Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years


Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Top 10

Manitoba History No. 89

No. 89

Fall Field Trip 2019
Field Trip

War Memorials in Manitoba
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old

Abandoned Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Northern Prairie Steamboats: City of Winnipeg

Built in 1875 and christened the Minnesota, the steamer was refurbished in 1881 and renamed City of Winnipeg. Its life was cut short, however, when it was wrecked in September 1881 on Lake Winnipeg. Charles Brydges, the Land Commissioner of the Hudson’s Bay Company, based at Winnipeg, described the loss to his superiors in England in a letter dated 1 October 1881:

“It became ... absolutely necessary to endeavour to get another boat on the [Saskatchewan] river by the opening of navigation next year, and to try & effect this, after arranging with Holcombe’s Co., the City of Winnipeg had her machinery taken out, and a large quantity of lumber put in her. Altho’ it was very late in the year, the urgency of the case caused us to decide to make the effort to tow her across Lake Winnipeg, but unfortunately a storm overtook her, and she had to be abandoned, and became a wreck. Her machinery was all safely landed at Grand Rapids and a good deal of her cabin work was saved, but the hull is a wreck.” [1]

View inside the passenger lounge of the steamboat City of Winnipeg on the Red River, by Duffin & Co., circa 1881.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Transportation - Boat - City of Winnipeg - 3.


1. The Letters of Charles John Brydges, 1879-1882. The Hudson’s Bay Record Society, Winnipeg, 1977, page 205.

Page revised: 7 June 2015

Back to top of page


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.