Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Dawson City, Yukon Territory

We left Whitehorse on Sunday, July 28 and headed for Dawson City, Yukon, on the Yukon River.
From Wiki:  The population was 1,319 at the 2011 census. The area draws some 60,000 visitors each year. The locals generally refer to it simply as 'Dawson', but the tourist industry generally refers to it as 'Dawson City' (partly to differentiate it from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, which is at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway).  Dawson City was the center of the Klondike Gold Rush. It began in 1896 and changed the First Nations camp into a thriving city of 40,000 by 1898. By 1899, the gold rush had ended and the town's population plummeted as all but 8,000 people left. When Dawson was incorporated as a city in 1902, the population was under 5,000. St. Paul's Anglican Church built that same year is a National Historic Site.
 
The drive to Dawson had some interesting places to see.
This was a very treacherous place for steam boats to pass by.  It took lots of experience and steel cables to help the boats thru when going upstream.  Below, looking upstream towards Whitehorse.
From the Bonanza Gold RV Park, a short drive up the mountain to the 3000 foot level is the Midnight Dome.  Looking down on the Yukon River & the town of Dawson.  Above, upstream, below downstream.  The view up here was just fantastic.  We drove up here the first afternoon here.
First thing next morning, we were treated to a tour of Dawson by a local resident and guide.
Our group at the visitor center awaiting our tour start...
Gabriel was our guide's name, above & below in the period clothing in the visitor center.
First stop was the Yukon OofP building.
Next was the post office.
Then the daily news building...
Then the old bank building...
It was a gorgeous morning for a walk about the town with the guide telling us the history of the people & the town...
Next was the Red Feather Saloon...belly up boys!
The tor ended and we all went our separate ways, some to lunch, some to walk a little more, and some back to the RV park for lunch there.
Almost forgot Ruby's Place.
From Wiki:  Ruby’s Place is closely associated with the Klondike Gold Rush and the development of Dawson as a supply service and distribution centre for the mining community. The building is more specifically associated with prostitution and is a very good illustration of a significant phase of local development. Ruby’s Place was Dawson’s premier house of prostitution during the period 1935 to 1962. Of all the residents of 233 Second Avenue, only Ruby Scott, the ‘Madame’, had lasting significance. Ruby Scott became a pillar of the community, much loved by Dawson’s more ‘respectable men, women and children’. Her generosity was legendary, as was her reputation as a cook, hostess, and ‘a good old soul’.   Above Gabriel explains the "boarding house" goings on for the period.  Below, the small houses where the "ladies" welcomed suitors.
In the alley next to Ruby's Place.
Next evening we were treated to a cookout.  Steaks for everybody (chicken for my Nancy) and baked potatoes & broccoli and cauliflower.  Yummy!  And, AND, are you ready for this:  Banana splits for desert.  Wow!
Later that evening, we went over to Diamond Tooth Gerties for a little fun with the can-can dancers and the star, a singer.  After a couple of brewski's and some socializing, we saw a nice little show. 
The audience always seems to get involved...
It was a nice evening with our RV friends.  Below, one of our RV'ers, and below that, tail gunner Bill getting in on a little action too.
And below, still more of our RV'ers from the balcony egging us on for more photo ops with the dancers.
OK, before we get back to the RV and prepare for tomorrow's departure to Chicken, AK and the good old US of A, here are a few pics of the historical sites of Dawson.
Kind of a morbid bit of history, but nowadays of course, it makes digging graves a little easier with modern diesel powered back hoes.
Above, Robert Service summer cabin.  Who is Robert Service?  From wiki: 
Robert William Service (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon".[1][2]
Service is best known for his poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907; also published as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). "These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day.  Below, his photograph...
 
Robert W. Service.jpg
From the web:  Like huge stone caterpillars, the telltale dredge tailings of the goldfields testify to the corporate enterprise that spawned the mammoth dredges of the (Guggenheim’s) Yukon Gold Mining Co., and others. These behemoths roamed the creeks of the Klondike until the early 1960s. Dredge #4 on Bonanza Creek, the largest wooden hull dredge in the world, typifies this legacy. Summertime tours are available. In this centennial of transportation, the search goes on with new technologies as a modern day Dawson continues to seek the treasure that triggered one of the world’s great gold rushes.
Mining in all its forms remains the #1 industry in the Yukon Territory.
From atop of the Dome...
See that road way over there on the mountain?  Well. we drove up there in Miss Jeepy.  This pic was taken from the Dome.  Below, is a pic of the cabin of the full time fire watch, May to October.  We met him and spoke a little while about his Swiss heritage.  He immigrated in 1991 to Canada. 
Above, from the viewing platform in front of his cabin, is a pic of his tower.  He climbs it every hour and views 360 degrees for any smoke.  Below, down the Yukon River Valley.  And below that, a view of the Midnight Dome, looking down.  Wow, we were really up there, around 5K I think...
From 1905 to 1966, Bear creek was the Klondike headquarters of the Yukon Consolidated gold mining operations, acting as the administrative and repair centre for the huge dredges that worked the goldfields. The scalloped, worm-like piles of gravel nearby are the leftovers of the dredging operations. 
One dredge, Number 4, has been preserved nearby.
Parks Canada acquired the historic buildings in 1975, and they are now one of the many National Historic Sites in the Klondike.  Up the Bonanza Creek about 10 miles was dredge #4.
Right in front of the camp about 200 yards, was this old worn out dredge.  Note the "tailing" from the dredge's work.  There were miles of these tailings all over the valley/creek area.