Something for the Steamboat Buffs


Forced isolation has often found me lying on the couch with a cat on top of me diving down various rabbit holes on the Interweb on my tablet. The other night I started out looking up Yellowknife on Wikipedia, something to do with the Aurora Explorer's sistership, which is a floating home there, Yellowknife is on Great Slave Lake, at the head of the Mackenzie River, so I found myself looking at the riverboats and tugs of the Mackenzie River system, which is huge! Some of the steamboats in the early days were pretty interesting. It was mighty wild country in the Old Days, and so were some of the steamboat builders. <g> Unfortunately, most surviving photos are of the larger, more refined (for the wilderness <g>) craft, but in the background there might be some curious contraption, and there might be some interesting small craft in the foreground:

Today I was on the couch listening to Stompin' Tom Connors sing "The Cremation of Sam McGee" put to music.

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee...."

Just where is Lake Lebarge? Wikipedia says it's really "Lake Leberge" but Rob't Service fudged the name a bit to make it rhyme with "marge". it's a big wide spot in the Yukon River north of Whitehorse in the Yukon. OK. But, "in spring 2009, researchers found the A. J. Goddard, a Gold Rush sternwheeler that sunk in 1901, killing three of its crew." A real steamboat wreck near the "marge" of Lake Leberge! :o) But what a steamboat! Sea attachment.

The A. J. Goddard and a sister were prefabbed of steel in Seattle and sent north with the first of the gold rush into the Yukon. The parts were packed over White Pass and Chilcoot Pass(!) and assembled on the bank of Lake Bennet near Whitehorse, where thousands of hopeful prospectors were building wooden boats to go down the Yukon River to Dawson City.

John <@Jkohnen>
"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. (Alfred North Whitehead)

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