YukonGenWeb - Yukon Territory History
YukonGenWeb - Yukon Territory GenealogyYukonGenWeb is part of the CanadaGenWeb Project

Yukon Territory takes its name from the GWICH'IN name Yu-kun-ah for the "great river" which drains most of its area. Lying in the northwestern corner of Canada's continental mainland, isolated by rugged mountains, it shares a common border and many characteristics with its American neighbour, Alaska. Historically, it is indelibly associated with the great KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH.
Canadian Encyclopedia
   Yukon Territory History
The Yukon was first explored for the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1840s. As a result, trading-posts were established on the Yukon River. The Canadian government acquired the area in 1870 as part of the purchase of the Hudson's Bay Company land. After this the region was administered as part of the Northwest Territories. In the 1890s gold was discovered, and at one period more than thirty thousand hopeful prospectors were roaming the territory.

The Yukon was made a separate district in 1895 and became a territory in 1898. The capital was originally at Dawson but was transferred to Whitehorse in 1952.

Source: Baxter, Angus. In search of your Canadian Roots: Tracing your family tree in Canada.
Macmillan of Canada, Toronto, 1989. 350pp. Index. ISBN 0-7715-9201-9

   Yukon History Stories
Yukon History [YT] - Athabascan culture and language; Newcomers; The fur trade; Alaska is sold; Whaling on the Arctic coast; Missionaries arrive; Looking for gold; The Gold Rush begins; The Alaska-Canada boundary dispute; End of the boom; A political entity; Mining more than gold; The Alaska Highway; Yukon today.

Before the Klondike Gold Rush - The area now known as the Yukon was home to people with a vast trading network long before the arrival of missionaries, fur traders and goldseekers. By Ken Spotswood.

The Klondike Gold Rush, touched off by the 17 August 1896 discovery of placer gold on Rabbit (later Bonanza) Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River, by George Washington Carmack and his Indian brothers-in-law, "Skookum Jim" and "Tagish Charley." This accidental find was the result of a tip by a Canadian prospector, Robert Henderson, now credited as codiscoverer. The gold rush that followed was confined that first year to the Yukon interior.

Christianity Arrives in the Yukon - The story of some of the dedicated preachers who came to the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. By Delores Smith.

The Dawn of a New Era - Yukon River, 1896 - 1896 Annual Report of the North-West Mounted Police detachment in the Yukon. This is the complete 1896 Annual Report for the North-West Mounted Police, written 4 months after the Klondike gold was discovered.

The 1898 Yukon Act - At the peak of the Klondike gold rush madness, the Yukon Territory was created by the Yukon Act. The complete text is here.

   Yukon Community History
The Community History Project [yukonalaska.com] - A series of Yukon community histories.
  • Carcross, Yukon - From the time the first prospectors came over the Chilkoot Pass, this place was known as Caribou Crossing because of the large herds of caribou that crossed the narrows between Bennett and Tagish Lakes twice a year on their annual migration.
  • Carmacks, Yukon - Before the outside world discovered the Yukon, the Carmacks region was part of the traditional fishing, hunting, trapping and trading area of the Northern Tutchone people.
  • Dawson City, Yukon - Following the historic discovery of gold on Bonanza Creek in August of 1896, Dawson City grew out of a marshy swamp near the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers.
  • Ross River, Yukon - The confluence of the Ross and Pelly Rivers was always a major crossroads for travelers coming North from the upper Liard River and those traveling East over the mountains to points on the Mackenzie River.
  • Tagish, Yukon - This Yukon community of 100 people is situated on the Six-Mile River which links Marsh and Tagish lakes.
  • Whitehorse, Yukon - Archaeological work at Canyon City shows evidence that First Nations people have used this area for many thousands of years.
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