupied by one or two of the assistants as a residence. The only place for handing in telegrams for transmission was on the first floor landing, through a small opening cut in the door leading into the Jute Department of the Barnagore Jute Co., and the operators were clearly visible in the room beyond working at their instruments.
[Illustration: Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann. Old view of the Great Eastern Hotel]
[Illustration: Photo. by Calcutta Phototype Co. Present view of the Great Eastern Hotel]
The site of the present Telegraph Office was occupied in that portion in Old Court House Street by a low-roofed, one-storeyed building owned by a firm of the name of Burkinyoung & Co., piano and musical instrument dealers, that in Dalhousie Square by the office and produce godowns of W. Howarth & Co.; further on to the corner of Wellesley Place by a gateway and passage, ending in a flight of stone-steps leading up to a house, which, at a later period, was occupied by the Superintendent of Government Medical Stores; this, together with the godowns adjoining, was demolished some time ago to make room for the new wing of the Telegraph premises. I think there was also at a later period an entrance from Wellesley Place to the house in question.