The Cable Building in Bay Roberts, constructed by the Western Union Cable Company in 1913, is a National Historic Site. It was one of only three sites in the province given this designation in 2008. The Cable Building had already been recognized as a Provincial Registered Heritage Structure. Eric Jerrett of the Bay Roberts Heritage Society reflected the feelings of the town when he expressed his pride in the work the Heritage Society has done to preserve and restore the building.
Because it is a good example of an early 20th century commercial building with classical revival elements, the building was designated as a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in October 1998.
History of the The Western Union Cable Station
The Western Union Cable Company brought the outside world to Bay Roberts in 1910. Eventually, ten trans-Atlantic cables were landed here -- among them the fastest in the world at that time -- and hundreds of employees, both local and world-wide, passed through the doors of the Bay Roberts station. The brick building was erected as a relay station on the connection from England to North and South America. During two World Wars, it necessitated a company of army personnel to guard the property from possible enemy action. Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt had a private line on the link through this Bay Roberts station.
In the 1960s, these telegraph cables became obsolete, and the station closed. In 1996 the Bay Roberts Heritage Society Inc. acquired the building and had it completely restored and renovated.
Current Use of Cable Building
The Cable Station was restored by the Bay Roberts Heritage Society. It houses the "Road to Yesterday" Museum, the Christopher Pratt Gallery, the Bay Roberts Archives, the Bay Roberts Municipal Offices, and the Bay Roberts Town Council Chambers. Across the street is a concourse marking the site of the cable landing.
Time Period Represented: In 1910, the Western Union Telegraph Company of New York selected Bay Roberts as the landing site for a transatlantic cable.
Visitor Fees (if any): No admission fee.
Seasons Open: Year round.
Accessibility Notes: Completely handicap accessible.
Pets not permitted.