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History of P.V. Rothbury

P.V. Rothbury built 1881

ps Rothbury at Mildura c.1930The Paddle Steamer Rothbury was built in 1881 at Gunbower, Victoria on the Murray River. Built as a large and powerful tow boat, employed in towing barges for the wool and logging trade. She was well known even then, to be one of the fastest tow boats on the Murray-Darling River System.

After several owners the Rothbury was brought to Mildura in 1909, by Permewan Wright & Company Ltd. who had an extensive establishment in Mildura, sharing the trade to the district with the Chaffey owned River Murray Navigation Company.

In 1911 the Rothbury was bought by R.M. Anderson, the major sawmiller in Mildura. The Rothbury supplied the mill with logs from redgum forests for extensive building construction at Mildura. Timber was also towed on barges by the Rothbury for "stock piles" along the river for various boilers and other passing steamers. Anderson's Saw Mill was located on the Victorian bank just downstream of the existing Chaffey Bridge, but was destroyed by fire and attempts to be rebuilt failed. Still existing on the NSW bank opposite is the original "Anderson's" slipway, used for boat repairs since the early 1900s.

P.V. RothburyThe Rothbury was later used for towing Lock building materials. The Rothbury teamed with the "Derrick" Barge for construction along the river. The Derrick was fitted with a large crane and pile driving equipment, but had no power of its own.

The Rothbury towed this barge to its destination and also provided its power from the Rothbury's boiler. The most recent and significant construction of the Rothbury and the Derrick was that of Psyche Pumping Station in 1957/58. Thus the P.V. Rothbury was still working as she was originally built for until late 1950's, perhaps the last steamer to do this.

While in Mildura take a ride on the
P.V. Rothbury or the P.S. Melbourne


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