Grafton Rowing Club History: Early Shipping 3
Australian Rowing Professional
Flooding Grafton
Early Shipping on the Clarence

Early Shipping 3 - "Grafton"

PS Grafton loading wool at Port Macquarie in the late 1860s

Another of the locally owned steamers from the second half of the nineteenth century was the iron paddle steamer "Grafton". Built in Birkenhead in 1854, the "Grafton" was delivered to her new owners, the Grafton Steam Navigation Co., in April, 1855. She was 32 metres (105 feet) in length, 212 tons, and carried 100 tons of cargo and 30 passengers.

A single ticket from Sydney to Grafton on the "Grafton" cost 7, which was not a small amount at the time - fifty years later, a return journey could be made on the "City of Grafton" for less than 3!

It is interesting to note that 7 was first prize in some of the events at the Grafton regatta of 1882 - the 25 and 50 prizes at regattas must have been a huge amount - remember that 2 Guineas membership to Grafton Rowing Club was about three weeks wages!

The "Grafton" was sold to an Illawarra company in August 1874 and converted to twin screws in 1886/7. She was then sold to an Auckland company and later to the Union Steam Ship Co. in New Zealand in 1885. The "Grafton" was wrecked at Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, on June 12, 1898 on a journey from Melbourne to Strahan and sank the next day.

Early Shipping - Page 4