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NENANA (steamer) - Fairbanks, Alaska
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 64° 50.322 W 147° 46.345
6W E 463356 N 7190701
Quick Description: Historic stern-wheeler steamer boat listed as a National Historic Landmark on display in Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 2/18/2011 8:31:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMARJQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Long Description:
Two-hundred and thirty-six feet in length, the Nenana was broad in beam (42 feet) and rated at over 500 gross tons when launched in 1933, but laden had a draft of only three feet. During her first year in operation her wood hull was found to be too flexible and in the winter of 1934 her hull was strengthened. To lighten the stern a smaller shaft was installed and the 28-foot sternwheel rebuilt. Hydraulic steering gear was also added at this time.

Built to serve as a packet, carrying both passengers and freight, the Nenana had accommodations for 35 passengers on her cabin deck and could carry a variety of freight on her cargo deck. The Texas deck provided staterooms for the crew of thirty-two.

Her two horizontal steam engines, built in Seattle by the Washington Iron Works and transported to Alaska for installation, were at first powered by steam generated by wood fires, but in 1948 a conversion was made and oil heated her boilers. In 1954, just before the boat was taken out of opera- tion, she was reconditioned at a cost of $164,409.20 by a Whitehorse, Y.T., boatyard.

During nearly ten years of neglect, from 1958-1965, souvenir hunters stripped the Nenana of hardware, ornaments, and machinery. But her exterior was restored in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration.

Tne Nenana is perhaps the best surviving material record of an era when scores of sternwheel packets operated on the Yukon River and its tribu- taries to serve the towns and villages of interior Alaska. Built at the end of this era, the Nenana was the last steamboat to offer passenger service in Alaska. This was a primary means of transportation in the North from 1898 until after World War II when cheap air transportation was available.

Built at Nenana for the Alaska Railroad by the Berg Construction Company of Seattle, the Nenana usually operated in the Nenana and Tower Yukon trade, making a round trip between Fairbanks and Marshall every two weeks between the middle of May and October first. Although she stopped carrying pas- sengers after the 1949 season, the Nenana continued to deliver freight to river villages until 1955. In that year the Alaska Railroad leased her to Yutana Barge Lines on a 22-year contract, but she was laid up at the close of the season.

In June of 1956 she was acquired by Greater Fairbanks Opportunities, Inc., which operated her as a museum in 1957-58. After a three-day voyage with a volunteer crew on the Chena and Nenana Rivers in 1958, the boat was abandoned until 1965. Then she was moved to the outskirts of Fairbanks as a part of the 1967 Alaska Centennial Celebration, and' remains there today as a record of Alaska's past." - National Register Nomination form

Street address:
Pioneer Park
Fairbanks, Alaska


County / Borough / Parish: Fairbanks North Star

Year listed: 1972

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1925-1949

Historic function: Transportation

Current function: Recreation And Culture

Privately owned?: no

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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annybutcher visited NENANA (steamer) - Fairbanks, Alaska 7/21/2011 annybutcher visited it