Michael Gates

The two worlds of Eskimo Welzl

Everybody who visits the Klondike should see its iconic attractions: The Discovery Claim on Bonanza Creek, and in Dawson City, Robert Service Cabin, Jack London's cabin, even to a certain extent the Berton Home.

Let’s remember the Yukoners who fought at Vimy Ridge during the First World War

Last week, on April 9, members of the three parties in the Yukon legislature rose in turn to commemorate Canada's important role in the Battle for Vimy Ridge.

The woman who ran the Yukon

I attended a recent "Throwback Thursday" sponsored by the MacBride Museum featuring women in Yukon history.

Mrs. Black goes to war

If any Yukon woman stood out in her patriotic activities during the First World War, it had to be Martha Black, the wife of Commissioner George Black.

Yukon women and the Great War

When Britain declared war with Germany the summer of 1914, the men of the territory rallied to the cause. After all, it would be over by Christmas, they were sure.

A Mohawk in the Klondike

Here is an interesting story that was recently brought to my attention by Donald Smith, professor emeritus of history at the University of Calgary.

New book chronicles the Klondike’s biggest winner

"It's the goddamndest story you ever heard," Gordon Bennett, an unassuming 92-year-old, told Betsy Lumbye, a journalist with more than 30 years experience. And he was right. 

Building the Dempster Highway: an engineering challenge

When Yukon Highway No. 5 was built, it penetrated some of the most challenging and enigmatic wilderness in Canada.

Black pioneer speaks at exhibit launch

An appreciative crowd came out to the Whitehorse Public Library on Tuesday evening to celebrate the diversity of Yukon's past as part of Black History Month. 

Let’s celebrate our heritage champions

A large crowd helped kick off the celebration of Heritage Day on Monday evening by attending the Yukon Historical and Museums Association 31st Annual Heritage Awards ceremony at the Yukon Archives.

Book reveals heartbreak in Dawson City

Little did Betty Matteson Rhodes know when she and her husband Chuck purchased their first computer in 1996 that it would unlock the secrets of a long past and help her discover a distant relative, Nelson A. Soggs.

Joe Boyle was one of the Yukon’s most heroic figures

As I sit in my office amidst books and articles, trying to get a clear picture of Joe Boyle's accomplishments during World War I, one thing is clear: he was Yukon's most heroic figure.

Aircraft being restored at Yukon Transportation Museum

The Yukon Transportation Museum had an open house last Friday afternoon, and Bob Cameron and his airplane restoration projects were the featured attraction of the event.

A day in the life of Dawson City, 1899

For Christmas, my wife Kathy gave me an unusual gift that I have only just been able to examine in detail. It was an issue of the Dawson Daily News from December 27, 1899.

Robert Service, Country Joe and the Great War

When Robert Service arrived in the Yukon in 1905, he was a lowly bank clerk. When he left in 1912 on the last boat of the season, he was a celebrated author. In between, he penned three books of verse and a best-selling novel.

The story of the riverboat Brainstorm

The most notable of the riverboats that plied the waters of the Yukon after the age of sternwheel steamboats ended was the Brainstorm, which regularly hauled supplies from Dawson City down the Yukon River.

Some Yukon history books for Christmas

This Christmas we have a good selection of new northern history books to choose from. I have already reported on the new history of sports in the Yukon. Here are three more that you might be interested in.

New book chronicles Yukon Sports

Did you know that the first documented competitive sport in the Yukon took place the winter of 1882-83? It was at Fort Reliance, Jack McQuesten's trading post on the Yukon River. It consisted of a snow shovelling contest and a foot race.

WWI letters detail lives of Yukon recruits

During my recent visit to Vancouver, I was introduced to a man who has a collection of World War I letters. They were written by Norton Townsend of Dawson City.

Yukon’s World War I soldiers are not forgotten

Many people asked me for a copy of the speech I gave at the Remembrance Day service on Tuesday at the Canada Games Centre. What follows is that speech in its entirety.