Ear: Tilly

From The Daily Morning Astorian, Thursday, Nov. 7, 1889: "Astoria is now in instant communication with the surrounding points of Alderbrook, Fort Stevens, Ilwaco and Chinook. A cable will soon connect it with Tillamook Rock."

In January 1889, the vice admiral of the Navy wrote to the Treasury Department requesting an appropriation of $6,000 (about $167,000 now) to install the telegraph cable to Fort Stevens for several compelling reasons: 

Tillamook Rock had no way to communicate with shore except via the lighthouse tender (which arrived every four to six weeks, weather depending); distress signals from the rock might not be seen for days; with telegraph, the lighthouse could notify the bar pilots and tugs of incoming ships; and time and money would be saved because the tender checkup trips would no longer be needed. (bit.ly/tillywire)

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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