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The two RV Gypsies toured the SS Klondike
in Whitehorse, Canada
July 5, 2016

history bookSS Klondike was the name of two sternwheelers, the second now a national historic site located in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Both ran freight between Whitehorse and Dawson City along the Yukon River from 1921-1936 and 1937-1950, respectively.

Klondike I was built in 1921 and had the distinction of having 50% more capacity than a regular sternwheeler, while still having the shallow draft and meeting the size requirements in order to travel down the Yukon River. Klondike I had a cargo capacity of 270 metric tons without having to push a barge.

Klondike I ran aground in June 1936 in 'The Thirty Mile' section of the Yukon River. The British-Yukon Navigation Company (a subsidiary of the White Pass and Yukon Route railway company) salvaged much of the ship and cannibalized the wreckage to build Klondike II the following year.

Klondike II carried freight until 1950. Due to the construction of a highway connecting Dawson City and Whitehorse, many sternwheelers were decommissioned. In an attempt to save Klondike II, she was converted into a cruise ship. The venture shut down in 1955 due to lack of interest, and Klondike II was beached in the Whitehorse shipyards.

The ship was donated to Parks Canada and was gradually restored until 1966, when city authorities agreed to move the ship to its present location, then part of a squatter's residence. The task required three bulldozers, eight tons of Palmolive soap, a crew of twelve men, and three weeks to complete. Greased log rollers eased the process.

On 24 June 1967, Klondike II was designated a National Historic Site of Canada, and she is now open during the summer as a tourist attraction. Entrance is free for a self-guided tour, but there is a small charge for the brochure.

S.S. Klondike and sign S.S. Klondike
S.S. Klondike's paddlewheel Lee Duquette and the S.S. Klondike's paddlewheel
sign about the S.S. Klondike sign about moving the S.S. Klondike
 S.S. Klondike
inside the S.S. Klondike Lee Duquette inside the S.S. Klondike
Lee Duquette in the engine room Lee Duquette by a big fan
fire wood barrels
shredded whole wheat boxes Lincoln brand oranges
boxes of supplies big fire extinguisher
life boat sleeping cabin
engines inside the SS Klondike

Lee went up a narrow staircase to view the upper level of the SS Klondike.

Lee Duquette in the stairwell
Karen Duquette on the S.S. Klondike Karen Duquette on the S.S. Klondike

Below: Lee played fireman with the water buckets. (He was a volunteer fireman for many years in Terryville, Connecticut).

Lee plays fireman witht he water buckets upper deck of the SS Klondike

Lee trying the Ring Toss game. He did not do very well, and neither did Karen.

Lee trying the Ring Toss game Lee trying the Ring Toss game
Lee Duquette sign
galley galley
supplies Lee Duquette and a lifeboat

View of the surrounding river as seen from the upper deck of the SS Klondike and a view as seen while standing outside beside the SS Klondike

View of the surrouding river View of the surrouding river
look below

please continue on to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies Continue on as the two RV Gypsies saw wildlife and traveled through Yukon - Haines Junction, Klune Lake, Burwash Landing.


go back to the SD menu Return to the Yukon Territory 2016 menu to continue the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in 2016.


please continue on to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies If you have seen all of the Yukon Territory, please continue on to Alaska