a counteruniformitariansism weblog


I just ran across this old photo that I took of a 1985 sunrise rondy-voo with the Tanana Chief (left) on the Kuskokwim River in Alaska.

The Kuskokwim runs somewhat parallel to the Yukon and empties into the Bering Sea. The Tanana Chief worked out of the town of Bethel, and was once a stern wheeler. Years ago they simply cut the big paddle wheel part off the stern and stuck a couple of 6-71's in the bilge with propellers in tunnels and away it went! It had a HUGE open space inside (perhaps the steam boilers were there at one time). The Eskimo crew had outfitted the common area there with old couches and whatnot to make it a real party boat. It was a river tug with a storied history, and was still a working boat when I saw it, as you can see from the photo.

PS-I did a search on Google for the Tanana Chief, and the only boat I come up with is some sort of "replica" stern wheeler that runs around in the Fairbanks area. I suspect this old boat in this picture is in the riverboat boneyard back in an arm of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel with it's old mates...


Anonymous said...

Someone who was in Bethel then suggests the Tanana Chief would have been moved by Binkley to be one of those replicas in Fairbanks.

Mr.Natural said...

Could be...I don't think that little Tanana Chief up on Fairbanks looks anything like the old one in Bethel...could be though. Thanks for stopping by.