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MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2011

Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Dawson City was a town that appeared overnight with the news that gold was found in nearby Rabbit Creek (later renamed Bonanza Creek). Thousands of people poured into the region during the Last Great Gold Rush of 1898 and many fortunes were made and lost in the city. Theatres, saloons, a red light district and dozens of specialty stores selling any item a rich man could desire from silk to oysters. After the 1900s some people moved onto Nome, Alaska where gold was discovered, some went home but others remained keeping Yukon's Capital flourishing with the steamboats and winter stage linking them to the outside world. Here, literary greats such as Robert Service, Jack London and Pierre Burton lived. After the 1950s, Dawson City was replaced by Whitehorse as the Capital and tourism became the area's biggest draw. Today, Parks Canada has restored and operates many of the town's historic attractions which date back to the Gold Rush of 1898.

Statue commemorating the prospectors of Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Dawson City is like a portal in time - stepping off our canoe it was a unique experience to see locals in period costume, a man on a penny farthing and brightly painted shops along the main streets of the City. With over a dozen attractions, self-guided tours and other activities, it was not enough to spend just three days in this colourful town:

DAWSON CITY ACTIVITIES
• S.S. KENO | This was the smallest paddle wheeler operating on the Yukon River and it was the last to make the journey between Whitehorse and Dawson City where it was grounded and restored to operate as a tourist attraction.
• PALACE GRAND THEATRE | Although not the original, the theatre is a replica where some of the Klondike's famous performers took to the stage including Cad Wilson and Klondike Kate. Many lost their fortunes to the women who worked these halls selling drinks, dances and company to the lonely men of the goldfields.
• DAWSON CITY MUSEUM | This museum focuses on the 1898 Gold Rush which includes exhibits, demonstrations, photos and movies.
• LITERARY GIANTS | A few of Canada's well known authors lived in and near Dawson City - their works inspired by the 1898 Gold Rush and the wilderness around them. Poet Robert Service, author Jack London and Yukon native and author Pierre Burton are all celebrated in this former Gold Rush town.
• DANOJA ZHO CULTURAL CENTRE | The cultural centre celebrates the Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nations that originally lived in the region with exhibits on the art, traditions and stories about the Moosehide slide.
• DAWSON CITY CEMETERY WALKING TOUR | The cemetery located high in the hill aboveDawson City cemetery, Yukon Territory. Dawson City contains some very notable sourdoughs including Percy De Wolfe, known as the Iron Man of the North and Jan Wezel, a noted explorer.
• HISTORIC BUILDING WALKING TOUR | There are over a dozen historically recognized buildings throughout Dawson City - from churches to private residences once owned by some of the Yukon's most influential citizens.
• SOUR TOE COCKTAIL | Probably one of the most disgusting but immensely popular tourist traditions is taking a shot of Yukon Gold Whisky garnished with a real human toe. Over 42,000 people have gained membership to this 'unique' club.

We wished we could have seen Dredge No. 4, Discovery Claim and panned for gold, but as our transportation options were limited we can only hope to return one day!

Front Street and the Moosehide Slide on the mountain behind in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Klondike gold for sale in a local Dawson City shop in the Yukon Territory. Front Street buildings in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Former residents of the Black's, staunch Conservatives who eventually were to become the voice of the Yukon in Canada's parliament.Old Post Office in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Robert Service's cabin on 8th Avenue in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Robert Service's poem, 'The Spell of the Yukon' painted on the side of a building in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Robert Service's desk inside his cabin on 8th Avenue in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Jack London's reconstructed cabin at the Jack London Centre and Museum in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Inside Jack London's cabin in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.Photos and letters from Jack London on display in the Jack London Museum in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Dawson City Museum in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Bank exhibit inside the Dawson City Museum in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Rocker Box demonstration at the Dawson City Museum. Mountie scarlet jacket on display at the Dawson City Museum.Mining Train exhibit at the Dawson City Museum.Antique mining train on display at the Dawson City Museum.S,S. Keno National Historic Site in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Engine room inside the S.S. Keno National Historic Site in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.S.S. Keno life preserver in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Palace Grand Theatre exterior in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Palace Grand Theatre stage from third floor balcony in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.Boots in the Palace Grand Theatre dressing room in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.Danoja Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Legend of the Moosehide slide depicted on moose hide at the Danoja Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City.Baby cradle, baskets, drums and fur tent at the Danoja Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City.Clothing on display at the Danoja Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City.Snowshoes at the Danoja Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City.Diamond Tooth Gertie and Arizona Charlie singing at Gertie's Gambling Hall in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.Gertie's chorus girls on stage at Gertie's Gambling Hall in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.Downtown Hotel - purveyor of the Sourtoe Cocktail shot in Dawson City.Toe in Yukon Gold Whiskey in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.The 'toe' part of the Sourtoe Cocktail in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.






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