For many years paddle wheelers plied the Yukon River, pushing cargo-laden barges carrying everything from gold dust to passengers, evening gowns to dynamite. Burning wood to create steam, these riverboats used thousands of cords of wood that were stacked at riverside wood camps. They were the lifeline to the outside world, until improved roadways retired them in the 1950s. The S.S. Keno is a riverboat typical of that era.
Located on the Dawson City waterfront, the S.S. Keno National Historic Site is open to the public from mid-May until mid-September.
Stride up the gangplank of the S.S. Keno and into an era when the Yukon’s rivers were its highways and sternwheelers were the main means of travel and trade, practically the only contact with the outside world. A costumed interpreter will introduce you to the famous steam ship Keno and take you back to a world without roads.
At your own pace
Re-live paddlewheeler days at an interpretive exhibit on the freight deck, then settle into the CBC’s documentary Last voyage of the Keno that chronicles the last-ever riverboat trip down the Yukon River to Dawson City in 1960 before she became a National Historic Site.
George Hunter photo exhibit
Head to the Keno's upper deck to view Canadian photographer, George Hunter’s, exhibit Dawson City in the 1950s. George Hunter (1921–2013) is renowned for having three of his images on the Canadian five, ten, and fifty dollar bills. One of the first photographers to be accepted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts he was awarded a lifetime achievement award in 2001 by The Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators.