South Australia - Colonial: 1856 -1900.
Telegraph offices from Gawler to NSW.

The following Telegraph Offices are included in this page:

Blanchetown Eden Valley Eudunda Greenock Morgan Nuriootpa
Overland Corner Renmark Stockwell Truro Wentworth Williamstown



The telegraphic connection was established in (15?) November 1865. On 2nd January 1866, the South Australian Advertiser noted that Blanchetown was one of five locations where "telegraph extension has been sanctioned".

Blanchetown was the first port declared on the Murray. It was said that most of the Captains preferred Blanchetown to Mannum - which was 75 miles south.

PC Front PC reverse

A rare and wonderful momento of Blanchetown.

The Postcard is to a Bookseller in London and was sent by the Telegraph Operator. He was requesting a set of books on atmospheric conditions related to telegraphic communication. There is an unframed date stamp of 18 January 1893 and a straight line hand stamp for the station on the reverse.

Eden Valley.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 9 October 1876. The telegraph line had been finished since 11 May 1875 but it had been opened for use to the residents (South Australian Register 18 November 1875, p. 2).

On 21 November 1882, the South Australian Advertiser reported (p. 7) that "A new post and telegraph office is in course of construction opposite to the hotel. According to the plans, it will be an acquisition to this little township".


On 5 April 1879, the South Australian Chronicle reported that the Minister indicated that no money had been included in the estimates for the erection of a Telegraph Office building at Eudunda.

"Mr. Hopkins said the residents in the township had been waiting for a long time for a Telegraph Station and were now very much surprised to learn that a wooden, building lately used by the railway contractor was to be converted into a telegraph office and police station. These buildings were 704 yards from the Railway Station and 240 yards from the main road. They were situated on a reserve where the Government had 1,000 feet of land. Although the residents had been waiting for a long time they would be content to wait four or five months longer if they could eventually have a good building. There was great objection on the part of the inhabitants of Eudunda to the apparent intention of the Government to make use of a wooden building. The building now proposed was most inconveniently situated for all business people in the township and the township was rapidly increasing in importance and so deserved a more pretentious and more convenient public building than the wooden one proposed. Something over 200,000 bushels of wheat had been bought in Eudunda last harvest and, with greater facilities, the trade would develop. Eudunda was 20 miles south of the nearest Telegraph Station (Truro), 35 miles from Morgan to the north-east, 35 to 40 from the Burra to the north, and 20 from Kapunda Telegraph Station. He understood that £1,500 had been voted by the Parliament for the purpose of establishing telegraphic accommodation at Eudunda and it might as well be properly done.

The Mayor of Kapunda had offered to sell the Government a site for the telegraph office in the township. The Minister said he remembered having promised that telegraphic communication should be established. The wooden buildings were purchased as a temporary measure only and it was not intended to leave the people of Eudunda with these alone. It was thought that it would be better to give them the present buildings than to keep them without any until the Estimates were passed. He was rather astonished that communication had not been effected but this was explained by the Government Architect. The present building would be ready in a month and it would be about 18 months before a new building could be erected. The money already passed was for a Police Station only. He would recommend that an amount should be placed on the next Estimates for a Telegraph Station".

A Telegraph Office opened in a provisional location on 22 July 1879 although telegraphic communication had been established with both Kapunda and Morgan on 14 September 1878.

The Adelaide Observer of 22 January 1881 reported that the residents "were anxiously waiting to hear in what part of the township our new post and telegraph offices are to be erected as the tender of Messrs. Sara & Dunstan has been accepted. The intended site was in the railway yard which spot would be very unsuitable and inconvenient. The residents here have offered the Government a central allotment at very nearly half the cost price".

The Post Office at Eudunda about 1907.

Eudunda squared circle date stamp used on telegrams.

Size 27 mm × 27 mm.


Eudunda13 April 1909.
Used on SI-DO-4.
The South Australian Register of 29 April 1879 reported on a deputation meeting the previous day with the Minister of Education (Mr. T. King) to urge certain matters connected with the proposed Post & Telegraph station at Eudunda:

"Mr. Hopkins stated that left by the railway contractor for a post and telegraph station and which was, moreover, 704 yards from the railway station and 242 yards from the main road. This, he represented, was unfair to the residents of Eudunda asThe people were, however, willing to wait four months for a good substantial building rather than put up with the present proposed makeshift. The Government had a 1,000 feet frontage to the main road at Eudunda and could build a station there. Other members of the deputation endorsed the views of Mr. Hopkins.

Mr. King, in reply, said Mr. Hopkins was in error in supposing that £1,500 had been voted for tbe telegraph and post office; £300 had been voted for a police station, cells and stables at Eudunda and £900 for a post and telegraph office at Morgan. The Government had purchased the building left by Mr. Robb, the railway contractor, simply for temporary purposes so as not to cause delay in connecting the wires. He was glad the deputation had pointed out the inconvenience of the site and should recommend the matter to his colleagues so that, when a sum for the erection of the post and telegraph office at Eudunda was placed on the Estimates for next session, it might be taken into consideration. As there was no vote at present, he would have to recommend that a sum be placed on the Estimates for the coming session and there would be a delay of some months in the erection of the buildings. Therefore it was better to have a temporary building such as that about which the deputation came. He would see that the matter was not lost sight of and would recommend a central site".


A Telegraph Office was opened on 17 September 1878. The Post Office ws opened about 2 months later.

The office was about 100 km north of Renmark.

A squared circle date stamp was used at Morgan. It is the earliest recorded use of such a date stamp used on a transmission form in South Australia.

Used (on a telegram): 3 February 1894 - 26 February 1894
(on SC-DO-7A);

Size: 26 × 26 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census (on telegram): 15+

Morgan 1894
12 February 1894.
Used on SC-TO-3
(on all 3 variations of this form)

Morgan Vale.

This Office was a Radio Telegraph Office - broadcast idemtification 8UX. Its control office was Broken Hill.

It appears to have operated from 1950 to 1969.


Nurioopta was an important link in the first line from Adelaide to New South Wales. At that stage (1863) there would have only been a repeater station constructed - but even that is dubious.

In December 1864, a question had been asked in the House of Assembly:

"Mr. Bagot enquired whether it was intended to erect a central telegraphic station at Nuriootpa as originally intended.

The Commissioner of Public Works said there had been no such intention. It was thought Tanunda would be the most central place".

As the possibility of a Telegraph Office drew closer to fuition, hints of problems began to emerge:

"At last we are to have the telegraph, but are at a loss to know why the principal office should not have been here instead of Tanunda, centrally situated and on the direct road to the Murray".

On 17 October 1865, the South Australian Weekly Chronicle reported that "we expect the Telegraph Office to be opened in the course of two months".

The Telegraph Office was opened in January 1866 - as a Branch office from Tanunda. It was opened in the local school. The teacher also served as the Operator (multi-tasking!!!).

The South Australian Advertiser reported on 15 November 1869 (p. 3):

"Clerk to give notice to Mr. Jervis, teacher, Nuriootpa, that his services would not be required after expiration of quarter. Clerk to give notice to Superintendeot of Telegraphs to remove Telegraph-Office from schoolroom".

On 30 November 1869, the same newspaper report (p.3):

"Mr. Brock (Chairman), Councillors Kriebel and Nitschke received a letter from Mr. Todd, Superintendent of  Telegraphs, asking if  the Telegraph office can remain in the schoolroom. The Clerk replied that Council cannot allow the teacher to be Telegraph-master neither can the office be in the school room".

By 1870, both the Post Office and the Telegraph Office were moved into the one place - that was in Strothers Store

Still the problems coninued about the Nurioopta P&T Office. On 13 September 1878, the South Australian Register (p. 2) noted:

"On Thursday morning, a deputation of residents of Nuriootpa, consisting of Messrs. W. Strother, B. Domeyer, C. Bock, L. Warnecke, T. Wemming and E. Kasehogen, waited on the Minister of Education. Mr. Basedow, M.P., in introducing the deputation, stated that they desired to urge on the Government the desirability of providing a suitable place for the Post and Telegraph office in the township. He pointed out that Nuriootpa was an important centre. The district was thickly populated, and five main roads leading to populous districts started from ths township.

Mr. Strother said that business of the Post and Telegraph department was at present conducted in a small room at a private house which was very inconvenient. The postmistress had to provide the accommodation and the salary she received was so small that she could not afford to provide a more extensive room.

During the last two years the position of the office had been changed four or five times, and the residents were put to great inconvenience in consequence. He pointed out that the township had been established for 30 years but not a single Government building had been erected there. The Minister reminded the deputation that the Government was being pressed for the erection of buildings from every possible direction. He thought they had made out a good case. He would lay the whole matter before his colleagues".

The South Australian Advertiser of 12 April 1879 reported on developments:

"Now that the "powers that be" have been aroused to the importance of our township they seem inclined to dispense their favors with a liberal hand, and have decided that we want a new bridge, a school, and a Post and Telegraph Office... The plans of the new school buildings are being prepared, and the townsfolk are anxiously awaiting the commencement of the work, as increased school accommodation is greatly needed. The Post and Telegraph Office is only in prospect yet, but it is rumored that the site has been fixed, and the land transferred to the Government".

Following the deputation of the local community to the Minister of Education, a new building housing both branches was opened in 1879. That building was remodelled in 1925 and again in 1991.

Nuriootpa Post (& Telegraph?) Office about 1905 - so the "new" building erected in 1879..

Overland Corner.




The opening of the Telegraph Office was announced in April 1890.

The Post Office may have opened on 30 June 1888.

"The Hon. J. H. Gordon to the Hon. W. Copley:
Some time ago Messrs. Chaffey Brothers applied for telegraphic communication between Adelaide and Renmark and they agreed to find a building. Subsequent to that I believe the late Minister of Education promised to lease a building there for 15s. a week for the accommodation. He seems to have forgotten the fact that Chaffey Brothers offered to provide a building. However, I have instructed the Postmaster-General to rent a building and erect a line at once. It would be a mistake to spend hundreds of pounds in erecting a permanent building until we see the result of the undertaking".

Renmark Post & Telegraph Office.

SC1: Renmark datestamp.
Has 11 mm side arcs.
Sth AUST at base (no dots).

Used on telegram: 20 June 1964.

Diameter: 31 mm.

Rated (on telegram): RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

20 June 1964.
Used on AA-DO-13A.


A Telegraph Office was opened at Stockwell on 24 March 1877.

"A major storm hit the General area around Stockwell on 10 November 1879. The verandah of the Stockwell Telegraph Office was carried away and broke the telegraph wire in the process.

The Wentworth line is interrupted beyond Overland Corner and in fact there is hardly a line in the colony which has not suffered more or less" (The Wallaroo Times 15 November 1879).


6 October, 1908.— " Complaints are rife at the delay and inconvenience to business people caused by the substitution of the telephone for the telegraph service. If the telephone were on the trunk line, matters would be all right, but as it is all messages have to be telephoned to Nuriootpa hence they are telegraphed to their destination and vice versa. In only two or three cases is this plan not observed. The local people are allowed to speak by telephone to Angaston, Nuriootpa and Tanunda. No notice to that effect is exhibited, but one learns from experience. Such is the efficiency of the service that a message sent to Kapunda, 11 miles distant by road or 17 miles by wire, if sent between 2 and 3 p.m. gets there at 10 a.m. next day or a message from Tanunda sent between 1 and 2 p.m. gets here the next day at 10 a.m., and the distance by road is eight miles. Two years ago this was a telegraph office, employing a regular Commonwealth officer at over £100 and the revenue paid the officer's salary. In addition to that the Savings Bank agency is stronger than those at most of the surrounding townships. The postmistress is also registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, Commonwealth electoral officer, stamp agent, money order officer, has parcels post, &c, and has to deliver telephone and telegraph messages in the town. For this, the magnificent salary of £40 is paid. It is that new kind of office, instituted in recent years, and termed a contract office. Altogether it is a state of things that the people away from the conveniences of cities have a right to complain about".


The Telegraph Office opened on 20 November 1866.

On 12 September 1878, it was reported that the foundation was being laid for a new Post and Telegraph office.



The South Australian Chronicle of 27 March 1880 reported that "Our new Post and Telegraph Office is finished and the latter only wants the poles and wires".

That announcement was followed up in the Gawler Standard of 3 April: "The new Post and Telegraph Office at Williamstown has been opened, but the telegraph line is not constructed yet. Tenders were called some time ago for the work, but some of the tenders were regarded as too high and others informal. Fresh tenders, it is understood, will be called shortly will be called shortly".

On May 8 there was another announcement in the South Australian Chronicle that "The contractor is getting on as fast as possible with the erection of the telegraph poles. He has about one mile more to erect to reach Sandy Creek. The heavy rains have delayed the carting of the poles, as our roads are in a fearful state, especially between the South Para and Victoria Creek, Maidstone branch".

Good news - the South Australian Chronicle of 12 June 1880 reported that "Our telegraph line (from Gawler) was completed on 7 June and we expect it to be opened in a few days". Finally the South Australian Register of 19 June 1880 carried the welcome story that " Telegraphic communication was opened here to-day (18 June). Congratulatory addresses were exchanged with His Excellency the Governor, the Postmaster-General, the Hon. the Minister of Education and Mr. Basedow, M.P.". The Kapunda Herald added that "Miss Collins, who has been tutored in Gawler, is to have charge of the office there".