john_gouldJohn Gould is a well respected and knowledgeable historian who was born in Dawson over ninety years ago. He has an immense knowledge of Klondike history at his fingertips. Having lived here all his life he continues to uncover more and more fascinating facts about Dawson’s past.

Mr. Gould has assembled a collection of interesting news articles during Dawson’s early days which he has titled ‘Dawson City a History of Growing Pains 1896 – 1906′. His selections paint an interesting picture of that time providing a valuable insight into what life was like here right after the great Gold Rush. The work on this site is volunteer so it will take time before all 200 pages of his work are online.

In the meantime please view these links.

Early Dawson :: Discovery :: Boomtown :: Paris of the North :: The Year 1898


Michael Gates is a long time resident of the Yukon and a historian with many years of research under his belt. He is the author of Gold at Fortymile Creek: Early Days in the Yukon – a look at what life was like in the Town of Forty Mile on the Yukon River just prior the big strike in the Klondike in 1896.

We are delighted to alert readers to a new book Mr. Gates published in the spring of 2010 called History Hunting in the Yukon which is a collection of his popular stories he has managed to unearth to deepen our understanding of Yukon’s rich history.

Mr. Gates also writes a regular column for the Yukon News called History Hunter where he uncovers some unusual stories about our past. Many of his articles are published on this site.

We are very lucky indeed to be treated to some articles he has written about other captivating aspects of our Yukon history.


10 thoughts on “History

  • sherry woodburn

    I would be interested in knowing if you have any information on Walter Woodburn. I believe he was born in 1877 and was mayor of Dawson City in 1898. He was a pharmacist, married with one son, Walter Jr.

    Any information you have would be appreciated.


    Sherry Woodburn

  • Jerrine Hughes Craig

    Could someone help me find any stories or information on Isaac Hughes? My family history notes refer to him as “Ike of the Klondike, Postmaster of Dawson City”, presumably during the gold rush, but certainly in the mid to late 19th century. I would like to add more to this cryptic note for my children and grandchildren. I feel that family histories that consist only of begats and deaths miss the point, which should be to record the evolution of character through families. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    Jerrine Hughes Craig

  • Almeiri Santos

    I am looking for someone for a quick pre-taped phone interview with a host at CBC Radio 2, for our Project “The Great Canadian Song Quest 2010: Road Song” about The Dampster HWY. Dead line Monday, Sept. 20th (to be recorded on Tuesday Sept. 21st.). Please call 416-205-3490 – Almeiri Santos
    Thanks in advance.

  • Robert Rogers

    I am looking for information about Dr. Everly Eldon Rogers, my uncle who apparently Medical Superintendent of Yukon in the 1920’s. e had two Sons, Claud and Jack Lawrence Rogers. Both of these men were WWII veterans, both in light Ack Ack Artillery Regiments. I don’t know exactly when he arrived in Yukon or when he left only that his brother, my father was there from 1921 until 1971 working for about 30 years for YCGC. Also his brother in law Archie Turnbull (an American) was mining on Lovat Gulch from about 1920 for an unknown length of time – he succeeded in the mining game and subsequently left and went to Washington State to live. Am interested in any data available

  • JoAnn Yost

    I am currently researching Samuel W Wall who was sent to the Yukon in 1896 as a Special Correspondent for the San Francisco Call. He appears to have worked for the Call for 2-3 years then reportedly became editor of the Dawson City News until at least 1901. He is in Dawson for the Canadian 1901 census. The articles he wrote for the Call are available on Chronicling America from 1896-1899. He later on became the Washington DC Bureau manager for the Call to report on things realtive to the Pacific Coast states including Alaska. He left that post after about 1.5 years to become editor for the Fairbanks Evening News and possibly for a short time the Alaskan in Skagway. Any information about his time in Dawson would be appreciated. His birthplace is Pittsburgh Pa and he moved to Tacoma Washington in 1887. Thank you JoAnn

  • Clint Broughton

    I have just read and enjoyed Mr. Gould’s book on placer mining techniques used in the Klondike. What a great family story.
    I am seeking a few pieces of information on Sam Broughton who was a card dealer in Dawson gaming houses until his death in 1951. I know he arrived in Dawson in 1898 but not how, although the statistical liklihood is over the Chilkoot. Any suggestions to confirm? Unable to find anything in the Dawson City Museum. Have tracked down Pierre Berton’s archives including his notes for the book “Klondike” in Hamilton, ON, but haven’t gone through. (Sam is listed in the bibliography under personal interviews)
    Sam worked as a miner for a short time, but I also found his occupation listed as “engineer” on the 1918 voters list. Does anyone have any recollection of ever hearing that he worked on the Klondike Mines Railroad that operated to 1913, or one of the mining operations using rail transport? Perhaps even on steam melting operations ahead of dredges? He was a RR engineer in the Sarnia, ON, area before joining the rush.
    Lastly, are you aware of any burial records for Hillside Cemetery? There are very few markers. With the help of the museum and Ed Jones, I’m likely within a few yards, but not accurate enough to place a marker.

  • Clint Broughton

    Mr. Gates – I have a copy of History Hunting in the Yukon. Do you have any recollections of Sam Broughton in your archives? We know he arrived in Dawson in 1898 but would be interested in knowing with certainty how he got there. We also know he was a miner for a short time after his arrival, but most of his life in Dawson was as a gaming house card dealer until his death in January, 1951. There is some suggestion based on a 1918 voters list that he may have been a RR engineer, his former occupation in Ontario, on the Klondike Goldfields RR. Finally, I’m looking for burial records for Hillside Cemetery. I’ve looked at what the Dawson Museum has and been in contact with Ed Jones.

    Thank you.

  • Piper

    I am interested in any info about James Sherman Cooper, my family member, who died in Dawson in 1898.
    Thank you

  • B

    I am trying to find out the doctor’s name in Dawson Springs in 1897-1899 or anyone named Kilgore. I was told there was a doctor named Kilgore there, but do not find any evidence. Could you shred some light on this?

  • Marlene Schneider

    I am doing genealogy research and my husband’s grandfather, William E. Holmes lived in Dawson Y.T. from late 1890’s to about 1902. His wife was Gladys and Daughter Florence who attended St. Mary’s school.
    We believe he was a riverboat captain for a while at that time. Possibly on the Lightning in 1902 and the Columbian in 1899. I would appreciate any other info you may have or if you can verify if any of this is accurate or where else might I search.

    Thanks, Marlene Schneider

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