Michael Gates

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.

The quilt of many names

Some objects have symbolic and emotional value that is far more powerful than their physical nature.

History vs. Hollywood

Prompted by a recent article in the Brandon Sun written by Suyoko Tsukamoto, I went to see The Revenant. 

Every picture tells a story

My wife Kathy recently acquired a small collection of old Yukon photographs that included one of a group of men posing in front of the Territorial Administration Building. 

New book charts history of Yukon River steamers

I am still digesting the historical feast that I received at Christmas. This year, old photographs replaced socks under the Christmas tree.

The Yukon celebrates a very northern Christmas

Christmas has always been a very special time of year for our family. Living in Dawson City and putting up Christmas lights at 30 below was especially challenging.

Meet the fortunate Bridget Mannion

Sometimes it can be difficult to create an historical picture of a person or event, because they often become shaded by misinformation or second-hand accounts.

Throwback Thursday event at MacBride a big success

There was an excellent turnout at the MacBride Museum last Thursday night. In fact, it is a good thing that the museum decided to take the wall out where they once had a small meeting room beside the lobby, as about 135 people attended.

New book remembers the squatters of Whitehorse

A new book was launched at the MacBride Museum last evening, which focuses on the history of Whitehorse. Titled The Squatters of Downtown Whitehorse, it was written by Pat Ellis and friends. 

When the miners’ committee ruled

Before the discovery of the Klondike, the prospectors who wandered the hills and valleys of the Yukon River lived in a political vacuum.

Remembering the wounded, the brave and the dead of World War I

During World War I, the volunteers from the Yukon witnessed slaughter and misery on an industrial scale. Month after month, they suffered constant shelling, shrapnel, gas attacks and trench raids.

Election hijinks in the Yukon

The first time that Yukon voters went to the polls in a federal election was in a by-election in 1902. James Hamilton Ross, the commissioner of the territory, was running as Wilfred Laurier's candidate, while Joseph Clark stood for the Conservatives.

New book and film remember ‘Operation Husky’

With Remembrance Day just around the corner, there is an event coming up next Tuesday evening at the Yukon Arts Centre that you won't want to miss. 

Robert Service and the crimson harvest

I wrote recently about how Robert Service tried to scoop the professional journalists during World War I, and how he was nearly shot for being suspected of spying.