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The Yukon Sternwheeler Nora

by Murray Lundberg

Northern Ships and Shipping

The information on the Nora that follows is simply a cut-and-paste from my database, compiled from a wide variety of sources, primarily government records at the Yukon Archives, and newspapers.
  • Canadian Shipping Registry #103915

  • wooden sternwheeler; 79.5 feet long, with 16 foot beam and 4.3 foot hold. Gross tonnage 100.93, registered as 63.59 tons.

  • powered by two horizontal high-pressure engines built in 1898 by Albion Iron works of Victoria. The cylinders were 7 inch diameter, with 42 inch stroke, producing 3.3 NHP (Affleck).

  • 1898, built at Lake Bennett by Bert Fowler, for the Bennett Lake & Klondyke Navigation Co., Otto Partridge, manager. The Dawson Daily News reported that the Flora, Nora and Ora "were constructed at Wheaton river, ...from lumber sawed in the woods by the company's sawmill. The machinery, which was manufactured by the Albion Iron Works of Victoria, was brought over the pass at a great cost."

  • offered running water, which was "a zinc bucket which one lowered over the side of the steamer" (Downs, p.72) Ad for Sternwheeler Nora, 1898

  • 1898, Flora was taken through Miles Canyon, to run from Whitehorse to Five Fingers; the Nora remained on the upper lakes, while the Ora worked from Five Fingers to Dawson (Klondike Nugget, Oct. 1).

  • August 8, 1898, the ad to the right appeared in the Vancouver Daily World.

  • September 2, 1898, took William Ogilvie and his party of government employees as far as Whitehorse Rapids, where they transferred to another boat.

  • July 1899, fare from Bennett to Taku is $25 with meal, $22.50 without (Atlin Claim, July 1).

  • 1899, running from Bennett to Canyon City "every other day" (Skagway Daily Alaskan, Sept. 9).

  • September 29, 1899, took Dominion Surveyor George White-Fraser and his outfit from Bennett to Tagish, where his horses were dropped off with the police, then on to where he estimated the BC border crossed Taku Arm (Dept.of Interior, 1900, p.29)

  • October 28, 1899, wrecked at Marsh Lake; raised and repaired.

  • November 29, 1900, with the Flora and Ora, transferred to the Klondyke Corporation of Victoria.

  • 1900, in command of Captain R. Fox.

  • 1900, run through Miles Canyon to work the Whitehorse-Dawson run.

  • 1900, for much of the season, medical inspections were required as the boats arrived at Dawson; the Nora arrived on July 15, 27, and August 5. After August 24, inspections were done at Log Cabin (GOV 1684, f.71).

  • 1901, all 3 boats leased by R.W. Calderhead (White Horse Star, May 15).

  • November 8, 1901, photo of her trying to land through the ice at Dawson, in Cohen,p.64. That was the latest a steamer had ever arrived at Dawson (Klondike Sun, May 30, 1902).

  • 1903, replaced by the Thistle; dismantled, hull used as barge.


  • The Nora at Canyon City, 1899, with the Gleaner and Australian. Photo by E.A. Hegg (YA #2695).
  • the Nora at Canyon City. Photo by H.J. Goetzman, 1898. Goetzman, Souvenir of the Klondike.
Sternwheeler Nora at Fort Selkirk, ca. 1900
Sternwheeler Nora at Fort Selkirk, ca. 1900. Photo by Case & Draper.