Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost
Two copies of a black / white photograph of nine men on a snagging boat, a flat-bottom barge. In the background is a bridge.
This snagging team is on the Brodribb River, east of Orbost. The Brodribb bridge can be seen in the background of the Photograph.
The Snowy River was used for commercial navigation after 1880 and extensive de-snagging A shipping company was formed in 1880, poling barges upstream until the removal of large trees and branches that had fallen into the river was carried out to make the river upstream of Marlo easier to navigate.
"The snaggers played an important part in making the river free for transport. By 1880 Captain Collins, R McNair engineer, J McNair and the two Winchesters were at work with a punt on the Snowy and Brodribb. Mr. Jim Winchester took charge soon after. Early snaggers were Johnston, J Renton, Nat Lynch, John Drew, Hatton, J Scott and Harry Wilkinson. The system used was to use a tree on the river bank as a lever and with heavy manila ropes, slowly to haul the snags out. They were piled up around a tree and burned when dry. The snaggers lived in a row of cottages in Snaggers’ Lane." (info. John Phillips Newsletter March 2004)
The snaggers played an important role in the early settlement of the Orbost / Marlo district helping bto open it up to commercial shipping.
Inscriptions & Markings
on back - "Snagging boat on Brodribb with R.McNair"