The Skeena began her work on the Skeena River in 1909 under the command of Captain Magar. She and the other four Foley, Welch and Stewart sternwheelers had their work cut out for them. The construction of the railway from Prince Rupert to Hazelton was one of the most difficult sections of track that would ever be laid in North America. This 186 mile stretch would take nearly four years to build and would employ thousands of workers. The Skeena was unique in that she was used primarily for delivering food supplies to the work camps along the river. In fact, she carried so much of meatpacker Pat Burns products that she was often mistakenly called his boat.
In 1914, Captain Charles Seymour purchased the Skeena and took her down to the Fraser River. For eleven years the devotion of her skipper-owner kept her plying the river past Surrey, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Langley and Mission. But when Captain Seymour died in 1925 she lost her only advocate and was sold and converted to a floating barge for an oil company. Her departure ended the historic era of sternwheelers on the lower Fraser River.