Mannum came into existence with the dawn of the paddle steamer transport industry in the 1850’s.

Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Naralte Aborigines.

The first European into the area was Captain Charles Sturt who, being assigned to solve the great mystery of why so many rivers flowed westward from the Great Dividing Range, rowed a whale boat down the Murrumbidgee in late 1829 and reached the junction with the Murray River on 14 January 1830. 

Captain Sturt continued down Australia’s largest river, passing Mannum in early February.  There is a plaque beside the river recording the event.

From this point onwards there was always the thought that the Murray River could be used for transportation and access to the western areas of New South Wales and Queensland.  However, it wasn’t until the formal establishment of Goolwa as the port at the mouth of the Murray that this became a reality.

By 1853 paddle steamers were operating on the Murray.  The first two steamers were the ‘Mary Ann’ captained by William Randell and the ‘Lady Augusta’ captained by Francis Cadell.

William Richard Randell was the founding father of Mannum who famously believing there was money to be made by paddle steamers on the Murray, built a boat at Gumeracha and transported it by bullock dray to a landing about 3km north of the present-day Mannum.  The steamer was named ‘Mary Ann’ after Randell’s mother.  It was 55 feet long, and it was given a trial run on the Murray on 19 February 1853.  Shortly afterward Randell made a successful trip as far as Echuca and Moama and subsequently travelled up the Murray River as far as Menindie.

By the 1860’s up to 20,000 bales of wool were being brought down the river each season.

In the 1870’s David and John Shearer established a blacksmith business in the town.  They were remarkably creative building Australia’s first car, and the company evolved into Horwood Bagshaw, a successful engineering company (located across the road from Aminya).

In the 1870’s and 1880’s many Germans had moved into the area.  Agriculture along the riverbanks was becoming the mainstay of the town’s economy.

History of Aminya Village Hostel

Mid Murray Homes for the Aged is a not for profit, community based organisation committed to providing services to the aged in our community.  Aminya is managed by Board of Directors who are nominated from the community of Mid Murray Council.

The word Aminya means ‘Quiet Place’.

Aminya started out as a 10 bed Hostel in a renovated stone cottage.  This is the section referred to as the ‘old section’.  Rooms in this section have doors to the outside, which are not suitable for residents with cognitive impairment. 

In 2003, Aminya undertook a major building project, adding a brand new section which included 18 new rooms. 

In 2009, Aminya was upgraded once again, and the finished result was a 32 bed facility.

In 2013 an additional 18 new rooms, a new dining room and an in-house kitchen were built.

In 2017 another 10 rooms were added resulting in a modern 60 bed facility