Phil Wolters

Looking Back: 3,000 Horses

One of the interesting names on the map in Yukon history is Dead Horse Gulch. It’s a name that has been well-earned. During the height of the Gold Rush, from 1897-1898, there were thousands of horses that joined the thousands of people making the epic trek from the south up to the Klondike. A North-West …

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Looking Back: The most interesting man in the world

Every now and then, a figure emerges out of the shadows of history with so much success and so many adventures that you swear they must be made up. Without the historical record and extensive documentation, we might swear it is impossible for these people to exist. (After all, there’s only so much a person …

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Looking Back: House of Life

The Klondike Gold Rush brought people from all over North America and the world to Dawson City. It should be no surprise then, that among the thousands that poured over the Chilkoot Pass on their way to the City of Gold were representatives of a range of faiths. The variation in churches that sprang up …

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Looking Back: Fickle Fortune

It was inevitable, considering the sheer volume and variety of people who joined the Klondike Gold Rush, that a few people with connections to the occult made it up to Dawson City—psychics were in the crowd. On February 2, 1901, the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) visited the locales of four practising fortunetellers to alert them …

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Sam McGee “at home”

Looking Back: The real Sam McGee

Sam McGee was a real person, but nothing like Service’s character. He stole the name off of a deposit slip.The two men never knew each other.

Looking Back: Snowball

Herschel Island is the Yukon’s most northerly point, and one of its most beautiful. For a stretch in the late 19th century, it was also the busiest. This 16 x 13 km2 island, well north of the Arctic Circle, was home to a bustling community of whalers. The bowhead whale brought them to the island. …

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