Construction At The Landing
Rivermen and boatbuilders at a construction camp,
Athabasca Landing, 1913.
Provincial Archives of Alberta, Aca.33.
The steamer to be built at the Athabasca Landing this winter by the HB Co is to be 144 feet keel and 26 feet beam, a sternwheeler with engines having a 12 by 42 inch stroke. The machinery is to be furnished by the Iowa Iron Works, the same establishment which furnished that of the Grahame. The engines are of the same power as those of the same model of the Grahame. The hull of the new boat will be on much the same model as the Grahame but will be 14 ft longer with 2 ft greater breadth of beam. The machinery and supplies will be brought in the fall. The lumber will be sawn at the Landing . . . About 10 men will be employed on her all winter. It is expected to have her completed next May . . . The boat will be built on plans drawn by Capt. Smith who will superintend the work. This steamer will supply the missing link in the chain of steamboat communication reaching from Winnipeg to the Arctic Ocean, all owned and operated directly or indirectly by the HB Co, and will completely establish the northern trade by the Edmonton route. (September 24, 1887 report in the Edmonton Bulletin about building the S.S. Athabasca quoted in Athabasca Historical Society 1986, 31-32)
After we had been there for a couple of days a carload of lumber came in for the scows that had to be built to take the freight down the river. After it was unloaded we started to saw the ribs for them out. They were 2 by 4's 10 feet long and the side ones were four feet long. We put a frame up. Put a tarp on it and an air-tight heater in it to work in. As it was pretty cold we had to put a gas lantern in it as there was no power or windows for light. Getting around 50 ribs sawed, we had to nail them together, then take them outside and pile them, and start all over again.