Located in the Landseer’s building, the original warehouse of shipping firm AH Landseer Ltd which opened as a Merchants, Commission and Shipping Agents in 1878, the museum is on Railway Terrace overlooking the River Murray and is owned by the council.
Constructed of local yellow limestone, the building represents Morgan’s rise to prominence as a major river port and was among the first buildings constructed in the new Port of Morgan. AH Landseer Ltd was the largest trading and shipping company on the Murray and the largest merchant company in Morgan. Albert Henry Landseer (1829-1906) was an English migrant who made his money on the Victorian goldfields before moving into Murray River shipping, becoming one of the colony’s principal river merchants by the 1870s and eventually becoming a member of parliament in the House of Assembly.
The museum tells the story of early life in the Morgan area, encompassing the farming activities, riverboat trade with the railway linking Morgan to the seaport of Adelaide and the pumping station for the Morgan to Whyalla pipeline.
It houses an impressive collection of horse drawn vehicles of historical significance, used for the transportation of goods and passengers, all kindly donated to the museum by many local residents and pastoralists. Also on display is a 1926 Chevrolet truck in working order, and you can also see set up the old telephone exchange near the old schoolroom and the farmhouse kitchen as well as the Nor’ West Bend No.76 Masonic Lodge complete with the records of the years of operation in the area.
The display is further enhanced by a timber wharf structure complete with wool bales and other items of cargo once carried by the river steamers. Outside you can see a restored 6HP Portable Steam Engine, made in England in 1870.