Showing posts with label cable station. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cable station. Show all posts

Friday, July 28, 2017

Memories of Historic Places: Proposal at the Cable Station

The Heart's Content Cable Station was constructed in 1876 by J.J. Southcott, a prominent St John's architect. The station was required to support the operation of the first transatlantic cable that connected Europe and North America.

The building has a rich history within the community, as many locals remember working at the station or knew someone who did. Bob Balsom recalls a story about a young couple who once visited the station:

“Yeah, there was an interesting story. This young man and his fiancĂ©, we didn’t know they were about to get married or anything, but we had an area there where you could tap messages on a key, back and forth on a large table. And anyway, he went and tapped a message because, you know, they could interpret the message because we had the Morse Code there on both ends of the table that you could read and do the dashes and dots and so on. Anyway he tapped out a message, ‘Will you marry me?’ and she was on the other end. She started yelling and crying. So you know of course she said yes, and they wrote that on our guestbook as they went out.”

The building has been designated a Provincial Historic Site, and has been transformed into a public museum.

If you have a memory of a historic place that you would like to share please contact Katie via email or via telephone (709) 739-1892 ext. 7.

-Katie Harvey

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bay Roberts Oral History Clips

In 1913, the Western Union Telegraph Company began constructing the homes on this street to accommodate their cable staff. So, this year marks the 100th birthday of Cable Avenue in Bay Roberts. To help mark this anniversary, I've been collecting oral histories with current and former residents of the street, as well as former employees of the Western Union. As we've mentioned before, some of this research will be up for temporary exhibition at the Road to Yesterday Museum. It will not only explore the cable operations of Western Union, but the architectural and family history of the street as well. Our display will be ready for viewing sometime this month and we'll keep you posted with dates for the official opening party that will take place later in the summer. In the meantime, please take a listen to a few audio clips from our collection.

Eileen Starr, former resident of Cable Avenue and daughter of Western Union employee Fred Starr, tells the story of when their family home burned down on the avenue in 1960.

Bart Kennedy, former employee of Western Union, explains how the cable station operated.

To browse a larger collection of audio clips, please visit our youtube channel.   There are some great stories up that we are eager to share.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Identify this Telegraph Artifact

At the ICH Office we are putting together an exhibit with the Road to Yesterday Museum in Bay Roberts to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the cable station. As part of this exhibit, we are working on identifying some of the telegraph artifacts that are currently mysteries to us and the museum. 

One item I've become slightly enamored with is this little brass oddity. My guess is that it's some sort of manual ticker tape winder or an attachment to a teleprinter. The engraving on the top reads "Honore Patent / Creed and Co. Ltd / Makers / London. 

I did a bit of research and learned Creed and Co. was a British telecommunications company that was an important pioneer in the field of teleprinter machines. Founded by Frederick George Creed and Harald Bille, it was first incorporated in 1912 as "Creed, Bille & Company Limited". After Bille's death in a railway accident in 1916, his name was dropped from the company's title and it became Creed & Company. Then in 1928 the company merged into the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. It then stands to reason this item was most likely manufactured between 1916 and 1928.

If you have any idea as to what this artifact is, or if you have memories of the cable station in Bay Roberts, we'd love to hear from you. 

Nicole can be reached at 1-888-739-1892 ex.6 or at via email at