History - Yukon, North of Ordinary

If These Walls Could Talk

The Transformative History of Dawson’s Yukon Lodge No. 45 This story originally ran in the Spring 2014 (V8I1) version of Yukon, North of Ordinary. It’s fitting the Freemason’s Yukon Lodge No. 45 resides on Dawson City’s Queen Street because in the town’s historic-building hierarchy the structure is nearest royalty. Ionic pillars guard the front door, balusters crown the red-ochre roof, and faux-stone tin wraps the 110-year-old structure—all giving it an imperial exterior that stands out amongst the wood-clad gentry. Continue reading

The Secret Spy History of the Radar Building

A Whitehorse Apartment Building That Once Monitored Soviet Signals This story originally ran in the Spring 2014 (V8I1) edition of Yukon, North of Ordinary. Artists, cab drivers, and construction workers have found refuge in an austere, grey apartment building, in Whitehorse Lobird subdivision, that was once filled with spies. Jessica Vellenga and Douglas Drake 300-square-foot apartment, with vaulted ceilings and unusual layout, used to be where air-force men hunched over typewriters, decoding cryptic Soviet messages. Continue reading

Living through the Yukon's Great Silver Ore Heist

Gerry, right, and friend George Esterer at Wernecke Camp. This story originally ran in the Winter 2014 (V8I4) edition of Yukon, North of Ordinary. "He was our father and could do no wrong,” writes Alicia Priest.   It was 1963. At the tender age of 10, she wanted to believe her father, Gerald, was an innocent, misunderstood man, but shortly after her family moved from the Yukon to East Vancouver, she knew something was wrong. Continue reading

Wealth Woman

Kate Carmack and the race for Klondike gold This story originally ran in the Fall 2014 (V8I3) edition of Yukon, North of Ordinary. Once known as the richest First Nations woman in North America, Kate Carmack (birth name Shaaw Tláa) was rumoured as having made the discovery of a lifetime: Klondike gold. Beyond wealth, her story is one of dignity, perseverance, and the sustaining power of family, culture, and wilderness during a time of staggering change for her Tagish First Nations community.   Shaaw Tláa was born in the second half of the nineteenth century and later married a Chilkoot Tlingit man. The union strengthened trading alliances between the Tagish and Tlingit, who fiercely guarded their position as intermediaries between ocean-going traders—first Russian, then British and American—and First Nations groups in the Yukon. Continue reading

Winter Rendezvous

The Whitehorse Festival With a Long Legacy of Warming up the Season  This story originally ran in the Spring 2014 (V8I1) edition of Yukon, North of Ordinary.  Rolf Hougen rhymes off a list of events from 1960s versions of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival: dances, a parade, competitions, and a queen contest—festive fundamentals that have withstood the past 50 years.   “Every business employee dressed up; all the banks put in displays; there was total community support,” Hougen says of the Whitehorse affair. “They don’t do a lot of things differently now as we did back then.” Continue reading

Turn of the Century Entertainment

  The Frantic Follies, Whitehorse's legendary Vaudeville show, bursts with talent This story originally ran in the Summer 2013 (V7I2) edition of Yukon, North of Ordinary. Continue reading