The Glorious Days of the Sternwheelers

Sternwheelers Linking Fauquier to the World

Some History Notes on the Lifeline of the Fruit Trade

Photo Credits: Arrow Lakes Historical Society, Text from A. Devlin’s Personal Archive

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1895 – SS Nakusp – first steamship built in Nakusp – here docked at East Robson on the Columbia River 1898

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1896 – SS Trail built in Nakusp, used to haul freight and to push a barge from Revelstoke to Trail. The barge carried coal for the smelter in Trail, then she hauled ore from the smelter to Northport. Here she is docked behind the Rossland at Arrowhead, Upper Arrow Lake, 1898.

???????????????????????????????????1897 – SS Kootenay built in Nakusp and launched in April – group posing in front of sternwheeler on frozen Upper Arrow Lake ca. 1920


1897 – SS Rossland built in Nakusp and launched without furniture, fittings or windowpanes so that the SS Lytton could be withdrawn at last for repairs, here seen sailing on Upper Arrow Lake (1898- 1916).


1898 – SS Minto built in Nakusp, parts from Toronto, shipped to Nakusp in 1000 parts. First steel hull on the Arrow Lakes and named after Canada’s Governor General. It was meant to go to the Stikine River for the Gold Rush. The picture was taken at Arrowhead on Upper Arrow Lake, 1952.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????1902 – SS Revelstoke built in Nakusp, used to take tourists between Revelstoke and Downie Creek. It was the last sternwheeler to run the fast water of the Columbia River Canyon from 1902 to 1915.

1906 – prosperous fruit trade began on the Arrow Lakes

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1911 – SS Bonnington built in Nakusp; largest steamer on the Arrow Lakes; was to be used to carry passengers for a proposed circle tour by CPR (Revelstoke to Arrowhead by rail, Arrow Head to Robson by steamer, Robson to Nelson by rail, Nelson to Lardeau by steamer, Lardeau to Trout Lake City by rail, Beaton to Arrow Head by steamer, Arrow Head to Revelstoke by rail); launched in April and a half day holiday was declared in Nakusp. On the picture above the derelict SS Bonnington docked at CPR wharf, Nakusp, 1940 or 1941; Fauquier – Needles ferry temporarily docked at left for repairs.

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