Murray SteamersPrint Page Print this page

Murray Steamers : 28-December-2010
Murray Steamers : 28-December-2010

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Bryan Hardy

A monument 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
Long: 143.560556
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Technology
Actual Event STart Date:17-September-1853
Actual Event End Date:17-September-1853


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1936
Front Inscription

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

Source: MA,VMR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design