SS Grahame

SS Grahame was a wooden sternwheeled steamship built in Fort Chipewyan, District of Athabasca, by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1882–1883 for service on the Athabaska River, lower Peace River, the Clearwater River, and the upper Slave River.[1][2]

SS Grahame
SS Grahame, at Fort McMurray, in 1899
Name: S.S. Grahame
Owner: Hudson's Bay Company
Builder: John W. Smith
Laid down: 1882
Launched: 1883
General characteristics
Length: 135 ft (41 m)

Grahame was the first steam powered vessel in the region.[3]

The engines were built in the south, and shipped overland. The ship was 135 feet (41 m) long, and could carry 140–150 tons of cargo.[4] Construction began under the direction of John W. Smith in August 1882, and Grahame was completed in September 1883 and began regular service in the district in the summer of 1884.[5]

The vessel carried an official delegation from Canada's federal government to negotiate Treaty 8 with the First Nations in 1899.[4]


  1. McCormack, Patricia Alice (2010). Fort Chipewyan and the Shaping of Canadian History, 1788-1920s. UBC Press. pp. 75, 80, 128, 141, 199, 286. ISBN 9780774816687. The Hudson's Bay Company launched the Grahame at Fort Chipewyan in 1883 for service on the Athabasca, lower Peace, and upper Slave rivers. This ship could carry 140 tons. According to the Edmonton Bulletin, "The Indians were terribly astonished at their first sight of a steamboat". It ran from Fort McMurray to Smith's Landing, up the Clearwater River to the Methye Portage, and up the Peace River to the Vermilion Chutes.
  2. Danylchuk, Jack (2007). "Back on the River". Up Here. Archived from the original on 2012-11-29. McKay's father had worked as a deckhand on the Grahame, a Hudson's Bay Co. sternwheeler built in Fort Chipewyan with milled lumber, its furnace and boilers hauled north from Edmonton. Launched in 1883, the Grahame picked up freight and passengers below the rapids on the Athabasca, churning between Fort McMurray, Fort Chip and Fort Smith.
  3. "Fort McMurray tourism". Archived from the original on 2011-08-09. The Hudson's Bay Company sternwheeler steamer, the SS Grahame, made its first trips on the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers in 1883 marking the arrival of sternwheeler travel to the area. The trip from Athabasca for river to Fort McMurray was an adventurous and extremely dangerous one as scows and later paddle steamers had to traverse the Grand Rapids.
  4. Fumoleau, René (2004). "As Long As This Land Shall Last: A History of Treaty 8 and Treaty 11, 1870-1939". University of Calgary Press. pp. 11, 89. ISBN 9781552380635. Transportation in the North was further changed by the appearance in 1883 of the steamboat Grahame. Built by the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Chipewyan, the Grahame was a 135-foot vessel capable of carrying 150 tons of freight. It travelled the Athabasca and Slave rivers between Fort McMurray and Smith's Landing (Fort Fitzgerald).
  5. The Edmonton Bulletin, June 21, 1884
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.