Paddle Steamer Gem, Pioneer Settlement, Swan Hill

From the information panel just before going aboard,  the Gem was built in 1876 as a barge, but a year later "was fitted with’4 40 horsepower steam engine, wood fired boilers and upper works enabling her to be employed carrying freight and passengers on the River Murray as a steamer. In 1882, she was "cut...

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Horse-drawn Omnibus

Larger photo Part of the horse-drawn vehicle collection at Swan Hill's Pioneer Settlement. The horse-drawn Omnibus was a French invention which came to Australia via England in the mid nineteenth century, it was the equivalent of the modern suburban bus. Similar to the Family Wagonette in that it has parallel side seats, panelled sides and...

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Horse-drawn Hearse

Larger photo Part of the horse-drawn vehicle collection at Swan Hill's Pioneer Settlement. This Hearse was manufactured in Scotland, probably towards the end of the nineteenth century, and was imported for use in the suburbs of Melbourne. Once horse-drawn hearses started to fall out of favour with the more modern citizens of the City, it...

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Lower deck, P.S. Gem

Larger image Lower deck on P.S. Gem, at the Swan River Pioneer Settlement. From information panel on post: ENGINE ROOM Following her conversion from barge to paddle steamer in 1877, this space would have been filled with the large, wood fired boiler which provided the steam for the engine. That was linked directly to the...

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Upper Deck, P.S. Gem

Upper deck on P.S. Gem, at the Swan River Pioneer Settlement. THE WHEELHOUSE The nature of river travel on the ever changing Murray River required that the Captain have good visibility in order to guide his vessel through the pitfalls of snags, changing river levels and sand bars. From his perch high up in the...

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Middle Deck, P.S. Gem

iddle deck on P.S. Gem, at the Swan River Pioneer Settlement. From panel: ART GALLERY As part of the process of converting the PS Gem to an Art Gallery, all of the dividing bulkheads between the cabins along this row were removed. This gave a single large space which could be used for exhibitions. However,...

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Music Saloon, P.S. Gem

Music Saloon on P.S. Gem, at the Swan River Pioneer Settlement. From information panel on door: MUSIC SALOON The Music Saloon was added in 1982 to cater to the needs of the increasing number of passengers who travelled on cruises and holidays and wanted somewhere on the boat where they could entertain themselves. It was...

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Paddle Steamer Cabin

Larger image Cabin on P.S. Gem, at the Swan River Pioneer Settlement. From information panel: PASSENGER CABINS For all her luxurious fittings elsewhere, the cabins on the Gem were simple and straightforward, if not a little on the small size. It was joked that cabins were kept deliberately small in order to reduce the number...

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