Michael Gates

Yukon soldiers experienced the horrors of trench warfare first hand

By the end of 1916, the men of Joe Boyle’s Yukon Battery had become veterans in the field, having experienced battle and the extreme conditions on the Western Front.

Yukon machine gunners thrust into the cauldron of battle

The men recruited by Joe Boyle in the Yukon in 1914 finally entered the field of battle in Belgium in August of 1916. Now renamed the Yukon Machine Gun Battery, they were designated “E” Battery of the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade.

Exploring the old Kluane wagon road

It’s the itch you have to scratch, the urge to which you must submit. It’s the compulsion to get out on the land and touch history where it happened. It is historitis, and Gord Allison of Haines Junction has a powerful case of it.

How Klondike Joe saved the crown jewels of Romania

By 1914, Joe Boyle had made a fortune running a gold dredging company in the Klondike. During World War I, he went to in search of adventure; he found it. In the summer of 1917, he was thrust into the chaos of revolutionary Russia.

Yukoners honoured with heritage awards

The annual heritage awards were handed out Feb. 20 to an impressive and deserving line-up of recipients.

Alaska Highway dreams started long before the Second World War

The bombing of Pearl Harbour on Dec. 7, 1941 heralded the formal entry of the United States into the Second World War. That and the subsequent invasion of the Aleutian Islands by the Japanese are viewed as the reasons for the building of the Alaska Highway. But the inspiration for a road link with Alaska and the Yukon reaches back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Arthur Buel: Klondike cartoonist

During his 45 years in the newspaper business, Arthur Buel’s cartoons covered everything from politics, to boxing matches, social events and murder trials. He made his name in Dawson City.

Letters to home from the Alaska Highway

Bill LaBar was working 2,500 kilometres away from his wife Helen and their three sons. He had signed a contract to work for The Okes Construction Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Okes was upgrading 400 kilometres of the crude tote road known as the Alcan, or Alaska Highway.

The jury is still out on Victor Jory

In March of 2007, John Steins, who was mayor of Dawson City at the time, made a trip to Hollywood sponsored by the Yukon Film Commission.

Mystery album portrays family life in early days

Last week I wrote about a family photograph album and its connection to the Cascade Steam Laundry in Dawson.

A mystery photo album and the dirt on Dawson City’s laundry business

My wife Kathy gave me a fascinating Christmas gift, something befitting a history hunter. It is a photograph album covered in leather with a fringe more than 40 centimetres long along the lower edge.

Celebrating Christmas on the Creeks

When the 20th century began, the Yukon had a population that rivalled that of today. More than a third of the population was scattered along the creeks surrounding Dawson City.

Tex Rickard: From Dawson City to Madison Square Garden

There are many rags-to-riches stories during the early days of the Klondike Gold Rush, often ending with an unceremonious return to poverty. One of them is about a young man from Texas who arrived in the Yukon basin before the gold rush even began, stone broke and who four years left the same. But this story has a good ending.

Early Yukon automobiles were a novelty

How could the Yukon ever live without the automobile? The answer is that we did quite well a century or more ago, but time and technology have shifted our frame of reference.

Passchendaele: Remembering Yukon’s brave and fallen soldiers

Ninety nine years ago, the Battle for Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres) lasted from July 31 to November 10, 1917.

The Peace River trail to the Yukon

In 1898, Inspector Moodie of the North West Mounted Police had proven that a route to the Klondike overland from Edmonton was possible, if not realistic or practical.

The overland trail from Edmonton to the Klondike

On August 27, 1897, Commissioner L.W. Herchmer, the head of the North West Mounted Police, issued written orders to Inspector J.D. Moodie.

New documentary links Dawson City to Hollywood

The story of film, the Klondike Gold Rush and Hollywood are intimately intertwined by director Bill Morrison in the film Dawson City: Frozen Time, which is, at once, both a documentary and an art film.

Slaughter on the Klondike Trail

I have just returned from a trip to Bennett City, British Columbia, at the terminus of the Chilkoot Trail, where I went to investigate a century-old abattoir site.