Re: Something for the Steamboat Buffs

Pete Leenhouts

Flickr has lots of pictures of the MacKenzie River system, for those who are interested, and, if you keep looking, some of the current vessels plying the river. 

Thanks for finding another rabbit hole, John, and a very interesting one at that! 

Olympic Peninsula  

-----Original Message-----
From: John Kohnen <jkohnen@...>
To: Oregon Coots <>
Sent: Sun, Mar 29, 2020 4:20 pm
Subject: [oregoncoots] 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

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

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