Murray River at Kellygang
- 1 location
- 2 The Country around the Murray River
- 3 Links to the KellyGang
- 4 What was the Murray River like in the late 1870's
- 5 Properties and Towns along the way
- 6 What happened in the area of the Murray River after the Kelly Gang
- 7 How has the Murray River area changed
- 8 What is happening at the area of Murray River today
For much of its course the Murray River forms the border between Victoria and New South Wales
The Country around the Murray River
JF Mitchell's Woradgery Dictionary says that the aboriginal name for the River Murray was Kalara - Big Water.
The aboriginals called the upper part of the River the 'Indi'
The Murray enters the sea in South Australia. This web site does not follow the River past Echuca.
Links to the KellyGang
The KellyGang intended to cross the River Murray at the Murray Flats after the Mansfield Murders in October 1878 but they got caught up in a flood and were lucky not to drown. (See RC3152) (Age30/10/78)
It was much easier to cross the River on their way to and from Jerilderie in the summer of the following year. Dan Kelly and Joe Byrne were seen near the river a few days before the Jerilderie robbery (RC1276) See details of the crossing (JJK)
The KellyGang were very familiar with the River Murray. They had crossed it many tomes on their way from Victoria to New South Wales and back with other people's horses and cattle. The boys had also worked up country as shearers and on the land generally. They knew many people along the river and the good places to cross from one Colony to the other.
AssCom Nicolson told the Royal Commission that it was common when the Murray River is low for people like the KellyGang to take animals the river from Victoria to New South Wales and back where they were impounded with the view of buying them out cheap. While the stock was frequently recovered, the offenders, said to be New South Wales men, were not convicted.
What was the Murray River like in the late 1870's
Paddle steamers and the river trade
The Lady Augusta was the first paddle steamer to navigate the Murray from Goolwa to Wahgunya in 1854
From about 1854 paddle steamers took goods up and down the River Murray. Transport was cheaper and much more reliable than the roads, particularly in winter.
The railway from Melbourne Echuca was completed in 1864. It was built to capture the river trade and send it to Melbourne, rather than to South Australia. See (Argus22/8/68)
1867 was the year of a big flood on the Murray
The river trade brought galvanized iron, furniture, books, food and passengers and everything else the squatters and selectors needed. They also took away wool wheat and timber. The trip by road to Melbourne took at least 7 weeks. The river traffic was quicker and more reliable. Echuca was the closest port to Melbourne and it became the major port in Victoria, especially after the rail linked the two cities.
The big flood of 1870 (T&C19/11/1870)
One of the great problem was that the river was full of old logs and other snags. The Victorian Government were happy to clear them to benifit trade to places like Echuca but they did not want to help the other Colonies
See also (T&C12/3/1871)
In March 1879 the Echuca Moama bridge was opened. The bridge carried road traffic and trains and this was seen bt Victoria as a great step forward. The Riverina was opened up. Suddenly wool and wheat etc could be transported directly to Melbourne. New South Wales did not like this. They delayed the opening of the bridge and caused customs duty problems. (Argus5/3/79) (Argus7/3/79) (Argus8/3/79)
An example of the size of the river trade (Argus19/1/81)
Properties and Towns along the way
(from the Upper Murray River to Echuca
-on the New South Wales side)
Glen Ken $
Canally run $
Mallee Cliffs $
Gol Gol $
(from the Upper Murray River to Echuca
-on the Victorian side)
Marraket $ [[../plS_T/thologogSR2.html|../plS_T/thologogSR2.html]]
Other things of interest Many of the people who had links with the story of the KellyGang were involved in the river trade. James MacKintosh, saw miller from Echuca ran the river steamers Enterprise, Julia and Elizabeth.
What happened in the area of the Murray River after the Kelly Gang
How has the Murray River area changed
What is happening at the area of Murray River today
Many people see the River dying and Governments are trying to solve their differences. Let us hope we can save the river