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Issue: Autumn 2010
W B Chaffey’s grand house Rio Vista was completed in 1891, and was occupied by members of the Chaffey family until 1950 when it was purchased by Mildura City Council. Photo: Hallmark Editions
George Chaffey is remembered both in Australia and the United States as a remarkable engineer with a brilliant imagination. He built bridges, designed a number of steamships, gave Los Angeles its electricity supply, and, with his brother William Benjamin (usually called simply W B) Chaffey, established irrigation colonies as far apart as Mildura in Victoria, Australia, and Ontario in California, USA. His contribution to the development of the Murray Valley is huge, yet when he left Australia it was under a cloud of criticism and accusations.
by Glenn Miller