THE AGE OF STEAM ON THE SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
If you mention riverboats to someone, odds are the first thing they’ll think of is Mark Twain and the Mississippi. But sternwheelers have a place in our history, too, and while the Age of Steam along the Saskatchewan River was short, it played a vital role in moving goods and people through this part of the world.
It was all about money. The Hudson’s Bay Company had been trading into the Canadian northwest by canoe and York boat since the 18th century. But the coming of the railway in the 1870s meant that goods from eastern Canada could be shipped by rail as far as the Red River, and from there by steamship to Lake Winnipeg and up to the Saskatchewan River and all the way to Prince Albert and Edmonton, where connections could be made to the lakes and rivers of the north country.
But it wasn’t going to be easy.
READ MORE ABOUT STEAMSHIPS IN OUR SPRING ISSUE!