• Russell Roy

Dawson City Yukon - Feel the Gold Rush

When you walk the wooden sidewalks of Dawson City, Yukon you feel the ghosts of times past. The rich history of the Yukon gold rush is still well preserved throughout the town. Many of the original buildings still exist and are still used for their original purposes.

It all started with the setting. Gold found in 1896 drew thousands of miners into the region along with the gambling, drinking and carousing associated with it. Dawson City became an important crossroads on the Yukon River along with local finds on the Klondike River and Bonanza Creek.

A birds eye view of Dawson City below. From this viewpoint, you can also see the midnight sun during summer solstice.

It doesn't take long before you're transformed in time.

The Red Feather Saloon is now a liquor store from which we bought some wine.

We replaced our broken ax at the Dawson City General Store.

One of the more unique Dawson City traditions is the SourToe Cocktail. We paid a visit to the Downtown Hotel but were outside of the "Toe Time", an invitation to touch a mummified human toe to your lips while drinking a sour cocktail. Yes, it is a real human toe and tradition says that it must touch your lips when you enjoy your drink. The toe is popular having found its way to 60,000 people's lips.

Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall. Can you make that up?

What may make Dawson more legend that reality is that it was also home to many famous Canadian authors. Some had residences there that can be visited today like Jack London (photo below), Robert Service (second photo below) and Pierre Burton. Their vivid accounts of life in the north make a visit all the more rewarding.