Boiler

Boiler

Large metal steam boiler with electrical generator

Boiler made of a horizontal cylinder attached to one end with a top-round base, while the other end is damaged and not attached to anything. Along the length of the boiler is a smaller cylinder perched on top of the horizontal cylinder. The smaller cylinder is capped on either side and is fastened by means of two short and stout metal ducts. The free hanging end is badly damaged and the entire metal surface is red in colour. Large dual flywheel steam powered electrical generator. Connecting pipes and hoses are missing.

This wood fired boiler generated the electricity for the Keno City area until they built the dam in the early 1950s. This boiler was moved to Keno from the Klondike, where it had been used to thaw ground in the gold fields. It was brought by steamboat and then hauled by a team of eight horses to its resting place on the confluence of the Duncan and Lightning Creek. A 20 foot by 30 foot powerhouse was built for the wood burning boiler, which provided power to Keno and its environs. The boiler ran on two cords a day and required a man to keep the fire burning. The powerhouse provided 75 kilowatts of power, supplying electricity to the township in addition to the lucrative mining operations. The electricity generated by the powerhouse was the only power source in this area until the Mayo Hydro Dam was built in 1951 at the urging of The United Keno Hill Mines Limited. The electricity from this dam currently powers Keno City and Mayo, while supplementing the power to Dawson City and the area between the centers.

Narration - Davie Sparks: When the boiler arrived by steamboat and then dragged into position by the horse team, the men re-assembling the thermal boiler realized that they were missing the steam release valves. Knowing that it would take weeks for the replacement valves to arrive or possibly longer if they had to order the valves from 'outside' of Yukon, the men tried to come up with a solution. When Davie Sparks spoke up and offered his valves that he just happened to have in his cabin. He supposed he had held on to them for just such an occasion. He was a veracious collector of things and a shameless pack rat, but on the day the boiler was connected, the townspeople of Keno were gladly appreciative that he was!

Institution

Keno City Mining Museum, Keno City

Accession Number

2007.1.77

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