The “Columbian” was built in 1898 in Victoria, B.C. for the Canadian Development Company. After steaming from Victoria to St. Michael, Alaska, she worked on the Yukon River three seasons for her owners. She was finally purchased in 1901 by White Pass for service between Whitehorse and Dawson.
On September 25, 1906, while sailing for Dawson with a compliment of passengers and a load of explosives, a crew member accidentally fired a shotgun blast into a barrel of dynamite. This precipitated a massive explosion killing 5 people. The vessel was a total loss.
The destruction of the Columbian was the worst accident ever to occur on the Yukon River. From that day forward the White Pass outlawed the use of firearms aboard their vessels.