Klahowya (sternwheeler)

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Klahowya (sternwheeler) on Columbia River ca 1910.JPG
Klahowya on the Columbia River ca 1910
Name: Klahowya (CAN #126946[1])
Owner: Columbia River Lumber Company
Port of registry: Golden, BC
Route: Inland British Columbia on Columbia River
Builder: Frank P. Armstrong[2] or George Rury[3]
Launched: 1910 at Golden, BC
In service: 1910
Out of service: 1915
Fate: Removed from service
General characteristics
Type: inland passenger/freighter
Tonnage: 175 gross tons; 111 registered tons
Length: 92 ft (28 m)
Beam: 19 ft (6 m)
Depth: 3.5 ft (1 m) depth of hold
Installed power: twin steam engines, horizontally mounted, 7" bore by 42" stroke, 3 nominal horsepower, manufactured by Albion Iron Works
Propulsion: sternwheel
Notes: Engines from steamer Isabella McCormack

Klahowya was a sternwheel steamer that operated in British Columbia on the Columbia River from 1910 to 1915. The name "Klahowya" is the standard greeting in the Chinook Jargon.

Design and construction[edit]

Klahowya departing Golden, BC, ca 1911

Klahowya was built at Golden, BC.Klahowya 's engines came from Isabella McCormack which had been converted into a houseboat. Klahowya was built by Capt. Frank P. Armstrong (another source gives George Rury as the builder[3]), with the capacity to carry 100 passengers. Armstrong built Klahowya in an unusual way. When the Columbia River was frozen, Armstrong built the vessel on a set of shipways constructed directly on the ice. When the boat was finished, Armstrong cut around the outline of the vessel in the ice, and the boat settled into the water.[2]

Two sources state Klahowya was built for the Columbia River Lumber Company,[1][3] while another source states Klahowya was intended for the increasing tourist trade in the Golden region.[2] Multiple use steamboats were common, and use for lumbering would not have been necessarily inconsistent with tourist applications.


Klahowya on Columbia River

Klahowya operated on the Columbia River from Golden to Columbia Lake. The period of reported operations was brief, from 1910 to 1915. It is possible that Canada's participation in World War I starting in 1914 helped shorten Klahowya's career. A number of steamboats in other areas of inland British Columbia had been built to cater to tourism, which was badly affected by war.[4] Mobilization of men also depressed local businesses such as lumbering, which depended upon their labor.[4] Captain Armstrong himself went overseas during World War I to supervise steamboat operations in war zones in the Middle East.[1]

Removal from service[edit]

Klahowya is reported to have been withdrawn from service in 1915.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Affleck, Edward L., A Century of Paddlewheelers in the Pacific Northwest, the Yukon, and Alaska, at 54, Alexander Nicholls Press, Vancouver, BC 2000 ISBN 0-920034-08-X
  2. ^ a b c Downs, Art, Paddlewheels on the Frontier -- The Story of British Columbia and Yukon Sternwheel Steamers, at 112, Superior Publishing, Seattle WA 1972
  3. ^ a b c McCurdy, H.W., ed., H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, at 174, Superior Publishing, Seattle, WA 1966
  4. ^ a b Turner, Robert D., Sternwheelers and Steam Tugs -- An Illustrated History of the Canadian Pacific Railway's British Columbia Lake and River Service, at 173, Sono Nis Press, Victoria, BC 1984 ISBN 0-919203-15-9

Further reading[edit]

  • Faber, Jim, Steamer's Wake—Voyaging down the old marine highways of Puget Sound, British Columbia, and the Columbia River, Enetai Press, Seattle, WA 1985 ISBN 0-9615811-0-7
  • Timmen, Fritz, Blow for the Landing, Caxton Printers, Caldwell, ID 1972 ISBN 0-87004-221-1