The PS Adelaide is now moored at Echuca Wharf
PS Adelaide is the oldest wooden hulled paddlesteamer still operating anywhere is the world. She was built at Echuca in 1866 for J.C. Grassey and partners. She is now moored at Echuca Wharf and used for special occasions.
One of the fastest paddlesteamers on the Murray, PS Adelaide is rumoured to be named after Her Majesty Queen Adelaide. “Adelaide” was also a popular ladies’ name during the riverboat trade era.
The PS Adelaide was used by her original owners to transport wool to Echuca from nearby stations. She was also a part-time passenger boat, bringing the ladies into town to do their shopping. When PS Adelaide was purchased by the Murray River Sawmill Co, she began her long life as a logging steamer.
PS Adelaide towed four empty barges to the Barmah forest to collect the red gum logs. The logs that we being transported were tied with chains to logs that stretched across the deck. The cargo then hung down in the water. PS Adelaide would then bring the load home to the mill at Echuca.
In 1957 Murray River Sawmills started to use trucks to transport the logs and PS Adelaide was sold and went to South Australia. In 1960 she plied the Murray River back home again and remained there until 1963. Because of the rise and fall of the river, a group of dedicated people tirelessly adjusted the ropes daily to prevent the unused boat from tilting hazardously on the bank. Eventually, she was raised out of the water by a series of locks and placed in the Hopwood Gardens where she remained for 21 years until restoration finally began in 1980. In 1984 the PS Adelaide was refloated and in October 1985 she was recommissioned by Her Royal Highness and The Princess of Wales during a Royal Visit to celebrate Victoria’s 150th Anniversary.
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