Learn how, beginning in the late 1880s and early 1900s, the cargo transported on the steamboats changed from buffalo robes and furs to hard spring wheat, in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. As a result, grain elevators were built along the banks of the river, and farmers were able to get their crops to market fairly quickly.
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.