Researching the Klondike Gold Rush Steamers: Of Archives, Shipwrecks & Legends

Guest Speaker: Robert D. (Bob) Turner, Curator Emeritus, Royal BC Museum; heritage consultant, photographer and author.

The great Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s and the subsequent rushes to Nome, Fairbanks and other Alaska strikes brought gold seekers to the Pacific Coast from all over the world. To reach the Klondike in the Yukon, hundreds of small boats and dozens of steam-powered paddle wheelers were built and taken to the Yukon River. Subsequently, river steamers became the life-lines of many communities. Bob Turner’s work on the history of the Yukon River steamers has taken him to archives and libraries in places such as St. Louis, Kew, Dawson City, Victoria, Seattle, Juneau and Fairbanks. In this talk, Bob will share some of his stories, photographs and discoveries, and present the history of vessels and highlight the careers of some of the people who were drawn to the Klondike.

Bob Turner is a curator emeritus at the Royal BC Museum and a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He is the author of 18 books on transportation history and has had many articles and reviews published along with about 4000 photographs. His most recent book is The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers, A History of Steam Navigation on the Yukon River.

 This event is being hosted by Friends of the BC Archives


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