P. J. Christensen, of Skagway, expects to get away this morning for Bennett where he will begin important work shortly in connection with Yukon-Nome traffic. He will bulld a steamer at Bennett to descend the Yukon waters their full length and then take the outside passage to Nome. He will also build a fleet of scows to go from Bennett to Nome. Beside this, Mr. Christensen will have charge of the wood repairs to the Bennett lake steamer Clifford Sifton, and will build a number of scows for the Lakes and the river.
Others are also planning to have scows and boats go down the river from Bennett, LaBarge and other points this season, and nearly eyery day some new announcement of such a scheme is made and there are indications that the Skagway-Yukon river route to Nome is to receive a share of patronage from people now in the states.
"I have contracts," says Mr. Christensen, "for the building of twenty-one scows at Bennett, the same to be ready for use at the opening of navigation. Six of these scows will go through to Nome, and a part of the freight they will carry has arrived at Bennett.
"I bullt scows at Bennett last year, and seven of the number that I know of from my yards, are now at Dawson being prepared for descending the river to Nome at the opening of navigation.
"It will probably not be until the first of May when | begin. to build scows, but will then put on fifty-four men and turn out the completed craft in short order. Last year I built twenty-seven scows in twenty-one days. I expect to be able to get all the labor needed without trouble.
"The steamer which I am to build will be about 125 feet long, have a capacity of sixty tons, and be able to ride the seas in crossing Norton sound like a bird.
"The steamer will probably get away for her long journey the last of July. She will tow four or five scows. I shall not go down the river until after the steamer."
Otto Partridge, owner of the Mill Haven mill on Lake Bennett. who was in the city a few days ago, said he had already secured orders for fifty scows, part of them to be delivered at Bennett. This company has representatives at Bennett, Caribou, White Horse and Skagway.
The Bennett Transfer & Navigation Co., J. L. Gage, of Skagway, manager, is also preparing to soon begin building scows at Bennett.
The Victoria-Yukon Trading Company, with its mill and northern headquarters at Bennett, Is also in the scow and boat building field again, and will turn out all sizes of craft, The company will also engage extensively in lumber manufacturing, and deliver lumber at White Horse and Caribou at the opening of navigation. The company also has a stock of general merchandise and chandlery. Fred G. White is manager.
The Yukon Consolidated Company, with Mike King, manager, will build a sawmill at Caribou, and soon open a lumber and scow vard at that point.
Some of the Atlin mills propose shipping lumber down the lakes to White Horse this season.
Altogether the boat yards and sawmills of the Upper Yukon basin promise to be busy this season.