In 1884 the Commercial Cable Company laid two cables across the Atlantic connecting Canada, Britain and France all via a station in Waterville. A total of some 2,399 miles of cable (manufactured by the German company Siemens) was laid and became known as the Mackay – Bennett line. The first message from Waterville to St. John, Novia Scotia, passed along the transatlantic cable on Christmas Eve 1884. The cable station in Waterville was operational from 1884 – 1962.
The commercial Cable Company built a large housing estate on the outskirts of the Village of Waterville facing out onto the wild Atlantic Ocean. In total approx 300 telegraph personnel settled here in what at the time would have been considered very luxurious conditions. Many of these fine buildings can still be seen today and though built over 100 years ago still command a prominent position on the northern side of the village facing out on to the bay. The Waterville cable station was the largest of the three cable stations on the Iveragh Peninsula and the telegraphers who settled here along with the support personnel for the station brought with them their own way of life and pastimes. In 1889 a nine hole golf course was built in the nearby sand dunes and thus Waterville golf links was born.
The location of the landing point of the cables is marked today by a historical marker on the road by the oceans edge. Just opposite the Huntsman Restaurant on the Cliff road you will see a marker on the low wall by the road. If you walk down to the beach at this point you will see the cable bulkhead, where the cables coming in from across the Atlantic were routed from the beach underground to the cable office. The remains of several cables can still be seen.