The Echuca wharf was first built in1865 to facilitate the arrival of the railway line to Echuca from Bendigo . This allowed the wool industry and the timber industry on the Darling and Murray Rivers to be opened up. The height of the paddle steamer trade occurred in 1872 when 240 boats were cleared through the Echuca wharf. (Ref. Coulson, Helen. "Echuca-Moama On The Murray " p.71) The wharf was extended in 1874 and again in 1881 when cranes and sheds were added to help facilitate the unloading process. In 1884 the wharf was extended south into a turning basin and was 332 metres long. (Ref. Coulson, Helen. " Echuca Moama On the Murray" p. 71. This is a photograph of the first section of the wharf built in 1865.
This photograph is significant because it shows the first section of the Echuca Wharf constructed in 1865. . It shows the cross beam red gum construction pattern used in wharf construction at that time. It also shows that the buildings on Murray Esplanade were visible from the river due to lack of construction on the wharf. The cranes are visible, but there appears to be no activity on the wharf at the time the photograph was taken.
A black and white rectangular photograph taken of the northern end of the Echuca Wharf. The photograph shows the wooden construction of the wharf and it is believed to be the first section of the Echuca wharf constructed in 1864. Five cranes are visible as well as three little buildings. The St George's Hall and the Bridge Hotel are visible in the background. A small stern wheeler paddle steamer is tied up to the wharf. One man can be seen on the paddle steamer and one man can be seen standing on the bank beside the paddle steamer. Several people can be seen standing on the edge of the wharf above the paddle steamer.
Inscriptions & markings
Written on the back of the photograph in pen are the words "J.H.P" (on flag) 1867 Copy Godson Collection.