"Sternwheelers and Steam Tugs: An Illustrated History of the Canadian Pacific Railway's British Columbia Lake and River Service" (used book)
Sternwheelers and Steam Tugs: An Illustrated History of the Canadian Pacific Railway's British Columbia Lake and River Service
by Robert D. Turner
About the Book
Used Book. Hardcover. Dust jacket included. Good Condition
-- From the dust jacket
The sternwheeled steamboat – the sternwheeler – was a vessel uniquely capable of navigating the formidable, swift-flowing, often treacherous rivers of western North America. Its greatest assets were sturdy construction, shallow draught, and the driving force of its paddlewheel. In the hand of an experienced captain and crew, a sternwheeler could be navigated through rapids and shallows that the timid of heart would have considered impassable.
In 1889, the Columbia and Kootenay Steam Navigation Company was formed and a fleet of fast, modern sternwheelers was built for its Columbia River and Kootenay Lake routes. The Lytton, Nakusp, and Kokanee became famous for their white-water navigation, luxury and speed.
In 1897, the CPR purchased the company. Previously, the CPR has built the steamer Aberdeen to begin a service on Okanagan Lake, which began one of its most important steamboat routes.
In 1898, the CPR, caught in the excitement of the Klondike Gold Rush, ordered 12 new sternwheelers for an all-Canadian route via the Stikine River to the Yukon. However, the scheme collapsed after one bad summer.
In the Okanagan and the Kootenays, the sternwheelers and a growing fleet of tugs and barges prospered. New steamers were added regularly – the Moyie, Minto, Kuskanook, Okanagan – culminating in the magnificent Bonnington, Nasookin and Sicamous. Ironically, their very success brought their decline as the growth they made possible soon justified railways and roads.
By the late 1930’s, only the Moyie, Minto and railway tugs and barges remained in service, providing still vital services to many isolated communities. The Moyie, the last of the CPR’s sternwheelers, was retired in 1957.
This is the dramatic story of the CPR’s British Columbia sternwheelers and steam tugs through races, boiling rapids, moonlit cruises, and gold rushes to their passing.