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.

George Street North in 1829

George Street North in 1847