South Australia - Colonial period: 1856-1900.
Telegraph Offices on the line to the South.


The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 19 October 1885. Mrs. Machel - formerly of the Normanville Office - was in charge.

The Minister of Education told a deputation, on 11 July 1884, that money had been voted for a Post & Telegraph Office and that construction would start when a site had been decided upon. Work began at the end of March 1885 - the site being opposite the Aldinga Hotel. It was expected that the completed building would be "an ornament to the township". On its completion, the Weekly Chronicle of 3 October 1885 said "After being nearly six months in course of erection, the new post and telegraph office is finished. It contains five rooms, besides the office and, having been built with very pretty stone, presents a neat appearance, and is quite an ornament to the township".



The Telegraph Office open in


The Telegraph Office opened on 3 September 1859.

A large new office was constructed in 1880 which included additions to the residence. The cost was £828.

In 1902 a cable station was opened at/near Glenelg as the shore station for the Cape-Cottesloe-Glenelg submarine cable.

Glenelg Post Office and Town Hall in early 1900s.

Early postal date stamps began to be used on telegrams. Those for Glenelg were framed.

Diameter: 22 mm.

The example shown to the right is the earliest use of a
date stamp on a telegram in South Australia.

Number of examples used on a telegram in the Census: 1.

Glenelg 1876
4 November 1876.
Used on SC-DO-5A.

A steel circular TELEGRAPH date stamp (RC1 - T) was used at Glenelg.

Used: 30 June 1981.


Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Glenelg Teleg
30 June 1981.

Morphett Vale.

The Post and Telegraph Office opened on 12 November 1883.
Morphett Vale was one of only six post offices which had been opened prior to 1841. It was the first major town in the Colony south of Adelaide.

The tender for the Telegraph Office had been let on 23 June to G. Sara & Co. for £719 6s 6d.

Miss King was transferred there after the P&T office at Mount Torrens was closed on 1 April 1886 due to severe budget restrictions and enabling the department to save £90 per year. She was at Morphett Vale until her promotion to the Adelaide Office on November 1895.

By 1906, Morphett Vale was the telegraphic centre for five postal districts - Hackham, Reynella, O'Halloran's Hill, Happy Valley and Horndale. Changes being introduced allowed the office to close from noon to 2:00 pm and they also stopped delivery of telegrams. A public meeting at the end of June passed the following resolution: "That this public meeting of residents in the postal and telegraph districts of Morphett Vale, Hackham. Reynella. O'Halloran Hill, Happy Valley, and Horndale desires to emphasize the serious injury and inconvenience occasioned by the adoption of the new regulations which close the Morphett Vale Post and Telegraph Office between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. and for the day at 6 p.m.; and also the cessation of delivery by messenger, of telegrams received at Morphett Vale — the only telegraph office in the districts named".


The Telegraph line opened on 5 April 1866.

Charles Todd opened the line and used a portable battery he had brought with him to send the usual congratulatory messages as well as a few private telegrams. The officer in charge of the Railway Telegraph Station was responsible for the instrument.

On 19 Aug. 1891, £650 was gazetted for a new P&T Office - and this building was opened on 30 August 1892.



The Telegraph Office opened in


The Telegraph Office open in 1862.

The Telegraph Office was first located - as a temporary measure - in the residence of the Clerk of the Local Court which was located about two miles from the Port. Soon after, the Post and the Telegraph Offices were housed in a building which had previously been a general store. Its condition deteriorated and, in 1909, the new Federal Government let a tender for the construction of a new building.

The new Post and Telegraph Office soon after it opened in 1910.
Source: NLA B30581.
The laying of the foundation stone was performed by Miss C.A. Boucaut. "A bottle containing a list of all the churches and lodges, the names of the district councillors, justices of the peace, and business people of the township was previously deposited under the stone. An estimate of the population of the town, as well as a copy of 'The Advertiser' and the current coins of the realm, were also sealed up in the bottle. ... The building when completed will be a welcome addition to the town. The walls will be of dressed freestone".
Chronicle 25 June 1910.