CN Lake Bennett Menu

This menu was used on a Canadian National steamship to Alaska in 1956. That date means that the ship was either the Prince Rupert or the Prince George. Prince Rupert would have been the same ship that carried yesterday’s menu, but its sister ship, Prince George, had been destroyed in a fire in 1945, so Canadian National ordered a new one of the same name built in British Columbia, which became the largest passenger ship ever built on Canada’s West Coast.

Click image to download a 1.3-MB PDF of this menu.

The cover on this menu shows St. Andrews Church, which was built on the shores of British Columbia’s Lake Bennett during the Klondike Gold Rush era. Some sources say it was built by stampeders who had crossed Chilkoot and White passes in the winter of 1897 and were waiting at Lake Bennett for the ice to break up so they could float the Yukon River to Dawson City, at which time they abandoned the church. But more authoritative sources say the church was built in 1899, after the stampede, to serve people living in the area. In any case, it’s the only gold rush-era building that still survives on the Chilkoot Trail.

The menu itself, like Canadian Pacific Alaska-service menus, is unpriced, indicating the meals came with the price of the ticket. The eight table d’hôte entrées include salmon, omelette, calf sweetbreads, sirloin steak, roast lamb, a vegetable dish, and roast stuffed chicken. These came with a seafood cocktail and other hor d’oeuvres, soup, asparagus salad, a choice of eleven desserts, and coffee.

Opposite the menu is a programme of music that was played during dinner. This was recorded as the musicians included Mantovani and his orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Melachrino strings, and the MGM Studio orchestra.

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