- SS Keenora
steamboatSS "Keenora" is probably the best-known and most loved of all Lake Winnipegsteamboats. The vessel began operations as a steamboat on Lake of the Woodsin Ontario, where from she was transported to Winnipeg, Manitobaand rebuilt. Currently retired from service, the "Keenora" is the fireplace mantelof collection at the Marine Museum of Manitobain Selkirk, Manitoba.
The steamboat "Keenora" was built in 1897 for passenger and cargo traffic along the
Ontario's Lake of the Woods, where she ran successfully for over a decade, serving isolated communities on the lake as distant as Rainy River. When the Ontario and Rainy River Railway was built in 1901 traffic volumes began to decline, following the takeover of this railway by Canadian Northern Railwayin 1915, the vessel was sold to a consortium of Winnipeg lawyers. The "Keenora" was dismantled and transported in sections to Winnipeg on railroad flatcars in 1917.
Once reassembled in Winnipeg, she received an additional 30' (10m) extension on her hull, increaseing her overall length to 158 feet (41,8 m). For a season she served as a floating dance hall in downtown Winnipeg, but was later assigned to cargo and passenger traffic on Lake Winnipeg and on Red River. A total of 65 passenger cabins were constructed, and a new machinery was installed. The machinery guaranteed a speed of 15 knots (27,8 km/h).
The regular route started from Winnipeg, with a turnaround point located at the northern end of Lake Winnipeg, at Warren Landing on the
Big Mossy Point. From Warren Landing the passengers and cargo were transferred to a smaller steamboat, which covered the last 30 kilometres (20 miles) to Norway House. The "Keenora" was clearly a too large vessel to enter the shallow Nelson River.
Her career ended in the 1960s when she could not meet the new maritime regulations. At first she was destined to be scrapped, but was salvaged to be the
cornerstoneof Marine Museum of Manitoba's collections.
* Russell, Frances: "Mistehay Sakahegan: The Great Lake", ISBN 1-896150-10-1 (Heartland Associates Publishing and Communications)
* [http://www.marinemuseum.ca/ Marine Museum of Manitoba (Selkirk) Inc.]
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