A Visit Back in the Time of the Gold Rush

#34

When offered the opportunity to scope out the Yukon as a possible place to hold events, my boss made it clear I had to go. Can’t argue with the boss, right?

So I hopped on a plane, on which I sat for 7 hours, landed in Whitehorse at 10 pm and was whisked to a hotel where I fell into bed by 11 (2 am my body’s time).

Painfully early the next morning, my host, Mike, and the 2 other people on the tour, Kat (my colleague) and another Erin, and I all boarded a tiny plane headed for Dawson City. When we landed, we all convened in the one-room airport and waited for our luggage.

The Baggage Claim Area at the Dawson City Airport

The Baggage Claim Area at the Dawson City Airport

Look at that! Our baggage is ready!

Look at that! Our baggage is ready!

Friday was a day for touring Dawson City. It’s a quiet town this time of year. Many of the buildings are boarded up for the winter. Various shops, restaurants and inns have no hope of filling up during the cold months so they close up tight to return in the spring. But the buildings are well taken care of…just empty.

Klondike Kate's Restaurant is only one of many of the businesses closed up tight for winter.

Klondike Kate’s Restaurant is only one of many of the businesses closed up tight for winter.

This is not an example of one of the "well taken care of boarded up" buildings but clearly two abandoned buildings. I wish I was able to explore them...!

This is not an example of one of the “well taken care of boarded up” buildings but clearly two abandoned buildings. I wish I was able to explore them…!

But we were lucky to have been taken on a tour of some of the historic buildings in the town that are basically now just museums. They also stay locked up tight until a tour guide unlocks the door to usher you in.

Dressed in period clothing, Janice, of Parks Canada, gave us an unforgettable tour of some fascinating history in this unique little town. Following are a few of the photos:

The Palace Grand Theatre

The Palace Grand Theatre

The Dawson City Post Office

The Dawson City Post Office. These boxes are filled with replica letters based on real letters that have never been claimed.

One of the boxes in the post office holds newspapers from the late 19th century/early 20th century.

Our tour guide also allowed us to poke around the second and third floors of this historic building. They were largely empty – rooms built in wood from floor to ceiling, gathering dust. The building was beyond frigid, as it was not heated. And yet it is in places like this where some of the most fascinating unspoken history lies.

Part of the attic of the Post Office.

Part of the attic of the Post Office.

A lonely chair sits in the corner of the attic.

A lonely chair sits in the corner of the attic.

An old dusty magazine from August 15, 1943 sits in another corner, aging by the day.

An old dusty magazine from August 15, 1943 sits in another corner, aging by the day.

While in Dawson City, we are staying at Bombay Peggy’s Inn. This building used to be a brothel. I’m staying in the “Sweet Room”. But the other Erin is staying in the “Lipstick Room”. You can’t beat a guest room called the “Lipstick Room!”

Bombay Peggy's Inn

Kat and I in front of Bombay Peggy’s Inn.

Bombay Pegg's Inn

The sitting room (lobby) at Bombay Peggy’s Inn.

I have already heard a few ghost stories about this building and although all has been quiet and uneventful in my room, something a little bizarre did happen on Friday afternoon. Erin and I were sitting in the sitting room having a nip of port. The innkeeper sets up a bottle of port and a bottle of sherry for guests every afternoon. So while we waited for Kat and Mike, we sipped our port and chatted a bit when suddenly the cork from the sherry popped up from the bottle and then dive bombed or the floor. We looked at each other in bewilderment but immediately, (the other) Erin explained it away, saying she had taken the cork out just to sniff the drink and must not have replaced it properly.

I don’t know about you, but I have replaced a lot of corks in my day – both solidly and half-assed, and that has never happened to me…

The port and sherry bottles for the guests to partake in the afternoon.

The port and sherry bottles for the guests to partake in the afternoon.

Stay tuned for more adventures of Two Erins, a Kat and a Mike in Dawson City, Yukon.

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About Erin Kuhns

Stepping out of the woods and out of my comfort zone. One year...one hundred new things to ensure I don't spend another year sitting in the armchair of life.
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2 Responses to A Visit Back in the Time of the Gold Rush

  1. Donna says:

    You are awesome in Dawson, Erin! Love the photos and stories! Can’t wait to hear more…

  2. Bailey says:

    keep the stories comin

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