The Inlander was a sternwheeler that worked on the Skeena River in British Columbia, Canada from 1910 until 1912. She was owned by the Prince Rupert and Skeena River Navigation Company which was a syndicate of Skeena River businessmen who planned to use the "Inlander" as a passenger and freight steamer during the busy years of Grand Trunk Pacific Railway construction.cite book|last=Bennett|first=Norma|title=Pioneer Legacy: Chronicles of the Lower Skeena River|year=1997|publisher=Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation

Her route took her from Port Essington to Hazelton, over 180 miles of one of the most treacherous rivers that was ever used for steam navigation.cite book |last=Downs |first=Art |title=Paddlewheels on the Frontier Volume 1|year=1971|publisher=Foremost Publishing|isbn=0888260334|pages="various"] rp|61

Captains and crew

The "Inlander's" first captain was Joseph Bucey, who had been the pilot of the "Hazelton". Some of the other officers were Robert Ryder, who was the chief engineer and Jerry Cunningham, the ship's mate. Wiggs O'Neill was the purser. O'Neill would become the foremost historian on the Skeena River sternwheelers and in his later years would write "Steamboat Days on the Skeena River" and "Whitewater Men of the Skeena". Wiggs Creek near Smithers is named in his honour. [BCGNIS|39099|Wiggs Creek]

Captain Bucey left the "Inlander" in 1911 and appeared the following year as the captain of the "BC Express" on the Fraser River.

For the rest of the 1911 season and through to her final voyage in the fall of 1912, the "Inlander" was piloted by Captain John Bonser. It was fitting that Bonser would pilot the last sternwheeler on the Skeena River, as he had pioneered it twenty years earlier in 1892 for the Hudson's Bay Company in the "Caledonia", naming many of the rapids and canyons along the route. The "Inlander" would be the last of many notable riverboats under Bonser's command, among them, the "Nechacco" and the "Northwest".cite web| last =Roger Knowles Thompson| title =Steamboating Uphill| url =| accessdate = 2007-07-08]

Final voyage

By 1912, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway had reached Hazelton from Prince Rupert and sternwheelers were no longer required on the Skeena River. One by one they departed until the "Inlander" was the last one left. Some like the "Operator", "Conveyor" and "Skeena" would go on to work on the Fraser River, while others like the "Hazelton" would be dismantled. The "Inlander" left Hazelton for the final time at noon on September 10, 1912. Captain Bonser blew the "Inlander's" whistle as a final farewell to the crowd that had gathered on the shore. When she reached Port Essington, the Inlander was pulled up onto her ways and simply left to rot.cite book |last=Downs |first=Art |title=Paddlewheels on the Frontier Volume 1|year=1971|publisher=Foremost Publishing|isbn=0888260334|pages=72

Like the "Inlander, Captain Bonser had also made his final voyage. He died the following year on December 26, 1913.] rp|72cite web| last =Roger Knowles Thompson| title =Steamboating Uphill| url =| accessdate = 2007-07-08]

ee also

*Steamboats of the Skeena River
*List of ships in British Columbia

References and further reading

* cite book
title=Pioneer Legacy: Chronicles of the Lower Skeena River
publisher=Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation

* cite book
title=Paddlewheels on the Frontier Volume 1
publisher=Foremost Publishing


External links

*cite web
last =Roger Knowles Thompson
title =Steamboating Uphill
url =
accessdate = 2007-07-09


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  • inlander — noun Date: 1610 one who lives inland …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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