Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Captain Johnstone’s Cottage – Murray Bridge

Captain Johnstones Cottage – Murray Bridge

Owned and lived in by the family of Captain Adam Johnstone, the Captains Cottage Museum in Murray Bridge has long been rumoured to be haunted.

 Captain Johnstone served under Captain Cadell in Europe in his early days as a trader between Leith and the Baltic regions. Later he began whaling operations alongside his brother in the Artic Seas.

 He arrived in South Australia in 1856 on-board the brig “Lady Emma”, which was also carrying the first two Murray Steamers the “Albury” and the “Gundagai”.

Captain Johnstone aided in the building of the two vessels from the parts imported on the Lady Emma, he then went on to be a ship mate on the Gundagai before earning him the distinction of being the first officer.

 Captain Johnstone in 1851, like many other people in South Australia at the time, soon moved east to Victoria to the gold fields to try and make his fortune, but returned soon after, and resumed his place on the river.

The Captain now took service under Mr S Hesiltine captaining his vessels, under his master undertook retirement and sold his vessels.

The Captain then went in to the service of Mr John Whyte, and Captained two of his steamers, the “Medindie” and the “Shannon”, and stayed with the firm until that owner passed away and his ships were sold off to contractors elsewhere.

Captain Johnstone passed away at the age of 71 in 1905. One of the most respected men to steam the Murray River ion his time.

 Ghost stories of the home are hard to come by, but it is said that a spirit lingers in the rear kitchen area of the old home. Links to the spirit being that of the Captain are few and far between with possibility of the spirit being a later resident of the property thought to be more likely.

 I am curious to know if any of you, constant readers, have had an experience in the old cottage in Murray Bridge – if so, please let us know over on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide