The Cable Wharf was purpose built in 1913 by the Western Union Telegraph Company and measures 108 x 17 metres (355 x 54 feet). It is where the company cable ships, Minia, Lord Kelvin and Cyrus Field docked and underwent minor repairs. Also serving as a supply and maintenance depot for the vessels and their equipment, The Cable Wharf was a prominent feature of the city waterfront and a thriving enterprise for over 50 years.
The bottom floor of the 91 x 9 metres (300 x 30 foot) Cable Wharf building was a warehouse of hundreds kilometres of cable. Carefully coiled into massive storage tanks, the cable then be readily off-loaded into similar tanks located within the cable ships? hull by cable crews. Such equipment included: grapnels and anchors, chains, buoys, bales of wire and wire rope, batteries and lanterns.
In April of 1912, Minia which in later years was based at The Cable Wharf was one of four vessels chartered to search in the icy waters off Newfoundland for Titanic victims. Of the 17 deceased located by the Minia crew, two were buried at sea and 15 were brought to Halifax for burial in local cemeteries.
Learn more about this story by visiting the Titanic exhibit at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
Halifax is strategically located in relation to Europe. Its deep, ice-free harbour and excellent marine repairs and supply facilities meant that this port became the service headquarters for the transatlantic cable links to North America. The city was home to three cable wharves: the Commercial Cable Company facility at Karsen Wharf (now the site of Casino Nova Scotia), the Compagnie Fran?aise Des C?ble T?l?graphiques wharf in north Dartmouth and the Western Union facility located here.