1888 saw John Christian Dahlsen commission Sylvia Eriksen to build his new propeller driven screw steamer SS ‘JCD’.

Dahlsen was the owner of a successful Gippsland timber and hardware business.  He saw the potential, and necessity, of being able to deliver his building materials, quickly and efficiently, across Gippsland’s lakes and rivers.

He commissioned Sylvia Eriksen to build the steamer at Eriksen’s Paynesville Shipyard which was situated near what used to be known as ‘Brown’s Store‘ – approximately halfway between the boat harbour and the wharf.

The SS ‘JCD’ was launched on the 26th November 1888.

SS JCD - Unloading Fish Baskets

The SS ‘JCD’ – Unloading Fish Baskets

The SS ‘JCD’ was of a composite construction (being a hull of iron or steel ribbing, lined with wooden planking), designed to carry fish and passengers.

Long and narrow in design, and driven by a powerful steam engine, she was fast and manoeuvrable.  She faithfully serviced the regular run from Bairnsdale to Lakes Entrance for some 47 years, until she was withdrawn from service.

The SS ‘JCD’ was hauled off shore → through The Entrance, in 1936 – dismantled and wrecked at the very same spot as the SS ‘Tambo’ some 24 years earlier . . .

View other important events in the history of Gippsland’s Steamers . . .

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