Photo: Grafton 1854-1898
GRAFTON 316 gross tons, 212 net. Lbd: 140'9" x 22'3" x 10'6". Iron paddle steamer of 2 masts brig rigged and built by J Laird, Birkenhead for R S Ross & Partners in 1854. Sold to David Jones & Partners in December 1858. Sold to Clark Irving & Partners (Grafton S N Co) June 1860. March 1866 of Clarence & Richmond River S N Co. August 1874 owned by J E Manning. During 1877 she underwent conversion to be Twin screw, as well as dimension increases of 397 gross tons and 270 net with Lbd: 145'5" x 27'6" x 13'6".December 1877 owned by W R Williams, Wellington New Zealand and then by the Union Steamship Co., of New Zealand where they placed her on the Strahan(Tasmania) - Melbourne run. 1878 deckhouse added. 1879 lengthened to be 173' x 27'3" x 13'6" and 424 gross tons. 1885 tonage bacame 548 gross after more alterations. and 553 gross tons in 1892. June 12th 1898 she struck the 'bar' at Strahan inward bound. She returned to open sea only to discover the loss of some of her propellor blades had had been holed under the boiler. She was taken in tow by the steamer Mahinapua and attempted the entry into Strahan again only to strike the bar again. The tow line parted and she drifted fatally to the shore, becoming a total loss.