South Australia: 1856-1900.
P&T Offices in the Western region.



No Telegraph Office was ever opened at Ceduna. Ceduna was, however, a base for the Royal Flying Doctor during the 1950s from which to serve South Australia Radio Telegraph offices and many outlying Radio Telegraph stations.

The area was surveyed in the late 1890s and proclaimed as Murat Bay where a Post Office was opened in April 1898. The name of the town was changed to Ceduna in 1901 although the name of the Post Office did not change until 1 January 1922.

Ceduna is about 726 km from Adelaide and the RFDS estimates it is about 200 nautical miles by air to Port Augusta. It had been associated with the whaling station on St. Peter Island in the 1850s.



The Telegraph Office opened in 2 June 1885 - about nine months after the Post Office. It is on the Franklin Harbour and used to be sometimes referred to by that name. A branch line connected Cowell to the main Port Augusta-Port Lincoln line and that line was completed by Mr. Knuckey, of Adelaide, in about three weeks. The telegraph was seen to be a great benefit to the district. The Telegraph Office was located in the hotel in the room that had been used for bagatelle (billiards) and which was generously provided by the proprietors of the hotel. Alfred Howley was the telegraphist and Alfred Cole was his assistant.

Deputations were being made to the Minister as early as May 1882 on the grounds that "the residents here cannot afford the time to cross the (Spencer) Gulf or to travel to Port - 100 miles - to send a message when the very wire passes our doors. The expense in providing the desired communication would be almost nil while that at present incurred by repairing parties who travel from both ends — either Port Lincoln or Port Augusta — must be great. Under these circumstances the advantages of a middle station would repay the expense of its erection and maintenance and would also tend to populate this part of the colony".

Tenders were let for the construction of a Post & Telegraph Office in January 1888 for £398.

About 277 km from Adelaide.

Fowlers Bay.

The Telegraph Office opened in May 1877 - about 12 years after the Post Office.

The first Postmaster was Mr. E.N.B. Catchlove, who rejoiced in the full name of Edward Napoleon Bonaparte Catchlove.


Fowlers Bay
Fowlers Bay about 1902.
Source: National Library of Australia B54057-7.
On 27 May 1879, a report on Fowlers Bay in the South Australian Register described the township as follows: "The township of Fowler's Bay is the most westerly in South Australia. Nestling under the lee of some half-bare sandhills— whose sides are fortunately consolidated by the growth of marine spinifex or else they might bury the houses — and close to the edge of the bay with an easterly aspect, the township consists of one three-roomed house; the telegraph office, a substantial stone building with a stable in the rear; the police-trooper's house which was built by one of the force and a long low barrack-like pile, once the head station but now the property of the Government, in which any casual may lodge at the easy rent of one shilling per week. Although quite open to the south-east, Fowler's Bay affords good anchorage for small craft that can anchor in less than three fathoms". Camels
Camels arriving at Fowlers Bay, Yalata Station about 1913.
Source: National Library of Australia: PRG280-1-16-100.
A story in the Chronicle of 11 January 1940 reports observations of Michael Allen who had arrived in Fowlers Bay in 1887. The report begins: "There was only a telegraph office and a police station at Fowler's then. The latter was in charge of M.C. 'Jimmie' Dowling. The remainder of the population was chiefly blacks. Outback there were many whites hunting kangaroos. The skins were a great price".

Port Elliston.

The Telegraph Office opened in August 1881 as Port Elliston and changed name to Elliston almost immediately. The Post Office opened in September after being relocated and had a name change from Waterloo Bay.

About 472 km from Adelaide.


Port Lincoln.

The Post Office had been opened in June 1839 after being transferred from Nepean Bay (later Kingscote) on Kangaroo Island. It was one of only six post offices which had been opened prior to 1841.

The Telegraph Office opened in March 1876 in a temporary location when the telegraph line to Eucla was being constructed. Soon after, on 4 August 1877, the Minister of Agriculture stated in the House that "nothing would be gained by amalgamating the Post and Telegraph offices at Port Lincoln ... (however) the Post Office would be transferred directly the Telegraph Station was built".

In 1910, discussions were being held relating to the Post Office being too small and the desirability of the Telegraph Office being moved closer to the railway station.

Pt L 1880Port Lincoln Telegraph Office on the left with St. Thomas Church of England behind it. The Institute is on the right. Picture taken in 1880.
Source: Trove/NLA B46042.
Pt L 1900Port Lincoln Telegraph Office about 1900.
Source: Trove/NLA B 15192
PT L 1922Port Lincoln Post & Telegraph Office 1922
with the West Coast Royal Mail car outside.
Source: Trove/NLA PRG 280/​1/​34/​104.

Pt L Tasman
Another view of Port Lincoln Post & Telegraph Office showing Tasman Terrace.
Postal date stamps used on telegrams during the Colonial/Interim period.

Port Lincoln

Port Lincoln framed date stamp.
10 October 1879.
Date in two lines with S.A. at base.

Used on 2d orange de La Rue.

In 1879, the date stamp could have been used on a delivery form but not with a stamp on a transmission form.


Postal date stamps used on telegrams during the Commonwealth period.

Pt Linc 1941
22 August 1941.
S.A. at base.
5 mm side arcs.
Diameter: 30 mm.

Used on Birthday Greetings form AB-GB-39A.

Lincoln 1942
16 December 1942.
SOUTH AUST at base.
Small side arcs.

Used on the reverse side of an envelope of type AB-EO-6B.

Also see AB-DU-4Ba with one line date, S.A. at base and large side arcs.

Pt Linc 1954
14 July 1954.
1 mm side arcs.
Diameter: 28 mm.

Used on AW-DO-10BB (50)

Smoky Bay.

Located about half way between Ceduna and Streaky Bay - about 37 km SE of Ceduna.

A Post Office was opened in 1863 but closed in June 1868. It reopened in January 1897 and became an Official Office in September 1911 with Money Order facilities.

The telegraph facilities at Smoky Bay were established about the end of 1876 only as a Repeating Station.

The reverse side of the postcard:

Dear Ellien

Many thanks for Xmas Greetings which arrived safely today. This is the Repeating Station Line. The central building is the PG engine room etc. The right is the residence and the one on the left is out domicile. The two rooms to the left are our bedrooms & living room. The lobby which you see at this end divides the house.

Image on a postcard posted 22 December 1917.

We have 20 feet of ?? at the other end of the house with a partition either end for our kitchen. Twins love the PG end and the dining room on the other side of the house. We are just now over terrible weather. Wednesday 112°, Thursday 110° and Friday 114°. Today a lovely cool change saved our lives. Reice joins in sending the best of wishes for a prosperous New Year.

Love from Muriel.

Streaky Bay.

The Telegraph Office was opened in November 1876 when the line to Eucla was being constructed. This date was about 14 years after the Post Office had been opened.

About 600 km from Adelaide.

Streaky Bay
Streaky Bay Post & Telegraph Office about 1905 (sign above the door).
Source: National Library of Australia B54060-78.
Streaky Bay
Streaky Bay
15 October 1931.
Usual Postal date stamp.
Streaky Bay Jetty
Streaky Bay Jetty about 1905.
Source: National Library of Australia B54060-79.

Tarcoola Goldfields.

The Telegraph Office opened on 6 October 1917, changed to a Receiving Office on 15 June 1922, then to a Post Office on 1 July 1927 before closing on 15 November 1927.

Tarcoola Goldfields
Tarcoola Goldfields
17 December 1921 (TO period).


Opened 143 miles west of Post Augusta during the construction of the 1896 duplicate West-East telegraph line. The Office was opened in May 1897.

Yardea Telegraph Office about 1905.
Source: National Library of Australia B54060-86.