South Australia: 1856-1900.
Telegraph Offices in the Port Pirie - Oodla Wirra - Port Augusta to Quorn region.


The following Telegraph Offices are included in this page:

Appila Bruce Carrieton Hammond Oodla Wirra
Orroroo Peterborough Port Augusta Port Germein Quorn
Wilmington Wilson Wirrabara Yongala Yunta

 

Appila Yarrowie.

A temporary Telegraph Office was opened on 24 October 1879. The Port Augusta Dispatch of 10 December 1880 described the situation as follows:

"The Yarrowie folks intend calling a public meeting at an early date for the purpose of considering what steps should be taken respecting the action of the Government in not proceeding with the building of the Post and Telegraph station after calling and receiving tenders. There is a little diversity of opinion existing amongst the residents as to the proposed site for the erection of the building; and this probably has had the effect of keeping the matter in abeyance until such time as a site has been fixed which will meet with general approval.

That the present place is totally inadequate for this purpose there is not the slightest doubt being a small wooden building almost adjoining a public-house from which it would be no difficulty to a person who understood telegraphy to hear and know all his business transacted. Then another difficulty exists in the office not being provided with a proper instrument and it is with much difficulty that a lengthy message is transmitted unless ample notice is given. At the meeting to be convened no doubt a proper understanding will be arrived at among the residents as to the most desirable site for the building".

There had been a name change to Appila Yarrowie from Yerrowie on 1 February 1877. Then, on 1 July 1918, the name was again changed to Appila.

From 1899 to 1907, Miss S. D. King was the Postmaster.


Appila Post and Telegraph Office about 1907.

The South Australian Advertiser of 6 August 1880 reported that "Steps are being taken to have expended the amount placed on the estimates for the Post and Telegraph Office here ... the extension of the line from Glastone via Laura and Appila-Yarrowie North is the all-absorbing topic here".

Squared circle date stamp.
S and A separated with a dot.

Used (on a telegram): {18 September 1918}.

Size: 29 × 29 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census (used on a telegram): 0.



18 January 1918 - used on piece.
About 6 months before the name change.
Date slug reversed.

Bruce.

The Telegraph Office was announced in March 1884. It is located 20 km south east of Quorn.

In April 1887, the establishment of Money Order facilities were announced.

Carrieton.

The Telegraph Office opened on 1 December 1880.

The Post Office had opened in January 1880.

A deputation of the residents met with the Minister of Education on 8 June requesting a school and a Post & Telegraph Office:

It was pointed out that great inconvenience was experienced from the absence of postal and telegraphic communication and that a school was urgently required - the nearest school being 21 miles distant. The deputation also said that the telegraph office should be erected in the township as, were it to be at the railway station a mile and a quarter distant, it would be of little or no convenience ... With regard to the Post and Telegraph offices, the Postmaster-General had suggested that the matter should stand over until the telegraph line from Orroroo to Quorn had been erected. When that had been done, they would be better able to decide on the site of the telegraph office. Speaking personally, he decidedly thought that to have the office a mile and a quarter from the township was much too far. (Hear, hear.)"

   

Hammond.

The opening of the Telegraph Office was announced in April 1884.

On 18 December 1886, the Adelaide Observer noted that "Mr. P. B. Coglid, M.P., waited upon the Superintendent of Telegraphs and called attention to the condition of the telegraph station at Hammond, special mention being made of the discomforts which the operator had to put up with - especially in the matter of sleeping and cooking accommodation".

Oodla Wirra.

Located about 25 kn NE of Peterborough.

A Post Office was open in July 1887. It closed on 12 November 1975.

Used in black: 6 July 1906 (only recorded date).

Size: 25 × 24 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


28 July 1906.
Used on SI-DO-2A.

Orroroo.

The line through Orroroo was "being pushed forward" by early August 1880 and "will when opened, prove a great boon to all business people as well as to the general public".

 

Peterborough (Petersburg).

Petersburg was renamed Peterborough in 1917 - when 60 places in South Australia were renamed.

A Post Office opened in Petersburg on 13 December 1880 and a Telegraph Office was opened the following month - on 25 January 1881. The Gazette allocated £783 15s for the construction of the Post & Telegraph Office on 5 May 1882. The Office for the combined Post & Telegraph service was occupied later in 1882 and then expanded in 1889 and again (with the Peterborough name) in 1923. The building is still being used.

The railway line reached Petersburg in 1881 followed by a line from Terowie and these lines were extended through to Quorn.


Peterborough Post & Telegraph Office about 1907.

The Advertiser of 28 January 1913 carried some important news:

"Interest is being centered in the annual Summer meeting to be held by the North-Eastern Jockey Club at Petersburg on Saturday. .. The Board of Management are leaving no stone unturned to make the fixture a success ... A telegraph line is being installed and on race day the course will be connected with the Post Office so that anyone can  telegraph to the course. This wll be a boon to the public".

Port Augusta.

The telegraphic connection with Adelaide was established in December 1865. The Telegraph Office was opened in 1866.

The Estimates had allocated £500 for the half year to December 1865 to complete the Telegraph Station.

 

Pt Augusta
Port Augusta Telegraph Office 1867.
Source: Library of South Australia B 47759.

On 2nd January 1866, the South Australian Advertiser had noted that Port Augusta was one of five locations where "telegraph extension has been sanctioned". Various newspapers reported that Mr Todd, Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs, had left Adelaide on 24 August 1866 for the purpose of opening the telegraph office at Port Augusta.

In April 1868, the Post Office merged with the Telegraph Station. This move was welcomed by residents as being "much more pleasant and it will save a good walk through the sand and be more convenient - the position being central".

The South Australian Chronicle of 27 March 1880 noted in relation to complaints about the Port Augusta Telegraph Office: "Writing on the subject, the Superintendent of Telegraphs says 'the smallness of the office and the recent expansion of business may have occasioned some remissness and, to avoid this, it is intended to give Mr. Phillips an extra assistant. With regard to the office, I had previously decided on recommending that a larger office should be built".

The Observer of 4 May 1907 reported:

"At the town council meeting this evening a letter was lead from the Federal Postmaster-General with regard to the request for additional facilities at the post and telegraph offices here. Mr. Chapman wrote saying that lie regretted bis inability to visit Port Pirie, but the requirements of the town were being recognised and improvements would be made. In this connection Cr. Morrow moved "That this council regrets that the Postmaster-General could not visit Port Pirie and that he be informed that any patching up of the present buildings will not meet the requirements of the residents and further that the Postmaster-General be asked to state the provision the authorities were likely to make."


Post & Telegraph Office - no date.
Sign to the left of the Telegraph pole is "POST OFFICE".
Port Augusta 1950s
Port Augusta in the 1950s.
The Post and Telegraph Office is the low building on the left.
The Town Hall is further down the street behind the FJ Holden.

A T.O date stamp was issued to the Office during the Commonwealth period.

Used in black: 22 April 1892 (only recorded date).

Size: 25 × 24 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

 


Port Augusta.
22 April 1892.
Diameter: 22 mm.

Used on SC-DO-4B.

 

 

 


Port Augusta.
6 May 1878.
Diameter: 24 mm.

Used on SC-DO-6Aa.
Second earliest known use of a date stamp on a telegram form in South Australia.


Port Augusta.
26 April 1966.
Diameter: 31 mm.

Used on AA-DO-13B.

Port Germein.

The telegraph line was opened on 13 August 1880. Naturally the next stage was the development was the delay to the construction of an Office. The Port Augusta Dispatch of 14 June 1881 reported:

"Our post and telegraph office is being delayed, for what reason who can tell? Tenders have been called, and we are given to understand accepted, for the erection of a line from Warnertown, but we do not see that the line is being constructed, and one thing is certain — no post and telegraph office is being erected. This is a very great oversight and we hope that in a few weeks this matter will be settled, as the want of a station for such purposes is sadly felt".

 

No special date stamp was issued to the Telegraph Office for use with telegraphic work. Instead the usual postal date stamp was used with telegrams.

Used on a telegram: 29 April 1929.

Diameter: 30 mm,

Rated (used ona telegram): RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


29 April 1929.
Used on AB-DO-4C.

Quorn.

By February 1880, community agitation for the opening of a Telegraph Office at Quorn was becoming quite vocal.

The Adelaide Observer of 4 September 1880 noted "Tenders are being advertised for the erection of our Post and Telegraph Offices and also for the school. It is to be hoped that the Government will not underestimate our requirements as regards the latter ... Why we are not allowed telegraphic communication when the wire is up and all ready for immediate use is a puzzle. A respectful remonstrance against the unnecessary delay will be forwarded unless our wants in this direction are relieved soon".

The Telegraph Office was opened on 23 September 1880.

By November 1880,

"Mr. Munro, the contractor for the erection of ... the Post and Telegraph Office, has commenced operations, but owing to the fact that 'some one has blundered' is almost at a standstill. The difficulty for the Post Office appears to be some doubt as to the block on which it is to be erected but no doubt this will be shortly settled".


Quorn township about 1910.

In May 1880, the South Australian Advertiser reported long articles about the very poor sanitary conditions in Quorn and also pointed to the lack of a Telegraph Station.

The cost of a Telegraph Station was budgeted at £575. (South Australian Register 17 November 1880).

In June 1886, the community was awaiting the letting of a tender for the new P&T Office.

Wilmington.

On 16 September 1876, the Adelaide Observer noted:

"Considerable dissatisfaction is being felt by the residents of Wilmington who have paid such a high price for their land at their not having the benefits usually obtainable in a Government township, viz., Telegraph Station and Post Office. The present Post Office is a considerable distance from the town, but we presume that this will be speedily remedied, as we are promised telegraphic communication. The township is now of sufficient importance to warrant Government buildings".

The Telegraph Office opened on 21 March 1877.

On 18 October 1878, the Post Office at Beautiful Valley was transferred to Wilmington.

There had been several tense meetings arguing for the provision of telegraph facilities at Wilmington. Some of the tenor of these meetings is captured in the record.


Wilmington Post & Telegraph Office about 1890.
The middle window on tje left says "Telegraph Office".

Wilson.

The Post Office opened in 1858 was originally named Kanyaka. On 28 February 1881, the Office was transferred to Wilson.

Although Parliament had approved the construction of a Telegraph Office and voted a sum of money, no action had been taken by mid April 1886. The situation was difficult - it took at least a week to send a letter to Adelaide and to receive a reply.

On 20 May 1886, the South Australian Register noted "there is much satisfaction here on account of tenders having been called for our Post and Telegraph Office. It will relieve for a time some of the wants of the unemployed here".

In the House on 29 July, 1886 Mr. Burgoyne asked "What is the cause of the delay which has occurred iu accepting a tender for the erection of a telegraph station at Wilson? The Commissioner of Public Works answered that a tender has been accepted for the work. The delay was caused through the work having to be readvertised owing to the first tenders being too high".

Progress was fast and by mid-September the Post and Telegraph Station was progressing well. Extra men had been assigned to the construction so that the building could be completed on time.

Wirrabara.

On 20 January 1880, the South Australian Advertiser reported that the walls of the new Post Office and Telegraph Station were nearly complete and that the contractor hoped to finish construction in about a month. A deputation had met with Mr. Todd and presented a petition with 52 signatories asking that telegraph communication be opened to the township as the telegraph line passed right through the township.

The Telegraph Office opened on 14 April 1880.


The Wirrabara Post & Telegraph Office scanned from a postcard.

Yongala.

The date is not known for when telegraph connection was actually made with Yongala. It is known that the premises used were those of the local storekeeper. These were "quite inadequate" for the purpose. In the 12 months from April 1879, business had doubled. The sum of £700 had been placed on the estimates for 1879-80 to build a Post and Telegraph Office.

On 20 December 1879, the Adelaide Observer reported that the residents of Yongala considered that they had no Government building except the school and that a townsjip such as Yongala should be left in such a position was not appropriate. "A Post-Office and telegraph station is most urgently required and it is to be hoped the Government will without unnecessary delay proceed with the work, the money having already been voted for the purpose"

On 30 January 1880, the South Australian Register noted that

The Adelaide Observer of 8 January 1881 reported that:

"The Post-Office and Telegraph Station are also nearly finished, and we are anxiously awaiting their opening, as under the present regime it is frequently impossible to obtain sufficient postage-stamps in Yongala. Business here is moderately brisk just now, and no doubt when the reaping and cleaning-up are finished a great improvement will take place".

On 11 January - still building but some news: "pending the completion, the Postmaster-General has sent up an official to take charge of the Post Office which has now been removed from the store to a room which is to be used exclusively for the purpose temporarily".

The Gazette of 20 January noted " Mr. E. R. Lucy, Station Master, Port Darwin Line, 5th class, to be Postmaster and Stationmaster at Yongala, 5th class". He served in that position until 1900.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 26 January 1881.

Yunta.

A Telegraph Office along the second inter-colonial line to New South Wales was opened at Yunta in January 1887.