doris gates talks about the bonanza hotel

More information on the Bonanza Hotel, which originally was the Melbourne Hotel in the gold rush days.

More information on the Bonanza Hotel, which originally was the Melbourne Hotel in the gold rush days.

My good friend Doris Gates, who now lives in Clinton, BC, but was formerly from Dawson City, Clinton Creek, Faro and Whitehorse has some interesting historical and colourful tidbits to tell.

Thank you for this, Doris.

Her letter follows:

Dear Jim:

Re your article of October 13, 2010:

Just a bit of information about the Bonanza Hotel in Dawson City.

In mid January 1967, I took the golden opportunity to lease this hotel from Sid Carr, which I operated for two months and five glorious days until March 20,1967, and in that time period I operated the whole hotel other than the top floor as the fire marshal would not permit us to have people on the top floor.

Some of the history of this old building was how the Bonanza Hotel bar was originally brought into Dawson City from Chicago, Illinois, to San Francisco by rail then by water to Skagway, Alaska. From there it was taken over the Chilkoot Pass on to Dawson City.

Another bit of history in the hotel was a strongbox from Wells Fargo, and all the time I had the hotel I used this as my safe.

This strongbox came from an oldtimer by the name of Bert Barber. Bert was a gold rush bartender and piano player originally from California where he played piano and tended bar in Dawson City in the old days. His favourite drink was Gordon’s gin and water and he smoked constantly using a cigarette holder.

His goal in life was that his weight and age would be the same, and he achieved this goal on his 89th birthday when he weighed 89 pounds.

I hope your readers get a chuckle out of my historical news.

Doris Gates (Diamond Tooth Gertie)

Clinton, BC

Anyone with information about this subject, please write Jim Robb: The Colourful Five Per Cent Scrapbook—Can You Identify? c/o the Yukon News, 211 Wood Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2E4, or e-mail through the News website, www.yukon-news.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Togo member Katie Moen sits in a sled behind a snowmobile for the ride from the airport to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Coming together: How Old Crow became one of the first communities in the world to be fully vaccinated

Team Togo and Team Balto assembled with a mission to not waste a single dose of vaccine

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. If council moves forward with bylaw changes, eating and drinking establishments could set up pop-up patios in on-street parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Patios may be popping up in Whitehorse this summer

City considers program for downtown restaurants and bars

The Yukon Coroner's Service has confirmed the death of a skateboarder found injured on Hamilton Boulevard on May 2. Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News
Whitehorse man dies in skateboarding accident

Coroner urges the use of helmets, protective gear, while skateboarding.

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Most Read