Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dawson City--Heart Of The Klondike

From Eagle we make our way to the Top Of The World Highway and head East to the Canadian border and Dawson City.

                          We have many panoramic views along the way.

                     Our camp for the night on top of the world.

We wait for the border to open early the next morning and are on our way.

 Gold was discovered here in 1896 and the rush to the Klondike was on.

                                    We are late in the tourist season now--

                                                 --as we take the free ferry--

                                             --across the Yukon River.

 In 1898 this was the largest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle. By 1900 it had become a refined city with stately homes, and civilized amenities-- running water, electricity and telephones.

It was the "Queen City of the North". In 1904 the Klondike was the highest gold producer in Canada, and 88% of all gold mined in the Yukon today still comes from the Dawson area.

 Robert Service was a bank teller here and rented this cabin from 1909 -1912, during which time he wrote many famous poems including "The Spell of the Yukon", "The Cremation of Sam McGree" and "Good-Bye Little Cabin". He is the most widely read poet of the 20th century.

Writing blog notes on the steps of Robert Service's cabin. He would be impressed. Judy said, "Your nuts".

 Legendary author Jack London built his original cabin south of Dawson City before the gold rush. It was discovered abandoned in 1936 and in 1965 two replicas were made from the original logs. This one is here in Dawson and the other is in Oakland, California, London's hometown. He is best known for two very successful novels about the north, White Fang and Call of the Wild.

Although many modern buildings have been added and some have been lost to fire, flood, time and neglect, Dawson City, with it's wooden boardwalks, continues to have a handsome collection of buildings dating from the early 1900's.

 These buildings, built on "discontinuous" permafrost, conduct heat downward, melting the permafrost- leaving a slump in the ground.

Judy looked over the late season sales and took this much needed break.

This long mortuary was added on to a number of times. The frozen ground in winter prevented burials so bodies were kept in the additions until spring.

There were many sternwheeler and sidewheelers on the Yukon and Dawson City was a major supply center.

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