Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul and Winnipeg. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of pounds of freight across the border. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the United States and Canada that exists to this day in the I29 corridor.
To shine a spotlight on this important piece of prairie history, Steamboats on the Red examines the history of steamboat transportation on the Red River and the impact this important trade route had on the development of the region.
Producer: Kim Stenehjem
Editor: Ben Stommes
Executive Producer: Bob Dambach
Theme song composed by Elisa Korenne
Production funding provided by the following: Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the voters on November 4, 2008, North Dakota Humanities Council, Winnipeg Foundation, and Members of Prairie Public
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of the North Dakota Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.