Find out how, in the remote Red River Valley, a monopoly had developed in the steamboat trade, and two separate attempts were made to provide competition in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The first ended when the competitors joined forces and returned the steamboat industry back to a monopoly; the second attempt ended when the larger company sabotaged and sank their new competitor’s boats.
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, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.
Learn more at the Prairie Public web site.