Michael Gates

Jack London stories filled with Yukon history

I once wrote a piece about Jack London in which I posed the question: Did Jack London make the Klondike, or did the Klondike make him? The answer, of course, is that London’s Yukon books and short stories were the basis upon which his writing career was established.

William Ogilvie chronicled the time before the gold rush

In 1887, three small groups of men set out for the Yukon. The first representatives sent by the Canadian government, they helped define what the Yukon was to become.

History Hunting on the Hepburn Trail

Thursday of last week I went history hunting on a little known Whitehorse historical feature. The Hepburn Trail, or more accurately, the Hepburn Tramway, was an important element of Whitehorse gold rush history.

Mystery object shines light on Dawson’s history

This object is 203 centimetres long, 66 centimetres high and 33 centimetres wide. Made of painted metal and glass, it is awkward and difficult to pick up or carry.

Rain fails to dampen spirits at Jack London Festival

Michael Gates Special to the News This past weekend in Dawson City there was a celebration all about Jack London, the great American author, and his Yukon connection.

The story of Kate Carmack revealed in new book

Imagine being married by arrangement to a person who doesn't speak your language, or practise your traditions. You are then dislodged from your homeland and find yourself far away from your family.

Historic telegraph office re opened after many years

More than 200 enthusiastic guests turned out Wednesday evening at the MacBride Museum despite wind, rain and low temperature, for the celebration of the old, the new, and one Whitehorse family's contribution to the history of the Yukon.

World War I conference adds to Yukon history

Every province across the country (except Quebec) has made World War I part of the curriculum; we commemorate Remembrance Day as a national holiday and the poppy is a universally understood symbol across the land.

Cad Wilson – and such a nice girl too

The Klondike attracted entertainers in abundance during the gold rush. Some of them went on to remarkably successful screen and stage careers.

Two gunned down at event in Skagway

It had been raining since noon on Saturday, April 30 in Skagway, but that didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the approximately 200 people who attended the opening of the historic site on Second Avenue. 

New exhibit to reveal Jewish gold rush history

A new exhibit will be launched at the MacBride Museum at 5 p.m. on May 2. It will present a piece of Yukon’s hidden history – the Jewish presence in the Klondike gold rush.

Yukon beyond the Armistice

Armistice for World War I was declared at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918. The guns were silenced after more than four years of slaughter and depletion.

Words and music to go to war to

There is something about mustering for “King and Country” that stirs a nascent lyrical instinct of the heart in men and women when a nation goes to war.

Celebration at war’s end and remembering the fallen

After the battle of Amiens, France, in early August of 1918, the Allies saw an opportunity to bring the Great War to a swift end with a series of offensive attacks.

The Homefront: Dawson City during the First World War

The echoes of the cheering crowd in the Arctic Brotherhood Hall had died. The patriotic speeches that stirred the hearts were now a memory. The bunting was taken down and the flags and decorations were stored away.

May conference will add new pages to Yukon’s history book

While the history of the Yukon is filled with lore from the Klondike Gold Rush, and the impact of the building of the Alaska Highway has been studied extensively, other aspects of Yukon history remain unexplored territory.

The mystery of the Orpheum Theatre Part 2

Some stories don't let go of you. Two weeks ago, I wrote an article about the Orpheum Theatre in Dawson City. It had been inspired by a simple inquiry from New York film maker, Bill Morrison.

Death toll rises with the approach of war’s end

Yukon Commissioner George Black heard the call to duty and was determined to join his compatriots who were shipping overseas during World War I.

The History Hunter looks back and ahead

I didn't realize when I started this writing gig (this is my 400th column) that there was so much to write about Yukon history. As time progressed I learned about more and more interesting Yukon people and places.

Recipients honoured with annual Yukon Heritage Awards

Each year, to honour the territory's unique heritage, the Yukon Historical and Museums Association presents the Yukon Heritage Awards.