The Story of P.S Adelaide
1866 was the start of the Adelaide, built by George Linklater, she proudly boasts being the oldest wooden hulled paddle steamer operating anywhere in the whole entire world, not a bad thing to boast either.
Built in Echuca for J.C Grassie and Partners she delivered wool from Poon Boon Station and Murray Downs Station to Echuca, making the most of her, she was also used to bring supplies back to the stations. She did carry passengers however this was never her primary function.
1879 saw the removal of the accommodation facilities by the new owners, Murray River Sawmills, the facilities were believed to be on board when she was first built. With the removal of the accommodation, she began life as a logging steamer, towing logging barges up and down the river.
1950, Tuesday 28 November, she snagged and developed a leak at Ross's Point. The leak was plugged by a pillow for her trip to Echuca where she was fixed in a bit more permanent fashion. The snagged occurred while dropping off a barge, the mill was also short of timber at the time.
1958 she was sold to South Australia with the demise of the river trade. On the trip from Echuca “under her own steam and was the first boat to perform the trip in many years and her skipper for the voyage, Ron Treacy, reported that he had a nasty experience at Nyah. He had been warned of a new bridge there but advised that it was downstream of Nyah whereas about midnight, out of the gloom on the upstream side the bridge appeared. Only prompt action with the wheel avoided a collision. She was towing two barges loaded with logs on that trip.”1
1959 saw her being sold to Mr A Rowe of Paringa,part of his plan was to convert her to a stern wheeled motor barge.
1960, The Apex Club and the local historical society of Echuca purchased with help from a Victorian Government grant. Glad to say she hadn't been turned into a barge.
Captain Norm Collins brought her back to Echuca and in 1963 she was placed in the Hopwood Gardens, Echuca as a static display.
1980 began the task of bringing her back to life.
1984 saw her back on the water.
1985, October, she was recommissioned by Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Wales during a Royal Visit to celebrate Victoria’s 150th Anniversary.
She now operates from Echuca as a tourist steamer
Paddle steamers built between 1852 and 1928 operating the Murray-Darling River system