SA Government LogoState Library of South Australia logoDownstream, the River Murray in South Australia
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future




River Murray Towns: Mannum

  • Mannum is approximately 85 kilometres east of Adelaide.
  • The township of Mannum developed from 1853 when William Randell used a landing only a few kilometres from the site of the present town to launch his paddle steamer the Mary Ann, one of the first steamers to traverse the River Murray.
  • A traditional myth surrounds the pursuit of the giant Murray cod, Ponde, by the hunter Ngurunderi. At a spot near Mannum, Ponde changed direction and evaded Ngurunderi. It is thought that the town's name is derived from the word 'menum', meaning unknown, to commemorate this escape.
  • Another suggestion is that the name comes from a Naralte word for camping ground.
  • Mannum was surveyed in 1868 and developed into an important port for river boat trade and a centre for the manufacture of agricultural machinery.
  • Brothers David and John Shearer established a blacksmithing and implement making business in Mannum in 1877.
  • In 1894 David Shearer began construction of Australia's first car. He worked on the project for many years. Shearer's final design was a 'horseless carriage' powered by steam with local mallee firing the engine. It was first driven in 1897. In 1900 it was shown in Adelaide at the Adelaide Chamber of Manufacturers Exhibition.
  • Mannum lost some of its prominence as a river port when railway lines were constructed to Morgan (1878) and Murray Bridge (1886).
  • Today the wide range of water sports on offer at Mannum attracts many visitors, making it a popular holiday spot.

Further reading

Bevan, G.A. & Vaughan, M.E. Mannum Yesterday, Adelaide: Lutheran Publishing House, 1978

Shearer, David Ltd. Australia's first motor car, [Mannum, 196-?]

Williams, Rod. Pioneering pathways: 150 years since the commencement of the river trade, 1853-2003: Mannum's 150th anniversary, 1854-2004, Mannum, SA: Mannum Heritage Centre, 2003

Links

Adelaide Hills online: Town history of Mannum

Mannum, South Australia

RiverMurray.com - Mannum

Birdseye passenger and mail car
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
David Shearer Ltd. factory
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
Mannum
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
Mannum pipeline
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
Mannum viewed from the river
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
Mannum's main street
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
P.S. Marion in Mannum Dock
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
PS Murray River Queen
View item details
Add To My SA Memory
The Shearer Family
View item details
Add To My SA Memory

Items 1 - 9 of 9


Navigation

Home

About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes

Search

My SA Memory

Learning

What's on

Contributors