Alexander MacDonald, a weaver, left the Isle of Mull in Scotland, and settled in East Lake Ainslie in 1823. The original land grant totaled 518 acres.
Alexander married Mary MacLean and they had four girls and two boys. Charles, the second son, established the first mercantile business here in 1848 and built this house in the mid-1850's His store served East Lake Ainslie and nearby communities for many years.
In 1876 the first post office was opened in this house with Charles MacDonald as postmaster. The post office remained here for more than 75 years. It closed in 1956 with the introduction of the rural delivery system.
The MacDonald homestead was of great importance to the local community in providing news, staples of life and a means for farmers to sell their goods to the growing population of Eastern Canada.