Mucktavius and the SS Keenora on Lake of the Woods

by Braden Murray


The SS Keenora operated on Lake of the Woods from 1897 – 1917. For the majority of the time on the lake it teamed up with the SS Agwinde to bring passengers and cargo from Rat Portage/Kenora to Fort Frances. While the flat bottomed SS Agwinde made the run down the Rainy River, the SS Keenora plied the big water on the Lake of the Woods.

For many of the 20 years the SS Keenora spent on Lake of the Woods, she was piloted by Muctavius, pictured here. This is a view of Muctavius at the helm in the pilothouse of the SS Keenora. Before it was rebuilt for use on the Red River and Lake Winnipeg, the pilothouse of the SS Keenora was exactly what you see before you— protected only by canvass tarps and largely open to the elements. Though there were probably some pretty cold days at the helm, that unencumbered vantage point was necessary for Muctavius to be able to see reefs, rocks, deadhead logs, and other hazards on the Lake.

Photographer: Carl G. Linde

This is the last week of the exhibit—Strike A Pose: Portraits from the Collection.
To say it’s been a weird year is an understatement! So many haven’t been able to come in and see the exhibit. For the last week of the show we’ll be posting some of our favourite images from the show.
It’s not too late to come see the entire exhibit— It closes on Saturday, March 27.  Call to book an appointment today!  807-467-2105

Did you know?

In 1870 the Wolseley Expedition went through this area on route to the Red River Valley. Major General Garnet Wolseley got impatient and set out to cross the lake in a storm.  He got lost on the Lake of the Woods for two whole days!