We are open every day in July and August from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free!
Jullian Mills, a steamship captain for 45 years on Alberta’s northern waterways retired in 1962 and moved to Edmonton in 1970. He then captained the Klondike Queen, a diesel-powered paddle wheeler that offered cruises on the North Saskatchewan River to Big Island, a recreation park near Edmonton. (It is believed that the North Saskatchewan waters were too dangerous to keep the paddle wheeler as a cruise boat thus it was sold.)
In the 1960s, after Karen and Les Solymos took over the Waskesiu marina, they looked for a suitable boat for pleasure cruises on Waskesiu Lake. They brought the paddlewheeler to Prince Albert National Park from Edmonton where it had been in dry-dock.
Karen Solymos wanted the paddlewheeler to have a Cree name because Waskesiu is a Cree word (meaning Red Deer) so she chose Neo-watin which means “no wind”, ideal conditions for a paddlewheeler.
The Neo-watin’s inaugural trip was a charter for the very first Premiers’ Conference to be held in Waskesiu.
The Solymos family operated the Neo-watin until the spring of 1975 when it was sold in an auction sale at the marina. A group of Waskesiu businessmen bought the Neo-watin, boats and motors.
Dave Balon took over as marina manager, and later became owner of just the Neo-watin with partners Vic Davidson and Joe Krieg. They added food and beverage services on the Neo-watin.
Over the years that the Neo-watin cruised its waters, hundreds of passengers enjoyed a leisurely hour gliding along the shoreline of Waskesiu Lake.
Copyright © Waskesiu Heritage Museum.
All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.
Interested in using material and information on this site for educational purposes? Please contact us.
Web site by UncommonSense Business Solutions.