The Year 1898


It didn’t take the residences of the new town of Dawson long to organize events, such as celebrations, musicals, operas and games of all kinds. The 4th of July, Canada day July 1st and the Queens birthday.

White Pass boat was stuck on a bar, and the steamer Selkirk was reported to be on a bar in Lake Lebarge, she has not yet passed the lower end of the lake.


It was reported that the Yukon Telephone and Telegraph Co., formed in the fall of 1897 Leroy Pelletier, “Big Alex” McDonald, Bill McPhee, George Demars and John Erickson, had received their plant consisting of 80 miles of wire 25 long distant transmitters, 100 drop switches board, and a complete outfit.

Lines will be run up the gulches and a city exchange established. The “Hello” girl will soon be among the many evidences of civilization in our midst.. In July the company was busy stringing wire and on Wednesday, the first message was from the Dominion Hotel in Dawson to the telephone main office in Klondike City. That same month a second line had been strung and later that month it was announced that connections had been made with hotels in Grand Forks, the line was completed on Sunday. By August 20 the central office was setup in room 25 of the Fairview Hotel, with connections to 20 subscribers, the upper Ferry, Grand Forks, No.6 Eldorado, No. 30 Eldorado and No.66 below discovery Bonanza. May 10, 1899 the Yukon Telephone Syndicate completed an extension to their line to include Dominion Creek, the route chosen was from Grand Forks, on up Bonanza to Joe Clark’s Roadhouse, on the Summit then touching the head of Sulphur from there over the divide to Dominion at about No.. 7 above upper discovery. (Klondike Nugget, June 28,1898)


Grand Fourth of July Observance Opens with initial heat of derby on first avenue, at 4 o’clock.

The committee was hard at work transforming First Avenue into a scene gay with bunting and flags. From the Fairview to the N. C. Co. stores, the thoroughfare is being decorated with national colors of the United States and the British Empire.

The committee are aiming to make the avenue a living mass of color from one end of the race course to the other. A man will be stationed in the ferry tower with a big flag which he will wave when the horse, races etc. start down the street in fierce competition.

The finance committee ran the donations for the celebrations up to $1,500.

The grand stand has been erected on First Avenue. Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting the massive machinery of the Andrews Hydraulic company off the street so the grand stand could be erected.

A $200 prize was offered for the derby. After the first heat came the quarter mile bicycle race. Then the long shore mens 100 yard dash with trucks, then comes the half-mile handicap horse race. The farmers slow race was then ran» the last one to cross the line will get the prize. The day will end with a baseball game at the police grounds between the Idyle Hours and the Amaranth nines.

The Bank of British North America:

Established 1836, Capital $4,866,666; reserve $1,388,000. Drafts bought and sold, gold dust purchased.


On July 4th 1898 the Americans in Dawson decided to celebrate on the occasion of the “Glorious Fourth”according to the Klondike Nugget of July 5th Scarcely had the clock ticked a few seconds past midnight on Sunday, when a fuselage of pistol shots broke the Sunday stillness, and noise and lots of it became the shrill order of the day.

Whoops and Hallows sprang from every throat of the thousands of American throats, from one end of Dawson to the other end in Klondike City, and proceeded to pierce the air with all kinds of guns in the hands of all kinds of men, but every mothers son of them were jubilant over the fact for the first time in history the vast Yukon was being awakened from her sleep of centuries by 10,000 loyal Americans who could not and would not forget, “the day we celebrate,’ even though thousands of miles from home. The dogs of Dawson also got into the celebration stampeding and howling in tune with the rest of the noise.

Sleeping policemen jump from their beds with exclamations as to what was all the shots and noise about, but looking at the clock and the calendar they realized it was the American population celebrating the American holiday, independence Day”.

The sports in the afternoon were witnessed by a large enthusiastic crowd. A game of base ball was played on the sand bar in front of the town, the teams were the “Sourdough Stiffs” and the ” Cheechaeos.” the bats were made from discarded boat masts, the bases were from rounded blocks of wood. Though the sand was ankle deep the game was played with much zest and enjoyed by all the onlookers. The score was 8 to 9 in favour of the “Stiffs”.

©John Gould


4 thoughts on “The Year 1898

  • Julie Stengerq


    I was looking for my Great Great Grandfather’s (Samuel Meniece) burial site/information. He last lived in Dawson City – Yukon – Canada during the 1898 Gold Rush. He seems to have disappeared after that. I didn’t know if you might have cemeteries there that I could check online to see if he is buried at one of these sites.

    Thank you so much,
    Julie Stenger

  • Carol Mattana

    I am trying to find information about my aunt, Dorothy M. Pine of Lockport, NY. She married in 1898 and was divorced from Frank C. Ballantine in 1899. She reportedly traveled from Seattle, Washington to Dawson City in 1899. I know that she was trained as a singer and dancer. My grandmother told me that she married a riverboat gambler. Could this be Rosario LeVitre? Any information you can provide me about my aunt would certainly be appreciated. I am 85 years old and would love to find out what happened to my aunt. Thank you, Carol.

  • Claude lamoureux


    Je fais des recherches dans le but de faire éditer un livre sur l’histoire de Henry Lovely alias Henri Lamoureux…..j’aimerais savoir su vous possèede quelques renseignements que ce soit qui pourrais maider dans mes recherches…….

    Merci de votre collaboration,à

    Claude Lamoureux

  • David Moody

    I am looking for anything concerning my great-great grand uncle William Galpin who came to Dawson City around 1899/1900, I think.
    He was on the 1911 census with his wife Rhoda Ann. He died in Dawson in 1925, I assume he was buried there. I have not found his wife’s death, or whether she stayed in Dawson after William’s death.
    He was born in Hampshire, England, was a teacher in a boy school in Yalding, Kent, England and then came to Canada.
    Your site is very interesting, what a past history with the so famous gold rush!
    Thank you.

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