Heart’s Content Cable Station Provincial Historic Site, Newfoundland and Labrador
SIGNIFICANCE It’s a well-preserved monument dedicated to a major step in communications technology. In 1866, the first transatlantic cable was established between Newfoundland and Valentia, Ireland. SIZE The site consists of an office building, erected in 1875, and an extension added in 1918. LOCATION The town of Heart’s Content, which counts its population in the hundreds, is 124 kilometres from St. John’s. CURRENT OFFICIAL PROTECTION It was designated a Provincial Historic Site after the station was closed in 1965. Until then, it was part of Western Union’s international cable system. RARITY FACTOR This well-preserved time capsule marks a major shift in the speed of communications. News that once travelled by letters sent on ships that might take several days to reach their destination took just minutes to cross the ocean after the station opened.
THE LOCAL’S TAKE “The successful transmission represents one of the major milestones in global communications and the birth of globalization,” says Jerry Dick, executive director of Heritage NL. “This world-altering achievement, requiring 10 years and five attempts, was considered by many of the age to be impossible. The cable connected the two continents like never before by providing the ability to instantly and accurately communicate between the old world and the new.”
Heart’s Content Cable Station Provincial Historic Site