Paddle steamers lined the banks of the Murray River waiting their turn to load or unload produce to/ from the wharf. It was not unusual to see this amount of traffic on the river as it was the largest inland port at the turn of the century
The paddle steamer Pride of the Murray is still in operation as a tourist boat today. The wreck of the Murrumbidgee is resting on the bank of the Murray River in the dry dock area at Echuca. The date of this photograph is hard to ascertain. The P.S. Pioneer was reported as sunk in 1899. (Ref; Parsons, R. "Ships of the Inland Rivers" p. 117.) The P.S.Thistle was reported to be sent to Fiji in 1881. (Ref; Parsons, R, "Ships of the Inland Rivers." P.136) The P.S. Waradgery was broken up in 1914. (Ref; Parsons R, "Ships of the Inland Rivers." p. 143) The P.S. Corowa was broken up in 1930. (Ref; Parsons, R. "Ships of the Inland Rivers." p. 62.)
Taken at a distance from the wharf this photograph shows the paddle steamers Murrumbidgee, Pride of the Murray, Pioneer, Waradgery and Corowa in the fore ground with the wharf as the back setting. Visible on the wharf is the cargo shed and the hydraulic cranes. The river level is low in this particular shot, showing the height of this massive structure. This is a sepia photograph, believed to be the original.
Inscriptions & markings
On the back of the photograph are written in ink, in hand writing are the words; Mrs. G.A. Freeman. Union Club Hotel, Echuca. Tress Freeman. Written along the bottom front of the photograph are the words Murrumbidgee, Pride of the Murray, Pioneer, Thistle, Waradgery and Corowa. Written on the top of the photograph in block letters are the words; ECHUCA WHARF Circa 1885.