Winsor Castle was the site of the first telegraph station in the Territory of Arizona.
The transcontinental telegraph line passed through Salt Lake City in 1861 and immediately revolutionized communications. Information from Washington, D.C., or San Francisco that once took weeks or months to reach Utah now arrived in only a few minutes.
However, the majority of the Utah settlements were north and south of Salt Lake City.
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Thus the transcontinental line--running generally east-west--initially did little to improve communications within the territory.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints decided to build its own adjunct line, dubbed the Deseret Telegraph, linking communities to the north and south of Salt Lake. Construction on this line started in 1866.
Initially, Brigham Young asked that each community with a telegraph station train one or more young person in the art of telegraphy.
Eliza Luella Stewart, the first telegraph operator at the Pipe Spring office, which opened in 1871, was only 16 years old. At least seven other women operated the telegraph at Pipe Spring between 1871 and 1888.
The women who ran this station lived and worked in this room. On the table you can see the tools of their trade: the telegraph sounder which would relay the clicks of Morse code, the sending key with which they sent their messages down the wire, and the paper used to copy incoming messages.
The telegraph line in this region ran from Toquerville, Utah, to Rockville (near Zion National Park), then to Pipe Spring and on to Kanab, Utah. By 1876 it reached Orderville, Utah--the end of the line. At Toquerville, it joined the main line to Salt Lake City. Pipe Spring has several of the original glass insulators and what is believed to be a section of the original wire used in the Deseret Telegraph system.
Under the table was a gravity cell battery; its one volt output could send a message up to 30 miles. Messages were relayed from office to office until they reached their destination.
Last updated: April 16, 2020