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Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The monument commemorates Captain Francis Cadell (1822 - 1879) who was a pioneer of Murray River steam navigation.  

In 1850 the South Australian government had offered a bonus of £4,000 to be equally divided between the owners of the first two iron steamers that should successfully navigate the Murray from Goolwa to the junction of the Darling River. When Cadell returned to Australia in 1852, he arrived at Port Adelaide in command of the clipper Queen of Sheba. The government's bonus for the navigation of the Murray River had not been claimed and Cadell stayed in Adelaide, formulating a design for a suitable steamboat in partnership with his father's agent, William Younghusband.

Cadell gave orders for the construction of a steamer in Chowne's Yard, Sydney. While it was being built, he explored the Murray in a canvas boat named Forerunner in which, with four men, he travelled 1,300 miles (2,100 km) from Swan Hill downstream. The canvas boat was conveyed overland from Melbourne to Swan Hill.

After several delays, on 16 August 1853 his steamer Lady Augusta (named for the wife of Sir Henry Young, commanded by Captain Davidson, successfully passed through the breakers at the mouth of the Murray, and on 25 August left Goolwa, South Australia on a voyage up the Murray with Cadell in command. Among the passengers were the governor, Sir Henry Young and Lady Young, after whom the steamer was named. They returned on 14 October having reached a point 1,500 miles (2,400 km) up the river, a feat for which the South Australian Government awarded him £500 for bringing his boat in through the Murray Mouth, £500 for reaching the Darling and a further £1,000 pounds to be paid at £250 per quarter that he successfully operated his boat(s) on the river. This was a separate agreement made by Cadell with the South Australian Government. The original prize moneys were rescinded by the Government, but Cadell did later receive £4,000 for bringing extra vessels to the Murray and operating them on the river.

A memorial cairn to commemorate the first steam navigation of the River Murray by Capt. Francis Cadell in the Lady Augusta in 1853, was unveiled near Cadell township on Saturday by the organising secretary of the Murray Valley Development League (Mr. G.V. Lawrence).
Advertiser (Adelaide), 28 September 1953.


Address:Cadell Valley Road & McGuire Terrace, Cadell, 5321
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.036377
Long: 139.765586
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 26th September, 1953
Front Inscription

A tribute to Captain Francis Cadell after whom this town is named.     

He was the outstanding pioneer of Murray steam navigation.

In his paddle steamer "Lady Augusta", he passed here on August 30th. 1853.

Erected 1953.


Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au