Historical information

This photograph of the plaque on the side of the P.S Adelaide while she was a stationary exhibit in the Hopwood Gardens from 1963 until 1984 tells the story of her manufacture and her work life up until 1963. The P.S Adelaide was launched on 21st July 1866. It was owned by J.G.Grassie from Poon Boon Station and the Officer Family of Murray Downs Station Swan Hill. The Adelaide was named after the niece of the Officer Bros, Adelaide Blackwood. The shipwrights who built her was George Linklater. The Adelaide brought wool and passengers from the wool stations on the Murray and Darling Rivers down to the Echuca Wharf. In 1872 she was sold to David Blair & Sons. She was used to bring timber from the Barmah Forest to the Echuca Wharf. She did this work for the next 80 years. In 1953 she was tied up near the Mill and left In 1958 she went to Paringa South Australia to work in the sawmill industry again. In 1960 the Echuca Apex Club and The Echuca Historical Society raised enough funds to buy the P.S. Adelaide and return her to Echuca. In November 1963 she was lifted out of the water and placed in Hopwood Gardens as this was thought to be a way of preserving her. In 1984 it was decided to return her to the water to resume work as a passenger vessel. In that time the Port of Echuca and the Echuca Wharf had been restored as a Tourist Precinct.


The P.S Adelaide is extremely significant as it it the oldest known wooden hulled paddle steamers in the world. She was built in Echuca in 1866 and still operates on the Murray River today. She has worked in the Wool Industry, the Timber Industry and the Tourist Industry.

Physical description

Coloured photograph showing the information sign which was attached to the side of the P.S Adelaide whilst she was a stationary exhibit in the Hopwood Gardens from 1963 until 1984.

Inscriptions & markings

On the sign is written; " P.S Adelaide/built on the Murray at Echuca for Officer Grassie &Co. Of Poon Boon and Murray Downs stations. Launched 20th July 1866. The vessel is typical of the steamers trading in the era of the Riverina and Darling River trade of 1853 to the early 1900's and which had by 1872 established aEchuca as the second busiest port in Victoria. Worked in the Red Gum logging trade until 1958 under the ownership of the Murray River Sawmills Co. She was purchased by that company from David Blair Saw Miller of Echuca in 1861. 75ft. 4 inches X 12 ft.5 inches X 3 ft. 6 inches built of 3 inch red gum planking on an angle. Iron frames 2? X 2?5/6. 30 H.P. Nominal arc original and made by Fulton & Shaw of Melbourne. Twin cylinders. 14 bore. 16 stroke Stephenson's reversing gear controlled by Captain from the wheelhouse. Locomotive type red gum wood. Master, Mate, Engineer, Fireman, Cook, and Deckhand.