Michael Gates

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.

People help put a human face on the past

Never underestimate how important a personal contact is when hunting for a story from the past.

The story of the notorious Vaglio murders

The morning calm of July 4, 1912 was disturbed at 9:05 a.m. by what at first sounded like firecrackers, coming from the second floor of the Central Hotel in Dawson City.

A Dawson girl in the war zone

It is well known that Martha Black took an active role in the Yukon's overseas wartime activities. She helped attend to the wounded, sick and homesick Yukon boys.

The Shooting of Robert Service (almost)

One hundred and one years ago, the writing career of Robert Service almost came to the same end as dangerous Dan McGrew.

New book reveals early Skagway

Captain William Moore was tough as nails. He had to be. At age 71, the Canadian old-timer was still mushing dog teams into the Yukon.

Today’s Millennium Trail was once a gold rush thoroughfare

The Millennium Trail along the Yukon River, which is one of the finest urban walking trails I have had the pleasure to use, is also a walk through Whitehorse history.

A tale of four travellers

My wife Kathy and I came across an obscure travel narrative that provides a new perspective on the time around the gold discovery that put Dawson City on the map.