The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers
A History of Yukon River Steam Navigation

By Robert D. Turner  


Klondike gold Rush Steamers

The great Klondike Gold Rush began in 1896, and within two years thousands of prospectors, speculators and people from countless walks of like descended on the Klondike from far and wide, seeking their fortunes. For the Klondike Gold Rush, sternwheeled steamboats were essential. Some miners came by steamer all the way up the Yukon River through Alaska from the Bering Sea at St. Michael. Others climbed the famed Chilkoot Pass or White Pass to the headwaters of the Yukon and took a steamer downstream to the Klondike. From Dawson City and the Klondike in the Yukon, then on to Nome and Fairbanks in Alaska, the gold rushes to the Yukon and Alaska came and almost as quickly faded away.

Skilled officers and crews made these robust frontier boats the lifeblood of the Klondike and Alaskan gold rushes. Over 250 steamboats ran on the Yukon River and its tributaries. After the rushes most were part of the fleets of the White Pass & Yukon Route or the Alaska Railroad and they carried hundreds of tourists and many tons of wartime supplies. The last ones were retired in the mid-1950s. Many were wrecked; others were simply abandoned and left to rot away. Just the Klondike, Keno and Nenana have been preserved as reminders of those exciting and legendary times.

This book tells the dramatic story of these amazing steamboats, the people who built and ran them and the services they gave to a vast, lonely, sometimes frenzied and always challenging frontier. Decades in the making, based on countless hours of field and archival research and packed with over 600 outstanding photographs, this book presents the fascinating history of the Yukon River's steamers from the pioneer days of the fur trade to the 1950s. Hardcover, 11 1/2 x 9 1/2", 352 pages, 96 color and 500 black and white photographs.

ISBN: 978-1-55039-242-5

Price: $49.95

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