Telegraph Station History - 1866
The first South Australian electric telegraph link was established between Adelaide and Port Adelaide in 1856.
A line was opened between Adelaide and Gawler in 1857 and that line was extended to Angaston in 1866.
Many country districts eagerly sought the extension of the telegraph service to their regions and to this end, Greenock was no exception. The authorities were proposing to extend the Gawler line to Blanchetown to have a telegraphic connection along the River Murray and suggested a route through Lyndoch, Tanunda, Nuriootpa and Truro to service a signification number of business premises and private dwellings along that line. However, that proposal met with concerted opposition from the residents of Greenock as they were also clambering for this service and considered that since Greenock was a town along the main road to the Marry, the telegraph service should follow the same basic route and still be in a favourable location to attract significant patronage.
A well attended public meeting was held in Greenock in July 1864 to gain support for a deputation on that issue and a very satirical article was published in the press at that time to elaborate on the proposed project and detailed the Greenock “storm in a tea cup”. The initial telegraph charges between those towns and Adelaide was set at one shilling and six pence (15c) for the first ten words and six pence (5c) for every additional five words.
The Greenock telegraph service was officially commissioned on 5th March 1866 with the message communicated between Messrs Thomas Victor and Hans Mick (Postmaster) on behalf of the residents of Greenock and His Excellency the Governor in Chief. Mr Minck may have operated the telegraph service at Greenock for a short time but the only listed and known separate telegraph officer was Mr. Louis Iverson who maintained that service until the postal and telegraphic offices were amalgamated and served from the new Post Office building in 1880. Mr Iverson operated the telegraphic equipment in a small office in his home on Pt. Allotment 1 in Victorville (now occupied by Mr W. Bartholomaeus) free of any rental charge.
Lightning struck the flagstaff outside the telegraph office during a severe thunderstorm in October 1870 and caused it to split and break in halves. The main telegraph line was also caught and the current followed the conductor into the telegraph office, setting the window curtain alight. Fortunately, Mr Iverson was able to extinguish the blaze before it did much damage.
Revenue from the telegraph service at Greenock amounted to 24 pounds 14 shillings ($49.40) in 1868 and had risen to 34 pounds ($68) by 1882. A direct telegraph line was constructed between Greenock and Freeling in 1879.
The demand for a morse code telegraphic service declined after the installation of a telephone service at the Greenock Post Office in 1910 and was eliminated altogether after private telephone connections were made in Greenock during the 1920’s. Although few people could translate or interpret the morse messages, the service provided a vital and rapid communications link at a time when there was no other comparable service available.
Information from Greenock and District Book 1846-1986
By Geoff Saegenschnitter
Present Day - 2011
Today The Old Telegraph Station has been lovingly and well restored into a
beautiful Barossa bed and breakfast. With its peaceful location in the quaint town of Greenock , The Old
Telegraph Station offers visitors a relaxing environment while still being situated within the heart of the
world famous Barossa Valley .
The accommodation consists of one queen room and one double room,
sofa bed, offering a catered maximum for 5 adults, well appointed living room with slow combustion fire for those cool winter
nights, modern country-style kitchen with all necessary cutlery, crockery, and cooking utensils. The large bathroom
features a lovely 2 person spa bath, perfect for that romantic getaway to the tranquil Barossa Valley.
All linen, towels, and bathrobes are supplied for each guest for use
during their stay.
Along with its old-world charm Greenock's Old Telegraph Station
features some well blended modern comforts including Wireless ADSL Broadband to help you keep in touch with family and
friends whilst on holiday should you so wish, a 32” flat screen LCD television with a selection of DVD's, air
conditioning, electric blankets on both beds for those cool Barossan evenings, washing machine, and an outdoor BBQ,
for those relaxing warm summer evenings in the Barossa Valley, made complete with a bottle of fine local wine.
To make you stay all the more complete, guests receive a
complementary bottle of locally produced Barossan Shiraz, some locally produced port and chocolates.
Interested in longer stays? We have competitive rates
if you are looking for short-term accommodation from several weeks up to 2 months. Contact Us
to find out more.