THE ISLAND’S TELEGRAPH CABLE (PART 2)
LONGEST FRESH WATER SUB-MARINE TELEGRAPH CABLE IN THE WORLD
By Leslie Korenko
“Laying of the Longest Fresh Water Sub-Marine Telegraph Cable in the
World. - On Saturday the sub-marine telegraph cable
between Kelley’s Island and Marblehead was laid.
The operation was witnessed by a large number of people from this city and the
Islands. The Gazelle took
the cable on board here and proceeded to Put-in-Bay, touching at Kelley’s Island. She returned to
the latter place about half-past 1 o’clock that afternoon and went directly to
Marblehead, where one of the shore ends of the cable was made fast.
The Gazelle carried the cable to the Island.
the Gazelle was
at Marblehead the Mystic arrived,
having on board a party from this city who were anxious to see the novel
operation of preparing for the establishment of telegraphic communication
between the island and main land. The Mystic
came up along side the Gazelle and
rendered valuable assistance in the work. As soon as the shore end of the cable
was made fast, both boats started direct for Addison Kelley‘s Point, Kelley’s Island, where the cable is to
connect with the land line on that shore. The cable was successfully laid by
the Gazelle to a point just off the
shore of the latter island, and as the steamer could not land there, she
transferred the cable to a flat-boat, which was waiting to receive it. The Gazelle then touched at the island dock
and returned to Sandusky.
laying of the cable was done under the direct supervision of the officers of
the Sandusky & Kelley’s Island Cable Co. assisted by some officials of the
Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Co.
management of the cable is in the hands of those who will spare no endeavor to
make it a success and conduct it for the best interests of the stockholders in
a manner eminently satisfactory to the public. We sincerely hope that the
company will meet with that success which it so well merits.”
While the water portion of the cable was completed, delays occurred causing the islanders to wait a few more weeks before being able to talk with ‘America.’ The wire for the land portion of the line in Marblehead didn’t arrive until June 23. Emeline Kelley wrote that “if the land line of our telegraph is not done soon, you may advertise the demise of the A & P Tel. Co. and also the Kelley’s Island & Sandusky Cable Co. The corpse will be ready.”
The telegraph was located in the Store on the
Corner (also known as The Lodge)
is the building on the left.
The Sandusky Register, July 9,
1875 - The Kelley’s Island &
Sandusky Cable Completed
afternoon the main shore land line of the Kelley’s Island & Sandusky Cable Company
was attached to an instrument in the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph office in
this city and the click of the instrument soon announced that the cable was in
working order. On our telegraph page will be found the first dispatch sent over
the wire. Subsequently Mayor Daniel sent the following message to the Island:
SANDUSKY, JULY 8, 1875 -- To the Citizens of Kelley’s Island: Allow me to congratulate you
upon your enterprise in opening direct communication between Kelley’s Island
and Sandusky by successfully laying a submarine cable in Lake Erie by which we
shall be able to be more closely connected, and as the cable reaches from one
point to the other without a stop, thereby binding the two together, may it
also bring the people of the Island and Sandusky into closer relations and make
them, if possible, still more friendly in the future than have been in the
past. Yours Respectfully, Geo. Daniel, Mayor
The following reply was then
received from Mr. Erastus Huntington, of Kelley’s Island, who is Secretary and
Treasurer of the company:
KELLEYS ISLAND, JULY 8 -- Geo. Daniel, Mayor of Sandusky: Your congratulatory dispatch to the citizens of Kelley’s Island is received. In behalf of our citizens allow me to thank you for your kind wishes, and, as the people of Sandusky united with us in buying and laying our cable, so may we always be united as one in the future, and may our interests be united in a bond of union as perfect as our cable. Erastus Huntington, Sec’y and Treas., K. I. & S. C. Co.
Erastus Huntington was the telegraph operator.
Huntington’s historic home is now The Inn, a bed and breakfast, owned by Pat & Lori Hayes
Today our telephone service is housed in this building and the tower behind it on Chappel Street. Until 20 years ago, in 2000, the only local telephone service was to island numbers within the island’s 746 exchange. In 1999, Islanders petitioned the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to extend local service off the island. The Island’s 529 customers were surveyed, a hearing was held and islanders could finally enjoy the convenience of local calls to Sandusky.