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Heart's Content Cable Station

Heart's Content, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1974/07/27

Constructed in 1876, Heart's Content Cable Station, with its distinctly Gothic bargeboard, reflected the very popular features of English gatehouses and stables of the time. The 1876 original (red) and 1918 extension (white) are shown in this photo.; Government of Newfoundland and Labrador 2005
Heart's Content Cable Station, NL
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1875/01/01 to 1876/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Heart’s Content Cable Station is one of several buildings constructed by the Anglo-American Telegraph Company in the town of Heart’s Content, NL, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to support the operation of the transatlantic cable operations. The building still contains much of the original equipment, layout and hardware which was in use at the site up to the time it closed in the 1960's.

Heritage Value

Heart's Content Cable Station was designated a Provincial Historic Site due to its historical and architectural value.

Constructed in 1876 by J.J.Southcott, a prominent St. John’s architect, the Heart’s Content Cable Station is important from an historical perspective because it functioned as the main cable station used by the Anglo-American Telegraph Company and later Western Union. In 1918, in response to increased traffic, the building was renovated and an extension was added onto the original structure. The exterior of the 1876 section still retains its distinctly Gothic bargeboard which reflected the very popular features of English gatehouses and stables of the time. This style of architecture and its accompanying decorative features was very unusual for 19th century industrial buildings constructed in the outports of Newfoundland and Labrador.

While there remains no equipment from the period the 1876 section does retain the much of the original layout and the distinctive wainscoting. The interior layout, which is primarily intact, also reflected the close relationship between the social and work world of the staff with space for the library made available in the original 1876 section of the building.

With the extension in 1918 a whole new section, reflecting the changing technology, was added to the structure. In addition a second washroom for the female staff, the only tangible evidence of a female presence and role in the history of the site, was also added. This section still retains much of the equipment, lighting and hardware used by the company for its operations up to the time the site closed in the 1960s.

Source: Newfoundland Gazette, August 13, 1974.

Character-Defining Elements

All those exterior features that speak to the unique and decorative design of the industrial building, including:
-fretted bargeboard along eaves of building;
-2 chimneys with ornate brickwork;
-2/2 sashes in windows;
-red brick exterior walls with white accents over the windows and doors;
-white quoins;
-slate roof;
-sky lights; and

All those interior features that reflect the age and use of the building, including:
-interior layout;
-cast iron decorative heaters;
-communications equipment on upper level;
-doors and walls of the artificial line room;
-plaster walls;
-washroom layout and wooden stalls;
-wooden window blinds;
-hanging lights; and,
-clock in equipment room.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Communications Facility

Architect / Designer

J.J. Southcott



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Culture and Recreation Divison, Historic Sites Unit, Confederation Building, St. John's, NL

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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