The sternwheelers were the major supply lifeline for Dawson City up until about fifty years ago when the highway went in. The S.S. Klondike is the last of the big steamers (now drydocked) remaining.
It carried essential cargo down the river. Essential cargo like booze.
Lots and lots of booze.
It took a lot of wood to run these steam-driven boats. Supplying wood for the paddle-wheelers was a major industry.
And yet more booze.
And who could survive without their daily can of Borden's Reindeer Milk?
The paddlewheelers were like tinder boxes and those that weren't wrecked on the river went up in flames. The S.S. Klondike is now fitted with modern fire-extinguishing systems.
Practicing fire drills.
This is only a taste of the S.S. Klondike. The tours and interesting and informative and there's something about standing on the big boat that makes you feel like time has been, somehow, altered.
If you're in the area and haven't been, I highly recommend a visit.
(Thanks to my Mum for all the pictures in this entry.)