Michael Gates

Whether its spring, and the Mayday Tree is cloaked in aromatic blossoms, or winter and it is bedecked with Christmas lights, the Mayday tree beside City Hall is certain to brighten up your day (or night). (Courtesy/Michael Gates)

History Hunter: Martha Black’s wildflowers and the Mayday Tree

Michael Gates & Kathy Jones-Gates With the arrival of spring comes a…

Whether its spring, and the Mayday Tree is cloaked in aromatic blossoms, or winter and it is bedecked with Christmas lights, the Mayday tree beside City Hall is certain to brighten up your day (or night). (Courtesy/Michael Gates)
Here columnist Michael Gates’ grandmother holds a two-metre long rattlesnake on the end of a garden rake. Homesteading in southern Alberta 100 years ago was parched, exhausting and fruitless, says Gates. (Gates collection/Submitted)
Here columnist Michael Gates’ grandmother holds a two-metre long rattlesnake on the end of a garden rake. Homesteading in southern Alberta 100 years ago was parched, exhausting and fruitless, says Gates. (Gates collection/Submitted)
(Submitted)

History Hunter: The Yukon has a Stanley Cup connection

For a small northern town, Dawson City has achieved some remarkable accomplishments.…

(Submitted)
This early postcard shows the stars and stripes waving above the post office in Dawson City. The flagpole that flies the Union Jack atop the corner tower has been cropped out of this image, and a new one with the American flag has been added. (Courtesy/Gates Collection)

History Hunter: Is our Yukon identity at risk?

I often wonder: does the Yukon have an identity crisis? Clearly most…

This early postcard shows the stars and stripes waving above the post office in Dawson City. The flagpole that flies the Union Jack atop the corner tower has been cropped out of this image, and a new one with the American flag has been added. (Courtesy/Gates Collection)
This rare photo was taken of the Whitehorse waterfront south of Main Street. Several businesses were captured by the unidentified photographer which could be linked to other historical records. (Courtesy/Gates collection)

History Hunter: Every picture tells a story in early Whitehorse

My wife Kathy keeps an alert eye for interesting photos and documents…

This rare photo was taken of the Whitehorse waterfront south of Main Street. Several businesses were captured by the unidentified photographer which could be linked to other historical records. (Courtesy/Gates collection)
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021 Heritage Awards. From Left to right: The Hon. Ranj Pillai, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Kaitlin Normandin, Bruce Mitford, Beth Hunt, Darlene Johns (receiving on behalf of the late Art Johns), Janna Swales, Elaine Ash (Art Johns), and Commissioner Angélique Bernard. Not shown: Anne Morgan and Jamie Toole. (Courtesy/Michael Gates)

History Hunter: Yukon celebrates its heritage at annual awards

For the first time since 2019, the Yukon Historical and Museums Association…

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021 Heritage Awards. From Left to right: The Hon. Ranj Pillai, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Kaitlin Normandin, Bruce Mitford, Beth Hunt, Darlene Johns (receiving on behalf of the late Art Johns), Janna Swales, Elaine Ash (Art Johns), and Commissioner Angélique Bernard. Not shown: Anne Morgan and Jamie Toole. (Courtesy/Michael Gates)
The Reverend Joshua Phillpotts, who spent many years in Watson Lake, was the featured speaker at an event sponsored by the Hidden Histories Society Yukon in February 2015. (Courtesy/Michael Gates)

History Hunter: Exploring Yukon’s Hidden Histories

There is history, and there is hidden history. Reading about the events…

The Reverend Joshua Phillpotts, who spent many years in Watson Lake, was the featured speaker at an event sponsored by the Hidden Histories Society Yukon in February 2015. (Courtesy/Michael Gates)
Front Street Dawson City, 1898. The avenue was lined with restaurants, theatres, gambling halls, saloons, dance halls and other services. Al the sinful pleasures could be found on these two blocks in the centre of the waterfront. The last dance hall shut down in January of 1908. (Courtesy/Library and Archives Canada)

History Hunter: The death of fun in Dawson

At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, Dawson City could be…

Front Street Dawson City, 1898. The avenue was lined with restaurants, theatres, gambling halls, saloons, dance halls and other services. Al the sinful pleasures could be found on these two blocks in the centre of the waterfront. The last dance hall shut down in January of 1908. (Courtesy/Library and Archives Canada)
Working for the San Francisco Examiner, a Hearst newspaper, Joaquin Miller, depicted here, and two other journalists rented a small cabin in Dawson City, where they spent the winter of 1897/1898. (Courtesy/The San Francisco Examiner)

History Hunter: Joaquin Miller, a poet in the Klondike

During the frenzy to reach the Klondike during the summer of 1897,…

Working for the San Francisco Examiner, a Hearst newspaper, Joaquin Miller, depicted here, and two other journalists rented a small cabin in Dawson City, where they spent the winter of 1897/1898. (Courtesy/The San Francisco Examiner)
Art Barz and Chappie Chapman unloading supplies at Chappie Lake, September 7, 1940. (Courtesy/Don Barz)

History Hunter: Where were you in ’42? New book tells the remarkable story of the Barz brothers

There are two events that more than any other defined the growth…

Art Barz and Chappie Chapman unloading supplies at Chappie Lake, September 7, 1940. (Courtesy/Don Barz)
Anton Vogee’s sign painting shop Dyea, Alaska, February 1899. In addition to examples of his sign painting affixed to the building, the photo shows other buildings along the street. (Courtesy/Yukon Archives)

History Hunter: Anton Vogee is a treasure from the vaults of the Yukon Archives

It is said that big things come in small packages. Seemingly small…

Anton Vogee’s sign painting shop Dyea, Alaska, February 1899. In addition to examples of his sign painting affixed to the building, the photo shows other buildings along the street. (Courtesy/Yukon Archives)
Christmas, Whitehorse, 1953: After getting off the train, Santa went to Hougen’s department store, where all the kiddies could share their wish lists with him. (Courtesy/Valerie Graham)

Christmas greeting from the History Hunter

As Christmas approaches and the anticipation mounts, I recall many events associated…

Christmas, Whitehorse, 1953: After getting off the train, Santa went to Hougen’s department store, where all the kiddies could share their wish lists with him. (Courtesy/Valerie Graham)
After they left the north, Lena and Billy Huson settled into a pastoral life in rural Washington state. (Courtesy/Gates collection)

History Hunter: Celebrating a hardship Christmas in the Klondike

The year was 1897. Gold had been discovered on Bonanza Creek a…

After they left the north, Lena and Billy Huson settled into a pastoral life in rural Washington state. (Courtesy/Gates collection)
In the early days, Gold Run Creek was an active mining district with hundreds of people working the placers and supplying services. This collection of buildings at Number 28, Gold Run included a hotel, a Mounted Police detachment, a school and a church, a blacksmith, mining recorder, and other services. (Candy Waugaman collection)

History Hunter: There are many abandoned communities in the Yukon

There are many abandoned settlements scattered throughout the Yukon. All of them…

In the early days, Gold Run Creek was an active mining district with hundreds of people working the placers and supplying services. This collection of buildings at Number 28, Gold Run included a hotel, a Mounted Police detachment, a school and a church, a blacksmith, mining recorder, and other services. (Candy Waugaman collection)
The plaque commemorating the Whitehorse fallen from World War I was originally mounted on a monument in front of the first public library, at the corner of Elliott Street and second Avenue. It was then moved to the federal building on Main Street. It  is now located in front of Whitehorse City Hall, along with a second plaque memorializing the fallen from World War II. (Michael Gates/Yukon News)

History Hunter: Yukon war memorials remind us of the fallen

The cancellation of the Remembrance Day service at the Canada Games Centre…

The plaque commemorating the Whitehorse fallen from World War I was originally mounted on a monument in front of the first public library, at the corner of Elliott Street and second Avenue. It was then moved to the federal building on Main Street. It  is now located in front of Whitehorse City Hall, along with a second plaque memorializing the fallen from World War II. (Michael Gates/Yukon News)
The theatres and dance halls of Dawson, unlike the Hollywood portrayal, were quite strait-laced. The dance hall girls wore long dresses and high-necked blouses with sleeves down to the wrist. Everything shut down on Sunday, and the Mounties quickly put risque performances out of action. Can-can dancing came to Dawson decades later. (Illustration/Tappan Adney)

History Hunter: The Yukon had its own Broadway – for a while

When gold was discovered in the Klondike, the quantities that were taken…

The theatres and dance halls of Dawson, unlike the Hollywood portrayal, were quite strait-laced. The dance hall girls wore long dresses and high-necked blouses with sleeves down to the wrist. Everything shut down on Sunday, and the Mounties quickly put risque performances out of action. Can-can dancing came to Dawson decades later. (Illustration/Tappan Adney)
Postcards come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Collector Dave Bouquot is shown here with one of the giant postcards from his collection. (Michael Gates/Yukon News)

History Hunter: The Yukon exposition that never was

My wife Kathy and I have assembled a small assortment of Yukon-related…

Postcards come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Collector Dave Bouquot is shown here with one of the giant postcards from his collection. (Michael Gates/Yukon News)
Australian boxer Frank Slavin, known as “The Sydney Cornstalk,” had been the top boxer in the Yukon for several years, until he was challenged, and defeated by American Nick Burley in April of 1902. Burley knocked out Slavin in a 1907 re-match in Victoria, B.C. (Klondike Nugget April 24, 1902)

History Hunter: Early day boxing was big in the Klondike

My files are swelling with accounts of boxing in the Yukon, going…

Australian boxer Frank Slavin, known as “The Sydney Cornstalk,” had been the top boxer in the Yukon for several years, until he was challenged, and defeated by American Nick Burley in April of 1902. Burley knocked out Slavin in a 1907 re-match in Victoria, B.C. (Klondike Nugget April 24, 1902)
The facade of the restored Globe Theatre features a replica of the original sign that was once mounted over the entrance.(Michael Gates/Yukon News)

HISTORY HUNTER: The Historic Globe Theatre is alive and well in Atlin

I was invited to give a reading at the Globe Theatre in…

The facade of the restored Globe Theatre features a replica of the original sign that was once mounted over the entrance.(Michael Gates/Yukon News)
Claude and Mary Tidd are playing Anagrams in this self-portrait taken in their cabin in Ross River, January, 1930. Claude Tidd was a remarkable photographer, who took pictures in isolated locations often under trying circumstances. There was no electricity in Ross River at the time, with which to provide the lighting for this indoor photo. (Courtesy/Yukon Archives, Claude and Mary Tidd fonds, 77/19, #7961)

History Hunter: Claude Tidd, the Mountie who got his lady

As she examined dozens of photos laid out on a large table,…

Claude and Mary Tidd are playing Anagrams in this self-portrait taken in their cabin in Ross River, January, 1930. Claude Tidd was a remarkable photographer, who took pictures in isolated locations often under trying circumstances. There was no electricity in Ross River at the time, with which to provide the lighting for this indoor photo. (Courtesy/Yukon Archives, Claude and Mary Tidd fonds, 77/19, #7961)