Mannum in Flood … Again!

The small town of Mannum, in South Australia in sits on right on the banks of the River Murray, so it’s no wonder that it gets flooded now and then.

In sorting through family heirlooms, I came across a collection of old photos of Mannum in flood. Unfortunately they are undated, but going by the style of photograph, together with reading up about the floods that hit Mannum, I would suggest that these were from the 1890, 1896, or 1917 flood. If anyone can shed some more light on the specific date on them, I’d be forever grateful.

My family has a connection to Mannum through the Randell’s, with William Richard Randell who without any experience decided to make a paddlesteamer. In February 1853, at Noa No Landing, just north of Mannum, William Richard Randell launched the “Mary Ann”, the first paddlesteamer on the River Murray. He later moved his operations to the present site of Mannum, which soon became a centre for shipbuilding and river transport. William Richard Randell is a half-brother to my great grandfather John Beavis “J.B.” Randell.

Mannum Flood 02Mannum Flood 03Mannum Flood 04Mannum Flood 05Mannum Flood 06Mannum Flood 07Mannum Flood 09the Lady Daly paddlesteamer on the flood

the Lady Daly paddlesteamer on the flood

3 Responses to “Mannum in Flood … Again!”

  1. Sharon says:

    A wonderful series of photos. Perfect for this weeks Sepia Saturday theme, which I had not photos to participate.

    That is a beautiful house in the first two photos. I wonder if it is still there and how it looks today?

  2. David Dowley says:

    I’m quite familiar with Photos 1 & 2 in your Mannum Flood set.They were taken in January 1871, when the Great Flood of 1870 was starting to recede. The house in the centre of Photo 2 is William Randell’s. (Built 1869) The other two storey house to its right was still under construction (you can see the shadows of the joists for the unfinished verandah). It was being built for Williams brother, Francis Henry Randell. We live in this house now! Both houses have been well maintained & renovated. The building in the foreground between them is William Randell’s Woolshed, used for storing wool brought from the inland by William’s steamers. (Built 1855). The other photos look to have been taken at the same time. I don’t recognise the buildings in Photos 3 & 4 but Photo 5 shows the same two Randell houses from behind. I can send you photos of these houses today if you are interested.



    • Alona says:

      Oooh wow, thanks David. So it was the 1870 flood eh?? Wow, that’s so cool. And even better that you were able identify the houses. That’s more than I ever hoped for. THANKYOU!

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