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Captain Francis Cadell the first to reach Echuca from Mannum

Murray River pioneer and businessman

Captain Francis Cadell was from the small Scottish town of Cockenzie.

He was the major pioneer along with his rival Captain William Randell in opening up the river trade in Goolwa.

        Captain Francis Cadell

This canvas canoe was built by Capt Cadell in Melbourne.

It measured 21'6" x 3'8" x 1'8" draft. Canvas sides on a wooden frame made the boat leak proof by tallow grease from mutton chops.

In July 1852 he packed it, folded up on a horse and proceeded overland to Swan Hill. At Bendigo he picked up four diggers as crew to Goolwa to survey the Murray River.

The Incidental Race

By April 1853 William Randell had already steamed across Lake Alexandrina and up the Murray to Lake Bonney. A low river forced him back to Mannum. Randell at this time was unaware of Cadell’s more about the incidental race...

First Paddle Steamers on the Murray River

William Randell took the Mary Ann for a trial run on the Murray River on the 19 February 1853 and achieved his ambition 'to be the first man to put a steamboat on the river’. Twenty-one tons of cargo were then carted across the hills from Gumeracha for the first trading voyage which commenced on 25 March 1853. Read more about the first paddle steamers...


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