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Sternwheeler Kuskanook on the West Arm

SS Kuskanook leaving Nelson, mid 1920s. Image courtesy of Touchstones Nelson Archives

Quick Facts


Year Built: 1906

Location: Nelson Shipyard

Company: Canadian Pacific Railway

Year Withdrawn: 1931

Notes: After its retirement was to be used as a floating hotel, but was never successful. It sank at Kokanee Landing and sections of the passenger decks were salvaged for use as cabins.

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The SS Kuskanook

Sternwheeler Kuskanook on the West Arm

An elegant lake boat, the SS Kuskanook was built in Nelson for the CPR by James Bulger in 1905-1906. Launched on May 5, 1906, it entered service on July 19 and replaced the SS Moyie on the Nelson - Kootenay Landing route. With the launch of the SS Nasookin in 1913 the SS Kuskanook was placed on the Nelson - Kaslo run. It remained on this route until 1931, when the extension of the rail line from Procter to Kootenay Landing ended the 'Crow Boat' (Nelson - Kootenay Landing) run and the tri-weekly service of the SS Kuskanook.

The SS Kuskanook cost $104,145.37 to build, $10 000 of which was for interior fittings. It was 60 metres (196 feet) long and nine metres (30 feet) wide, with three decks, 22 staterooms, a crew of 35 and able to carry 450 passengers. Built as an express passenger boat meeting the train at Kootenay Landing, it had a large dining room and salons. The ladies' saloon was outfitted with a piano at the stern, the dining room had seating for 32 at four tables, and the smoking saloon at the bow and the observation saloon on the third deck both provided room for passengers out side of the 37 staterooms.

The SS Kuskanook was the fastest boat on the lake (the lake 'flyer') throughout its career. Due to the maintenance required on its wooden hull, it was retired in 1931 while the older, steel-hulled SS Moyie continued to work.

A.D. Pochin purchased the SS Kuskanook in 1932 for $1,500 hoping to turn the boat into a floating hotel. When the hotel never materialized, the boat was taken to Kokanee Landing where eventually, the waterlogged wooden hull gave out and it sank in 1936.

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