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The Yukon River Sternwheeler Zealandian

by Murray Lundberg

Northern Ships and Shipping

The information on the Zealandian 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 White Horse Star (Star) and Klondike Nugget (KN).
  • C.S.Reg. #107830, registered at Victoria.
  • wooden sternwheeler; 102.0 feet long, with 23.0 foot beam and 5.0 foot hold. Gross tonnage 179.82, registered as 141.18 tons. One deck, carvel build, straight head and square stern, with no bulkheads
  • the engine room was 21 feet long, housing a pair of horizontal, high-pressure, non-condensing steam engines built in 1899 by Sumner Iron Works of Everett, Washington; the cylinders were 10 inch diameter, 48 inch stroke, producing 6.6 NHP.
  • 1899, built at Lake Bennett by Alex Watson of Victoria, for the John Irving Navigation Company (MacBride). Immediately sold to the Canadian Development Company (C.D.Co. letterhead).
  • ca. 1900, taken through Miles Canyon.
  • 1900-1901, wintered at Lower Laberge (Star, May 1).
  • operated on the upper river run by the Canadian Development Co.
  • April 1 1901, all 17 CDCo. steamers were bought by the British Yukon Navigation Company; this included 3 Stikine River boats, 4 lake boats, and 10 Yukon River steamers.
  • October 16, 1901, "... with five scows in tow, passed Five Fingers at 11:40 this morning. She is expected [at Dawson] Monday, and will probably leave the day following. No passengers will be taken as the staterooms are dismantled and she may not go any farther than Hootalinqua or the foot of Labarge. She will be the last to leave on the White Pass line." (KN)
  • 1902 season crew: Master, Captain R. Cox
  • June 1902, quarantined for 3 weeks in Whitehorse because her crew had been on the WHITE HORSE in Dawson when there was a suspected case of smallpox on board. The quarantine cost the company $5,000, which was reimbursed by the government (COR722).
  • July 1902, put on the Dawson-Eagle run, "where she proved to be a decided success" (COR722)
  • 1903, laid up for most of the season; used only in September.
  • 1903, caught in Dawson for the winter when navigation closed with no warning (they expect manageable ice to run for at least a week first).
  • 1904, made 4 Dawson-Eagle trips, then the run was abandoned as unprofitable (COR722)
  • June 24 1904, "grounded by the head of Rocky Reach 3 miles above Hootalinqua and swung around onto the reef at that point, and finally sunk - Cargo safely transferred and steamer raised and brought to White Horse and hauled out on Ways. Estimated cost repairs $28.00." (COR722)
  • 1904, ANGLIAN, BAILEY, YUKONER and ZEALANDIAN "seem to have passed their days of usefulness for economical reasons in these waters." (COR722)
  • 1904 was the last year she was put in service; she was put on the ways, and later sidetracked, at Whitehorse.
  • 1931, demolished at Whitehorse (MacBride).


  • ZEALANDIAN docked at a wood camp, ca.1901 (YA #3117)