Sunday History Photo / SA

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 05:22
ThreadID: 97513 Views:2287 Replies:1 FollowUps:1
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The Paringa Bridge was built in 1927 for the railway extension over the River Murray to Renmark. It is one of South Australia's significant engineering monuments.

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The Paringa Bridge was designed so that one of the six steel spans could be raised to allow the river boats to pass through. It carried a single-track railway and also catered for road traffic with cantlevered roadways on both sides of the central spans.
Located 261 km north-east of Adelaide and only 4 km from Renmark, Paringa is a medium-sized town on the Murray River. It proudly claims to be the first town visitors reach in South Australia when they cross the border from the eastern states on the Sturt Hwy.
Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Naralte Aborigines who were described by one early settler as 'very friendly and quickly picked up a smattering of English. They were willing to work ... and attempted to instruct the newcomers in their methods of hunting.' The river provided abundant food and they lived well off a diet of kangaroos, emus, wombats, goannas, lizards, ducks, turtles, fish, snakes and bird eggs. It is said that the word 'renmark' is derived from the local Aboriginal words meaning 'red mud'.
The first European into the area was Captain Charles Sturt who, being assigned to solve the great mystery of why so many rivers flowed westward from the Great Dividing Range (often known as the question of whether Australia had an 'inland sea') rowed a whale boat down the Murrumbidgee in late 1829 and reached the junction with the Murray River on 14 January 1830. He continued down Australia's largest river passing the present site of Renmark in late January and reached Lake Alexandrina, at the mouth of the river, on 9 February, 1830.

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The area around Paringa did not acquire any importance until 1887 when George and William Chaffey signed an agreement with the South Australian government which led to the creation of an irrigation scheme which was to turn the entire area into one of the most productive in the country. The scheme to water the entire area was greeted enthusiastically with the Assistant Director of Kew Gardens in London declaring 'from these sunny lands where our sons and daughters have made their homes, we shall draw our future supply of fruit'. By 1892 the Chaffey experiment had collapsed. The Chaffeys created open drainage systems which watered the land.

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In the 1890s 'Breaker' Morant worked in the local area on the Paringa Station. When Paringa Station went broke Morant and two of the boys from the station joined the Bushveld Carbineers and served in the Boer War. He was subsequently executed by the British.

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Reply By: NTVRX - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 10:53

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 10:53
Another interesting post Doug,well done. We are currently resting up at Mt Bundy & disappointed we missed you. I would have enjoyed a chat about local & other topics. Enjoy the break & we might catch up another time. Bob & Denice Hood.
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 13:56

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 13:56
Hey that's good your at Mt Bundy, if you see Scott or Sue tell them I say Hi and it's damn cold down here with a little snow night before last.

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