Michael Gates

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)
Chief Isaac (Yukon Archives, Cluade and Mary Tidd fonds, #7238/Submitted)

What would Chief Isaac have said had he been invited to speak on Discovery Day?

This is a modified version of the reading given at the Commissioner’s…

Chief Isaac (Yukon Archives, Cluade and Mary Tidd fonds, #7238/Submitted)
Dawson’s Pioneer Women turned out in numbers for the Discovery Day parade in Dawson Aug. 14. (Michael Gates/Submitted)

Dawson celebrates Discovery Day

Arts festival, parade and more hosted in the Klondike

Dawson’s Pioneer Women turned out in numbers for the Discovery Day parade in Dawson Aug. 14. (Michael Gates/Submitted)
Tim Green stands beside the remnants of an old cabin located on a hilltop above Stinky Lake in Porter Creek. Some of the surviving logs are larger than anything growing in the area now. Could this date back to the gold rush era, before any timber was harvested? (Michael Gates)

History Hunter: There is plenty of history hidden around Whitehorse

A few days ago, Tim Green , a history-hunting Porter Creek neighbour,…

Tim Green stands beside the remnants of an old cabin located on a hilltop above Stinky Lake in Porter Creek. Some of the surviving logs are larger than anything growing in the area now. Could this date back to the gold rush era, before any timber was harvested? (Michael Gates)
Even at midnight, there are plenty of men -and dogs - visible in this post card photo from Smith’s Book Store, of Second Avenue in Dawson City in 1904. (Courtesy/Gates Collection)

History Hunter: Old Yukon postcards open a window into the past

A boom of picture postcards hit the Yukon after 1903

Even at midnight, there are plenty of men -and dogs - visible in this post card photo from Smith’s Book Store, of Second Avenue in Dawson City in 1904. (Courtesy/Gates Collection)
At Tagish in 1898, the Mounted Police laid the mail out on the beach for stampeders to search for letters from home. (Courtesy/Gates collection)

History Hunter: From gold rush to COVID-19, mail has been an essential service

During the early days of the pandemic, when we were in total…

At Tagish in 1898, the Mounted Police laid the mail out on the beach for stampeders to search for letters from home. (Courtesy/Gates collection)
When the car bogged down between May and Keno City, the governor-general rolled up his sleeves and lent a hand. Gold commissioner George P. Mackenzie is to the left. (Courtesy/Yukon Archives, Finnie family fonds)

History Hunter: When Governor-General Byng came to town…

There have been many governors-general who have visited the Yukon since its…

When the car bogged down between May and Keno City, the governor-general rolled up his sleeves and lent a hand. Gold commissioner George P. Mackenzie is to the left. (Courtesy/Yukon Archives, Finnie family fonds)
A broad, unpaved post-war Main Street Whitehorse is barely recognizable today, with the exception of the White Pass Station in the distance. The Whitehorse Inn was replaced by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and the Capitol Theatre has long since been demolished. (Photo courtesy Gates collection/photographer unknown)

History Hunter: What was Whitehorse like in 1947?

An “All-Year Round Guide to the Yukon” published in the 1940s lends some clues

A broad, unpaved post-war Main Street Whitehorse is barely recognizable today, with the exception of the White Pass Station in the distance. The Whitehorse Inn was replaced by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and the Capitol Theatre has long since been demolished. (Photo courtesy Gates collection/photographer unknown)
Courtesy/Michael Gates
After more than 125 years, baseball is going strong in the Yukon. Here is a game played in Minto Park in Dawson City in 1978. I played baseball in Dawson that year and hit my one and only home run.

Baseball has a long history in the Yukon

Stabbings, errant donkeys and icy playing fields all part of the Yukon’s long baseball history

Courtesy/Michael Gates
After more than 125 years, baseball is going strong in the Yukon. Here is a game played in Minto Park in Dawson City in 1978. I played baseball in Dawson that year and hit my one and only home run.
Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)

History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
Courtesy/Library and Archives Canada
Lachlan “Lockie” Burwash had already spent 15 years in the Yukon working for the government when, at an age that most men are slowing down, he embarked on a decade of ambitious arctic exploration in the Canadian north.

Lachlan Burwash: Canadian explorer with a Yukon connection

The life of Lachlan T. Burwash would have the makings of a good book

Courtesy/Library and Archives Canada
Lachlan “Lockie” Burwash had already spent 15 years in the Yukon working for the government when, at an age that most men are slowing down, he embarked on a decade of ambitious arctic exploration in the Canadian north.
During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)

History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
After many years of service on the the Yukon River as a multipurpose workhorse, The SS Klondike was converted into a luxury cruise ship for its last two years of service. She is now a national historic site in downtown Whitehorse. (Gates collection)

“Penny Wise” and her SS Klondike Cruise

In the first half of the twentieth century, sternwheel riverboats were the…

After many years of service on the the Yukon River as a multipurpose workhorse, The SS Klondike was converted into a luxury cruise ship for its last two years of service. She is now a national historic site in downtown Whitehorse. (Gates collection)
Black soldiers of the 97th Battalion cutting and clearing timber from right-of-way during the summer of 1942. (Photo courtesy of Christine McClure)

History Hunter: A Different Race: Hardship, Racism and a Court-Martial on the Alcan

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the American…

Black soldiers of the 97th Battalion cutting and clearing timber from right-of-way during the summer of 1942. (Photo courtesy of Christine McClure)