Yukon History

Yukon History Stories

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    Illustration: Shauna Jones

    The Cancan Arrives at the Klondike Gold Rush

    On November 28, 1891, the New York Sun dedicated a full page to the cancan. Titled "Eccentric Paris Dance," the article highlights Paris cancan stars of the day who describe intricate cancan dance moves. After the two decades of being attacked in... more

    May 10, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-05-03, PHOTO: courtesy of Harbour Publishing

    Filling the Gaps in Our History

    “Everyone talks about the Goldrush. I’m interested in the gaps in history. The points in between,” says Yukon writer Michael Gates, author of From the Klondike to Berlin. Published last month, this book is, perhaps surprisingly, the first to offer... more

    May 3, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-04-26, Photo: Pixabay

    Do You Remember When?

    Allow me to take you back in time to when the words of today had a great difference in meaning… Close your eyes… and go back in time… before the internet, Mac, Dreamcast, Playstation or Nintendo 64… away back, I’m talking hide and seek at dusk… more

    Apr 26, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-04-05, Illustration: Shauna Jones

    Can You Do the Cancan, Kate?

    During the 1890s, the United States was a melting pot of entertainment - and vaudeville became the perfect vehicle to showcase this wealth of diversity. From New York to Victoria, B.C., vaudeville reigned supreme as the most popular entertainment in more

    Apr 5, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-03-01, Illustration: Shauna Jones

    The Cancan Under Arrest

    Appearing nightly in vaudeville, burlesque, ballets and operas, on tiny rustic stages of the Wild West mining camps and in the frontier theatres of the Pacific Coast, by the 1870s the cancan was in North America to stay. more

    Mar 1, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-02-22, Photo: Pixabay

    Farewell to the Big Top and its Big Thrills

    The child's heart that beats in my aging breast is breaking. They're shutting down the circus. After 146 years (exactly twice my life span so far), the iconic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is turning off the lights, packing up the Big... more

    Feb 22, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-02-22, PHOTO: Paul Gowdie

    February is Black History Month

    The Hidden Histories Society Yukon invited Jillian Christmas, a Black Canadian spoken word poet to Whitehorse at the beginning of February. The Society commissioned her to write a poem in celebration of the diverse Black community in Yukon. more

    Feb 22, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-02-08, PHOTO: Pixabay Photo

    That new guy next door is definitely one of a kind

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States of America. The wealthy and patrician New Yorker, whose New Deal policies helped pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression and laid the foundation for much of its existing... more

    Feb 8, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-02-08, PHOTO: Nellie Dale

    McQuesten’s Diary a Historic Treasures in a Box

    I have been told the "winner writes history." Taking this idea a bit further and you might think history is all about battles, economic or ecological, or just about power. But history is much more than that. I recently had an opportunity to touch... more

    Feb 8, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-02-08, PHOTO: Tess Casher

    Ancient Februarys

    As the name suggests, the modern Valentine’s Day originated with a Saint Valentine. However, our Valentine’s Day is parallel to Disney stories, while the initial holiday is more comparable to the Grimm’s Fairy Tale version, intertwined love with... more

    Feb 8, 2017

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    Issue: 2017-01-25, Illustration: Shauna Jones

    Delightful Devilry: The Cancan Invades New York

    Although the cancan made its North American debut with Offenbach’s opera Orpheus of the Underworld in 1861, it wasn’t until it appeared in the first American musical that the cancan became a true phenomenon in North America. more

    Jan 25, 2017

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    Issue: 2016-11-30, Illustration: Shauna Jones

    The Cancan as Theatrical Spectacle

    On June 20, 1819 the composer who was destined to pen the cancan theme song was born. His name was Jacques Offenbach. Born in Cologne, Germany, he grew to be a virtuoso cellist. At 14 he was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire and travelled... more

    Nov 30, 2016

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    Issue: 2016-11-23, PHOTO: Courtesy of Harvey Burian

    Harvey Burian: Growing up Multicultural on the Stewart River

    Harvey Burian was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Dawson City in December 1944. His parents were Mayo residents Mary (Miyo) Yoshida and Renny Burian. They had been operating a wood camp at 26 Mile on the Stewart River until wartime shortages shut... more

    Nov 23, 2016

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    Issue: 2016-11-09, PHOTO: courtesy of National Nikkei Museum & Cultural Centre, Burnaby, BC.

    Remembering Japanese Canadian Soldiers of WWI

    Remembrance Day has taken more meaning for me lately. Recently Yukon Archives shared some information about some Japanese from Dawson City who served in the First World War. This was a complete surprise to me. I wondered, Why would they serve? more

    Nov 9, 2016


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    Issue: 2016-11-02, PHOTO: Nellie Dale

    Hepburn Tramway Historic Walk

    Whitehorse resident Peter Long is an avid walker. He has explored many trails in and around Whitehorse. He believes he has found a city trail which could become an exciting historic walk. Today at Miles Canyon, just above the parking lot on... more

    Nov 2, 2016

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    Issue: 2016-10-26, Illustration: by Shauna Jones

    The dance craze with a kick!

    It’s difficult to think of the cancan as being a dance-craze, like the Fox Trot, the Charleston and other dances fashioned after animal antics, but that’s exactly what it was. Working-class Paris dancehalls like the Chaumiere began to admit... more

    Oct 26, 2016

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    Issue: 2016-09-29, ILLUSTRATION: Shauna Jones

    The Laundress and the Kick

    Although women of Paris played an integral role in the French Revolution, once the dust settled they were given a stern message by the new men in power: Stay home, tend to the children and leave the important business of governing to us. By 1825,... more

    Sep 29, 2016

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    Issue: 2016-06-30, PHOTO: Yukon Archives, Richard Harrington fonds, 79/27 #168

    Pioneer Agronomist

    The Hidden Histories Society Yukon collects stories and research on people of Asian and Black heritage who have contributed to the Yukon. It’s been doing this for 15 years. Yoshikazu (Joe) Tsukamoto was an early pioneer in the development of... more

    Jun 30, 2016


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    Issue: 2016-05-26, PHOTO: Vera Mattson Family Collection

    An Enterprising Adventurer

    The lure of the Yukon brought many enterprising people north. Togo Takamatsu was one of them. He was born in Chojumura, Japan on February 10, 1875 and immigrated to Vancouver in 1907. In the spring of 1920 he arrived in Carcross becoming one of 20... more

    May 26, 2016

  • Boyle’s Yukon Machine Gun Detachment

    Yukon Archives Photo/Oxford Historical Society Collection #84/78#112

    The Yukon and the First World War

    In the view of Dr. Ken Coates, the North’s response to the challenge presented by World War I was to do the opposite of what people Outside might have expected. “They historically were seen as being very separate from the whole country,” he says, more

    May 5, 2016


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