A MILDURA researcher is looking to solve one of Wagga’s great nautical mysteries.
Frank Tucker is seeking information about a paddle-steamer he believes may have come to rest at the end of Kincaid Street in the mid-1800s.
The PS Nangus was one of a number of paddle-steamers which operated along the Murrumbidgee River during the 1800s, ferrying people and cargo between towns along the river.
Mr Tucker is trying to locate the final resting places of a number of vessels that roamed the Murray River and its tributaries,including the Murrumbidgee, with the fate of the Nangus his latest project.
“There is very little known about the Nangus and no picture that I have been able to locate,” he said.
“PS Nangus presents a challenge – I have found out where she might be, but would like to verify the data.
“You’d be amazed at where some of them have ended up.”
The wreckage of another paddle-steamer which operated around the same period, the PS Wagga Wagga, can be found at Narrandera’s Town Beach.
Mr Tucker has put together detailed histories of both vessels through archived news reports but is still seeking information to fill in the gaps for the Nangus and to find its final resting place.
According to some of the reports uncovered by Mr Tucker, the Nangus became stuck somewhere along the Murrumbidgee River and was “abandoned” in July 1868.
But that’s where his trail ends.
Wagga author and historian Sherry Morris is another who has looked into the fate of the Nangus as part of her research, with the paddle-steamer mentioned in her book Wagga Wagga – a History.
Mrs Morris has uncovered a report from The Daily Advertiser back in April 1870 which provides further clues as to the Nangus’ eventual fate.
“The destruction of the ‘free bridge’, Nangus, which had first been degraded to a ‘mere stepping stone for wicked men who rebelled against the disbursement of ‘threepenny bits’ and who did not scruple to tread her glory into the mud rather than contribute to the Bridge Company’s dividend’,” the report reads.
“It was tied to the stake at the wharf reserve; the cords over-strained and it sank.”
Do you know more about the fate of the PS Nangus? Frank Tucker would like to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.