Orr and Honeyman’s steamer Amy at Yatala ferry on the Albert River, c1872.

In the 1860s the firm of Orr and Honeyman owned a company wharf and warehouses on allotment 5 near Queen’s Wharf. Integral to the early expansion of this commercial venture by Matthew Orr and James Honeyman was the steamer Amy.

In the middle months of 1863, the 55 feet (16.7 metres) steamer Amy was re-constructed on the river bank near Queen’s Wharf. An iron riveted boat built on the River Clyde at Dumbarton by Messers. Denny and Brothers, the Amy had spent some time steaming the lakes of Scotland before she was dismantled and sent to Brisbane as cargo on the Cairngorm. Under the guidance of an engineer brought out especially for the task, the Amy was reassembled in time for a launch on 2 September 1863. According to newspaper reports, this first iron steamer that ever glided off the stocks into the Brisbane River did so gracefully ‘amidst the cheers of all present’. Following a cruise upstream, the Amy returned to Queen’s Wharf at dusk.

Originally powered by a 10 horsepower vertical high pressure engine, the Amy departed every Wednesday to carry people and products between Brisbane and the Logan and Albert Rivers, stopping at Cleveland along the way. Financial reversals in the early 1870s led to the sale of the assets of Orr and Honeyman. The steamer Amy remained in Moreton Bay waters until purchased by Burns Philp & Co in the 1880s. By the beginning of the twentieth century this small steamer was working as a lighter in the Gulf of Carpentaria region. In 1926 the Amy sank at her Normanton moorings where the remains reportedly disintegrated.