Sunday History Photo / Vic

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 02:02
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The Echuca Wharf was built as part of the Echuca port complex between 1865-67, with later extensions,for the Victorian Public Works Department by G. Dwyer and Co. following completion of the railway from Bendigo in 1864. The wharf is now 75.5 long and is constructed from river red gum felled and milled locally. The wharf is over ten metres high to allow for variations in winter and summer river levels, allowing goods to be unloaded all year round.
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It attests to the critical role that the river trade played in the pastoral boom and in the rapid economic growth and development of the colonies during this time, which ultimately led to Federation. Today the wharf is still operational with three tourist cruising paddle-steamers leaving from the wharf daily.
Port of Echuca boasts the Murray River’s largest fleet of authentic Paddle Steamers.
Restored at Port of Echuca, PS Pevensey, PS Adelaide and PS Alexander are unique vessels equipped with original steam engines.

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The PS Pevensey was originally built as the barge ”Mascot” in 1909, and then converted to a steamer in 1910. She was built in Moama for Permewan Wright and Company, one of the largest ship owners on the river. Powered by a 20 h.p. twin high pressure steam engine, the Pevensey is a large capacity cargo/tow boat and was capable of carrying 120 tons in giant holds. In 1932 she was almost destroyed by fire at Koraleigh Landing below Nyah, but was rebuilt in 1933-35 at Morgan, South Australia. In 1939 she ran a regular cargo run between Morgan and Mildura before becoming redundant and being tied up at Mildura. In 1973 the Echuca City Council purchased her from the Collins brothers and steamed her back to Echuca. In 1975 she was slipped at Moama and completely restored. She now operated from the Port of Echuca and was used in the mini series “All the Rivers Run” playing the PS Philadelphia.

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Built at Echuca, P.S. Adelaide is the oldest wooden hulled paddlesteamer still operating in the World! Built in 1866, the Adelaide was originally fitted out to accommodate passengers on the run from Echuca to Albury. In 1873 she was refitted as a logging steamers and her semi circular paddle boxes where replaced by square ones. Owned by Murray River Sawmills, she towed log barges to the Barmah Forest where they were loaded and drifted back downstream to Echuca. She left the town briefly during the 1950's but later was brought back to Echuca as a community effort in 1960. 1964 saw her lifted from the water and put to rest in Echuca's Hopwood Gardens, where she lay for 20 years. However, in 1980 restoration commenced and she was recommissioned in 1985.

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The Alexander Arbuthnot was one of the last steamers built on the Murray during the riverboat trade. She was built at Koondrook in 1923 to tow barges carrying logs from the forest to the Arbuthnot Sawmills for some years until the 1940’s when she was sold to charcoal producers in the Barmah Forest. During WW2 the 'A.A.' lay idle and in 1947 sank at her moorings. In 1972 she was raised by a group of Shepparton volunteers. The 'A.A' was bought by the City of Echuca in 1989 for restoration at the Port.

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Reply By: Fred G NSW - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 09:09

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 09:09
HNY Doug, and I look forward to our Sunday mornings again in 2010.

The Port of Echuca is one place where you can still be taken back in time to how it must have been all those years ago. It has a real charm and mystery about it, probably enhanced by the series All the Rivers Run, and still having the Port and the paddle steamers there for us to spend time exploring.

Will be back in the district again in a week or so, and another visit to the Port is a must, along with the "Holden Museum."

Fred.
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 10:31

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 10:31
Great pics We were there a while ago and went cruising on the EMMYLOU

Any info about her

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 10:46

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 10:46
The P.S. Emmylou was built in Echuca during 1980-82 in the style of the 19th century paddleboats and is driven by a completely restored 1906 Marshall and Sons steam engine. She is 30 metres long and 10 metres wide, steel hulled and timber decked. She is the only wood fired paddlesteamer in the world to do regular overnight cruises.

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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 11:06

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 11:06
Thank you muchly for that.

We might just go back and see what the river level is now.


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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 11:29

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 11:29
Graham
Save your fuel mate.... I have it here for you.
Issued at 11:16 am EDT Sunday 3 January 2010
Murray R at Echuca 8.30am Sun 86.87^ steady below minor ..


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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 12:59

Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 at 12:59
Had a lovely lunch cruise on the Emmylou.
From memory the skipper told us they replaced the steam engine with a diesel some years ago,and then took that out and then refitted it with the current steam engine which is a beautiful piece of machinery.The young stoker at the time still had to load and store several tons of firewood, by hand, each day.Image Could Not Be Found
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