Murray SteamersPrint Page
Commemorates the first Murray River steamers arriving in Swan Hill and it is on the same monument as Major Mitchell and Burke and Wills.
The South Australian Government offered 4,000 pounds in 1850 to the first two iron steamers to navigate from Goolwa to the Darling River Junction. Cadell was very interested in this challenge, so he obtained a promise from the South Australian Government to pay him 2,500 pounds if he navigated the Murray. Randell planned to freight flour close to the gold diggings, but, his first venture in February 1853 failed due to the low river. Even though he had little experience using a steamboat and was just as short of knowledge on the Murray River waters, Captain Randell was determined to collect the prize.
Unaware Randell had made a start, Cadell set sail from Goolwa with much ‘pomp and circumstance’ .The two Captains were unaware of each other for some time, but once they realised, there was much competition. The lead changed several times as each stopped to get fuel for their fires.The race was won by Cadell and PS Lady Augusta arriving in Swan Hill on September 17, 1853, with Randell pulling into the bank four hours later.
|Address:||McCallum Street, Explorers Memorial, Swan Hill, 3585|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -35.338333|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||17-September-1853|
|Actual Event End Date:||17-September-1853|
|Approx. Monument Dedication Date:||1936|
The first steamers on the Murray the "LADY AUGUSTA" [Captain Francis Cadell] and the "MARY ANN" [Captain Wm R. Randell] arrived here from South Australia 17th Sept. 1853