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River Murray Towns: Swan Reach

  • Situated about 130 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, between Mannum and Blanchetown, the Swan Reach area was first settled in the 1840s.
  • The name Swan Reach came from the black swans that were abundant in the area.
  • In the 1850s and 1860s two large sheep and cattle stations, Portee station and the Swan Reach run, had been established in the district.
  • When a ferry service was established at Swan Reach in 1898, it became the main crossing point of the river and the town developed.
  • It was surveyed in 1899 and the original Swan Reach homestead was converted to house the local hotel.
  • In 1925 the United Aborigines' Mission established a mission at Swan Reach for the indigenous inhabitants of the River Murray who had been dispossessed.
  • In 1945 land was purchased near Loxton and the Gerard mission was founded. The inhabitants of the Swan Reach mission were moved to Gerard. Control of the Gerard mission was passed to the South Australian government in 1961 and to the Gerard Council in 1974.
  • Tourism, fruit, vegetable and flower growing are now the main industries of Swan Reach.

Further reading

Tuckwell, David and Christine Tuckwell. Swan Reach South Australia: small town big history: a social reflection 1846-1996, Swan Reach, SA: Mid Murray Lands Local History Group, 1996.

Links

RiverMurray.com - Swan Reach

Sydney Morning Herald Travel - Swan Reach

J.H. Prosser's Swan Reach store
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Members of the Hermann family harvesting at Swan Reach
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Public Hall, Swan Reach
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Receiving area for grain and stock at Swan Reach
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Sending wool to market
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Swan Reach
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Vegetable market
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