Dawson City, Yukon


June 2006


Dawson City is nestled along the banks of the Yukon River where it meets the Klondike River.  With the discovery of gold on Rabbit Creek (renamed Bonanza Creek) in 1898, the city became a boom town, built to serve the influx of gold seekers.  Dawson City was declared a national historic site in the early 1960s.  Parks Canada has been involved in restoring, reconstructing or stabilizing at least 35 properties, including the Palace Grand Theatre and a museum, so there was lots to see as well as many wonderful places to eat.  We enjoyed a couple evenings at Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall where they do 3 shows nightly and there are slot machines, blackjack and poker tables, and roulette. 

We drove out to see Dredge Number 4, built in 1912 for the Canadian Klondike Mining Company's claim on Bonanza Creek.  These huge machines moved along in a pond of its own making, digging gold bearing gravel at the front, putting gravel through the revolving screen washing plant to recover the gold, then depositing the gravel out the stacker in the rear, leaving behind huge piles of tailings that run for miles.  A dredge pond could be 300 feet long, by as much as 500 feet wide, depending on the valley the dredge was working in.  The creek flowed into the pond, continuously replenishing the water.

Another highlight of our stay in Dawson City was a drive up Dome Road to the top of a mountain that provides a 360-degree view of the area.  We thought about going up to watch the sunset, but it would have been after Midnight. 

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