The Esperance Telegraph repeater station at Esperance Bay was opened on 8th September. The small settlement on the Esperance coastal plain had played an important role in the establishment of this telegraph service.
Esperance Telegraph station became an important link in the chain of communication. During the east – west telegraph construction seven thousand squared Jarrah poles each fitted with small lightning arrester and each weighing 2 cwt had to be shipped between Albany and Eucla.
The Bremer Bay telegraph station was finished in October. In 1877 the line was completed Albany to Eucla.
Andrew Dempster recalled a time:
“There was no communication from the outside world for 11 weary months. Soon they would be able to send messages along the magic wire within a few minutes from the outside world.”
The Dempsters Rica Erickson Chapter 2 p.153
During work on the East-West Telegraph Line, Tommy Windich, a noble an experienced aboriginal guide working for the construction crew, died and was buried at Esperance.
The Telegraph station was first manned by George Philip Stevens, who was officer in charge and only 15 of age. The first telegraph sent from Esperance is believed to have been from Charles Edward Dempster to his sister Jane Gull, in Guildford.
Top image: Battye 25604P. Photograph- Courtesy of Royal Western Australian Historical Society