Michael Gates

In prospecting, it’s always about the next big discovery

The Yukon Valley was prospected for nearly a quarter century before the Klondike was discovered and thousands of hopeful people converged on the region during the gold rush. It has been prospected ever since.

Is Father Judge a forgotten hero?

It is one of the tragedies of life that acts of kindness and deeds of good go unrecognized, while extravagant, outrageous, violent and lawless behaviour receive too much attention in our daily lives. "If it bleeds, it leads" is a rule in journalism.

Yukon agriculture is a growing concern

recently called me on the telephone to ask me some questions, I didn't realize how easily my transitory t

History Hunter in the Hall of Words

The floors shone like mirrors in the dimly lit hallways; the sound of footsteps echoed off the stone walls as staff hurried from one place to another, or Members of Parliament went about their business.

Robert Service’s secret love life

After his first meeting with Constance MacLean in 1902, Robert Service tried to capture her attention by writing her a poem.

Early gold mining in the Yukon was a steamy affair

The closer you get to Dawson City and other historic mining areas, the more signs you find that steam was the most important form of energy used a century ago. If you drive out into the Klondike goldfields, and turn up any side road, you will eventually

River transportation was once the lifeblood of the Yukon

David Neufeld is the Yukon and Western Arctic Historian for Parks Canada, located here in Whitehorse. Among his many responsibilities is providing interesting and thoughtful information about topics of national historic significance.

The case of the drunken diplomat

In earlier days, the press was far more circumspect in the way that it covered political affairs than it is today. Reporters would cover the political scene without delving into the personal antics and the intimate dealings of prominent political figures.

The Museum of Nostalgia reveals the fascinating personality of its creator

Smoky Guttman has been assembling his museum of nostalgia for 20 years. Though it is still a work in progress, he hopes to open it to the public some day. I have been in Haines Junction many times and wondered what his enigmatic building was about.

Historic treasures: to save, or not to save

One of my colleagues rushed into my office with a radio the other morning. There was something she wanted me to listen too.

Livingstone Creek marked the start of a stellar political career

I was recently offered an opportunity to visit Livingstone Creek for the first time, but, in the placer mining vernacular, it didn't pan out. Too bad, because it is an interesting, little known piece of Yukon's early mining history.

Celebration highlights our remarkable heritage

The weather in Dawson City last weekend was wet and grey, so the celebration took place indoors. We gathered in the council chamber on the second floor of the Old Territorial Administration Building.

The early economics of the Yukon a product of isolation

As a cost-cutting measure, the federal government has decided to stop producing the penny - it's too expensive to manufacture, they say.

Tom William’s golden death march

Howard Franklin and Henry Madison discovered coarse gold on what became known as Franklin's Bar, on the Fortymile River, in the fall of 1886. What followed was one of the epic journeys in the history of the quest for gold in the Yukon.

It was Wets versus Drys in the battle of the booze

In 1916, the Wets and the Drys drew the line in the sand over the issue of Prohibition. The word Prohibition is not part of today’s vocabulary.

Slaughter at Rink Rapid

Last year I wrote about the butchering yard near Fort Selkirk. Earlier this summer, I wrote about the Tuxford cattle drive over the Dalton trail (Yukon News: May 27, June 3 and 10).

Tales of an early transportation pioneer

William Drury Taylor was honoured June 5 with the 2012 Pioneer of the Year Award in the Yukon Transportation Hall of Fame, which is located in the Yukon Transportation Museum beside the airport.

Three little boats played a big part in Yukon history

A B.C. architect made his mark in Yukon history - and didn't design a single Yukon building.

Why did Dyea disappear?

During the winter of 1897/1898, Dyea was the fastest-growing town in Alaska. At the peak of the Klondike gold rush, it was the second-largest settlement in the entire territory. Five years later, it was practically abandoned.

Yukon ‘heritage therapist’ provides care for treasures

The walls of Valery Monahan's Marwell lab are lined with shelves filled with boxes containing the territory's historical treasures.