Some time before 1914 a telephone line was built from Lund through Preston north into Ely,Nevada to connect with the White Pine Telephone Company serving the area around Ely. A number of White River citizens invested a sum of money and much labor into the construction of this line. The company was called Lund & Preston Telephone Company. Shares in the company were issued to the men contributing, numbering about fourteen. Many times during the life ofthis company, the share holders contributed to the up-keep of the line with labor and money.
In 1914 a Sunnyside telephone line was built from Hot Creek to Lund. The Adams and McGill Company made its headquarters at the Hot Creek Ranch, and they, with the help of John Whipple, JC Riordan, the Hendrix Bros., built a line from the Hot Creek Ranch through Sunnyside to connect with the Lund & Preston Telephone Company.
The first office and connecting equipment was placed in the home at Lund of M.W. Harrison. Kathryn Harrison Gubler remembers her father getting up in the night to answer a call and deliver a death message or urgent information to someone without a telephone. The original stock-holders must have had the first telephones and others added as demand increased.
The home of David C. Gardner was the second telephone office. Mr. Gardner was President and his wife, Ruth B. Gardner was secretary and operator. Many people came to their home to make a pay-homecall as is done today in a telephone booth on a street corner or in a convenient public building. Mr. R. D. McKenzie carried a telephone with him while on the mail route. Incase of deep snow or other trouble, he could attach his telephone to the line and ring back toLund or into Ely.
The telephones used were battery operated magneto wall phones. A three knife switch board was built above the telephone. The exchange connected the Sunnyside Ranch telephones to Lund and Preston and on to Ely where longer distant calls could be completed. All the patrons could ring each other by an assigned code system of long or short rings or combinations. One long ring alerted the operator for assistance.
This listing shows the rings of customers, Feb. 1966:
In the following column is an interesting diagram of connecting lines as shown in a toll traffic agreement made effective January 1, 1927 between White Pine Telephone Company, Nevada Interurban Telephone Company, and Lund & Preston Telephone Company.
About 1937 the Lund & Preston Telephone exchange was moved from the home of David Gardner to Arthur Carter's home across the street. Arthur Carter was made President and maintenance man and his wife Dale N. Carter was elected secretary and operator.
In the front room corner, a table was built by Arthur which had on it three sets of bells, three knife switches and a battery operated magneto telephone. You had to learn the sound of the bells to know where to put the switch to answer a call. The Ely bells were more powerful and loud,the Sunnyside a high pitch, and the Lund bells somewhere in-between.
A second set of switches, bells, and a telephone was installed in the Reid and Carter Store so that telephone service could be provided at the store during the day and in the home at night. Messenger service was provided for many people who did not have a telephone.
Arthur had an extension ladder, wire stretchers, and a line telephone. He followed the line, climbed the poles, and repaired the line after lightening, wind or other interferences had broken down communication.
Hazel Reid Duval remembers riding with her Dad, Mick Reid, along the lines to find a broken or twisted wire and repair it. Bert Allred at Preston delivered messages in Preston and his wife Stella Allred was the operator. You could often tell by the constant hurried rings on the lines that someone was in trouble and needed help. Word could be spread around the area in minutes and help was soon on the way. When Lanse and Audrey Smith's home was on fire and wind spread the fire north threatening the whole town, the Fire Department at Ely was called andhelp came from all around and saved the whole town of Lund from burning.
The Lund & Preston Telephone Company did not have the technical knowledge or finance to provide the modern service telephone companies were beginning to provide so letters were written to the Bell Telephone Company of Nevada and many independent companies that seemed interested. After a number of years and many contacts, Bell Telephone of Nevada agreed to buy theStockholders out and provide modern telephone service as we have it today.
The undersigned members of the Lund & Preston Telephone Company an unincorporatedassociation of individuals transferred to the Buyer-Bell Telephone of Nevada all the facilities and equipment and signed the bill of sale on May 24, 1968.
- H. R. Ivins
- Milton D. Gardner
- Van C. Gardner
- Vance McKenzie
- Vera Reid
- Arthur Carter
- Herbert Allred by Virginia Gardner
- James Oxborrow
- Ervin L. Hendrix
- Grant Oxborrow
- Mrs. Z. D. Bradley