Morgan, South Australia
|Population||426 (2006 census)|
|LGA(s)||Mid Murray Council|
Morgan is a town in South Australia on the right bank of the Murray River, just downstream of where it turns from flowing roughly westwards to roughly southwards. It is about 161 kilometres (100 mi) north east of Adelaide, and about 315 kilometres (196 mi) upstream of the Murray Mouth. At the 2006 census, Morgan had a population of 426.
The locality was at the boundary of several ancient and traditional owners - the Ngarrindjeri to the south and riverland people to the east. Several Indigenous names are recorded: Korkoranna for Morgan itself, Koolpoola for the opposite flats, and Coerabko ('Katarapko'), meaning meeting place, for the bend locality.
The first Europeans to visit were the expedition of Charles Sturt, who passed by in a rowboat in 1830. The first Europeans to visit overland, by horseback, in March 1838, was the expedition of Hill, Oakden, Willis, and Wood. They noted a large Indigenous population. The locality was originally known to Europeans as the North West Bend, or Nor'west Bend, or Great South Bend, due to an acute change in the trend and direction of the Murray. The westward flowing stream of the river turns here to flow southward. The nearby pioneering pastoral station, Northwest Bend Station, established in the 1840s, still bears that name.
The town was proclaimed in 1878, the year the railway line from Adelaide via Kapunda was opened, and was named at that time after Sir William Morgan, then Chief Secretary, later Premier of South Australia. A large wharf was built, and Morgan, being the railway terminus (hence the name of a local hotel), became one of the busiest ports on the Murray. It handled nearly all the goods that were being imported and exported (particularly wool) to and from a vast region upstream from Morgan along the Murray and Darling rivers. At its peak, Morgan was the second busiest port in South Australia (behind only Port Adelaide), with six trains a day carrying freight from the Murray to the sea at Port Adelaide. As road transport improved through the early part of the 20th century, river transport declined. The railway to Morgan finally closed in 1969.
Morgan has a number of heritage-listed buildings, including:
- Railway Terrace: Morgan railway station and Station Master's House 
- 11 Railway Terrace: Post Office Row 
- 25 Railway Terrace: Landseer's Store 
- Morgan Wharf 
Morgan today is well known for its number of houseboat moorings and services, and a houseboat marina is currently under construction. A free road transport ferry service operates 24 hours for river crossings. Just southward (downstream) from Morgan is a riverfront development named Brenda Park, which has flourished since WWII, originally as rustic shacks, but now as prestige waterfront holiday homes.
Despite these new developments, many historic buildings remain in the town. A number of these buildings have signs showing their former use and appearance. The two hotels, both historic, sit opposite each other, facing the riverfront. A caravan park is sited near the riverfront. Morgan is in the Mid Murray Council local government area, the state electoral district of Stuart, and the federal Division of Barker.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Morgan (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
- Chronicle newspaper, 7 March 1932, page 43.
- Register, 17 March 1838, pp 3-4.
- "Morgan Railway Station & Station Master's House". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Post Office Row (Five attached shops and dwellings at rear)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Landseer's Store". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Morgan Wharf". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
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