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 the top right hand corner in a circle is written R.1. Also in ink, in the bottom right hand corner is written 896.2. In the same corner in lead pencil is written Box 5. In the top left hand corner AV=No.53 is written in lead pencil. In the Centre of the back of the photograph a sticker with purple lettering says "Not to be reproduced without permission from the National Library of Australia ." In pencil is written the words Echuca Wharf 1885. Pride of the Murray, Pioneer, Thistle, Waradgery, Corowa, Murrumbidgee, Corowa. (?) paddle steamers -Pride of the Murray etc. Echuca Wharf 1885. 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.