Last updated: June 19, 2020
Steamboats and the development of Alaska
The SS Nenana is a wooden-hulled, western rivers-style sternwheel passenger boat. It is one of only three steam-powered passenger sternwheelers of any kind left in the U.S. and the only large wooden sternwheeler.
The SS Nenana was built in 1933 for Alaska Railroad service on the Yukon, Nenana, and Tanana Rivers. The SS Nenana provided accesss to interior Alaska long before roads could be built. The ship carried military cargo during World War II, including lend-lease aircraft on their way to Russia.
Retired in 1955, Nenana is now resides at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. It is one of the few remaining original steamboats and it represents a period when our nation's rivers were used as major transportation routes.