Discover old Murray Bridge with historical society

Time travel might be impossible, but Murray Bridge and District Historical Society will attempt the next best thing this Saturday.

Volunteers will lead three guided tours of the oldest part of the city.

Shirley Watson said the tour would hearken back to the mid-19th century, when the Edwards family became the first European settlers in the area.

"Our CBD used to be in the area of Railway Terrace," she said.

"The Edwards house was demolished because the railway line went through it.

"There were things that happened here before the railway, before the road bridge was built.

"They've got different names for streets, different buildings – some are there, some are gone – and we're trying to find pieces of the ones that were there."

The first District Council of Mobilong office, a small stone building, was one of the structures long ago demolished on Railway Terrace, she said.

When the bridge was built, Ken Wells said, there was nothing at all up on top of the hill now crowned by Bridge Street, or Main Road as it was called.

He recalled the original Bridgeport Hotel, built where Dutton's now stands on the corner of Adelaide Road and Edwards – now Mannum – Road.

The area behind it was known as Bridgeport at the time.

"In early Murray Bridge maps, there were areas like various suburbs: Bridgeport, Sladdenville, Totness Park on Adelaide Road near the Shell," he said.

"The bridge was built and they could see it from up there (at Bridgeport), with no buildings between Mannum Road and the river."

Maps, photos and documents will be on display in the SA Railways Institute and Devonshire tea available in the signalman's cottage between 10am and 4pm.

Visitors will also be able to peruse the archives in the Murray control building and take a look at the central train control room, built with the latest technology in the 1970s and recently opened to the public.


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