Saturday, 25 November 2017

Telegraph Station

Telegraph Repeater Station

Beltana was the second repeater station on the Overland Telegraph Line from Adelaide. Although a public telegraph office was opened in 1872 in the town, it was a small, temporary iron hut. The stone building which replaced it was opened in 1875, and was surrounded by a "substantial" stone fence nearly 2m high. Only 2 positions were staffed at this telegraph station: the Postmaster and a Telegraph Messenger until 1914, when it was reduced to non-official status. For the next 12 years the telegraphist was Elsie Coultas (nee Hewish). Not only did she transmit telegrams during her breaks, but she also saw it as her duty to deliver telegrams to recipients in the town and sometimes to Beltana homestead.

When Elsie resigned and left the town, it proved impossible to replace her. Eventually trunk line telephone facilities were installed and the Post Office continued until 1940 when the property was sold. The Post Office and exchange moved across the road to the old general store, then to the railway station when it in turn became the general store. In 1981, a new radio link was made to the exchange at Leigh Creek, and the old exchange finally closed.

The building is now a private residence