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The Yukon River Sternwheeler Julia B.

by Murray Lundberg

Northern Ships and Shipping

The information on the Julia B. that follows is simply a cut-and-paste from my database, compiled from a wide variety of sources, primarily the White Pass & Yukon Route corporate records (COR 722) at the Yukon Archives and newspapers including the
  • U.S.Reg. #205169, registered at St.Michael.
  • sternwheeler; 158.7 feet long, with 38 foot beam and 6 foot hold; gross tonnage 835.33, registered as 511.08 tons. One deck, 2 masts, sharp head and square stern.
  • powered by a pair of horizontal high-pressure steam engines built by James Reese & Sons of Pittsburgh; the cylinders had 8 inch diameter and 72 inch stroke.
  • 1908, built at Ballard, Washington by Cook & Lake, for Captains Brown and McCarthy (McDonald?); transferred to their operating company, Merchant's Yukon Transportation Company.
  • named for Julia Burichter, later with the A.Y.N. at Dawson (MacBride).
  • towed north, with 2 barges, by the A.G. LINDSAY (Affleck).
  • used mainly on the St.Michael-Fairbanks run (MacBride)
  • July 4, 1912, at Chena (DDN, Jul 4)
  • 1914, bought by the newly-formed American Yukon Navigation Company.
  • 1918-1919, operating on the St.Michael-Tanana run (COR722).
  • July 1918, an unnamed deckhand was lost overboard (COR722).
  • 1919, taken out of service in September, replaced by the LOUISE; she was caught in a heavy storm going from the river to St.Michael, and her towing post were torn out and the house and rudders damaged. Repairs made in October, at a cost of about $1,600 (COR722)
  • 1923, in service
  • 1923-1924, wintered at the Stewart Slough, along with 13 AYN barges (COR722)
  • fall 1924 (Knutson), put on the ways at the Dawson Shipyards, now known as the "Sternwheeler Graveyard". She was never used again.
  • 1943 salvage assessment by Gaudin reported her as being "fairly stripped;" the funnel was gone at the rivets, but the hog chains were still in place, and the boiler seemed OK.
  • 1943, sold to the Alaska Railway (Affleck). This is unlikely given Gaudin's salvage report above, and the fact that her wreckage is still at the "Sternwheeler Graveyard".


  • photo of "The Julia B's last trip", lashed to the Canadian, by Geoff Bidlake, 1924 (YA: Bidlake collection, PHO 234, 83/90, #77)
  • n.d., photo of soldiers "wooding her up", in Cohen, p.40.