NoeHill Travels in the American West: Alaska

National Register of Historic Places in Borough of Sitka

National Register #79000412: Cable House and Station in Sitka 16 May 2011
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #79000412
Cable House and Station
2 Lincoln Street
Built 1904

On 26 May 1900, the United States Congress authorized construction of the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System (WAMCATS) to connect Army Headquarters in St. Michael, Alaska, to other military stations in Alaska, and then to link the Alaska network to the lower using submarine cable laid through Sitka. At the beginning of the 20th century, neither the Marconi wireless nor the telephone was technically capable of serving this purpose as effectively as the wire and cable telegraph.

The cable was both a major breakthrough in the technology of submarine cable fabrication and the first submarine cable of this design manufactured in the United States.

The equipment installed at the Sitka Cable House and Station was the key link between the Alaskan communications network and the submarine cable between Sitka and Seattle.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1979.

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