Yes, Melbourne's second river. A good topic. Did you tour it by pushbike, Topahend?
The following is an excerpt from MARIBYRNONG RECORD: PAST IMAGES OF THE RIVER by Judy Maddigan and Lenore Frost
The name 'Maribyrnong' is said to derive from the Wurundjeri language meaning 'I can hear a ring-trail possum'. The river was first recorded by white people when Captain Charles Grimes, Acting Surveyor-General of New South Wales, led an inland exploration from Sorrento in 1803. John Fleming, who accompanied Grimes, described the river:
"The land became high where we landed and went on a hill... saw a large lagoon at a distance, went over the hill to a large swamp... no trees for many miles." All along the river Flemming reported very few trees, with occasional "struggling oaks by the side of the river".
While the township became known as Maribyrnong, the river was known as the Saltwater Creek - the Yarra was called Freshwater Creek. By the turn of the century 'Saltwater' had become synonymous with bad odours and polluted water. The Age in March 1905 described it as "an abomination and a danger". Following pressure by the Essendon River League and other local groups, the river was renamed 'Maribyrnong' on 10 March 1913.
The following photographs show the River at various times, and in various moods, and the illustrate the continual interaction between it and the growing communities...
The river was filthy well into the 1980s and a former mayor Footscray, Matt Harris, spent many hours cleaning up rubbish in his spare time and campaigning for government action to be taken to clear the rubbish. Some of the photos I have seen from that time are amazing with the amount of rubbish about, the river banks look like there has been an oil spill.
Moving on, Corio, do you know about one of the rail bridges in Footscray formerly being over the Yarra? I was told this occurred when more lines were added between South Yarra and Richmond stations. I found some images of the construction of the bridge you mentioned from around 1912 on Picture Australia from the Victorian Railways:http://www.pictureaustralia.org/apps/pi ... ode=search
There was also a draw bridge on Smithfield Rd and later a swing bridge further along which that has been removed.
This bridge was built in 1928 and could possibly be a chopped down part of the old South Yarra bridge.
Here's an image of construction work from 1928.
In one of Topahend's images you can see a bluestone cottage - here it is in the 1930s on the hill.
For further details here is a link to a nice heritage trail along the river:http://www.maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/Files ... ooklet.pdf
There is a link that crosses over somewhat on another thread within this site here:viewtopic.php?t=1562
This link shows some good comparison shots as well.