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The Whitehorse Star, January 12, 1940


Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star, 1940-1949


Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

Explorer's Guides to Yukon Communities



1940

January

  • January 26, 1940: Edwin S. Keene, one of the first to go over the Chilkoot Pass in the early days of the Klondike stampede, passes away on January 8. He became a hero in the winter of 1897 when he hiked 20 miles back along the trail to get a stove which he packed on his back over an ice laden and snow covered route. The stove was used to heat an enclosure where a leg of a boy that had been frozen could be successfully amputated.

February

  • February 2, 1940: A new overland stage service between Dawson and Whitehorse began on January 31 when Jack Graham with a crew of two left Dawson with a diesel Caterpillar drawn caravan.

March

  • March 29, 1940: George Black (Progressive Conservative Party) is the winner in the Yukon on account of the federal elections and therefore Yukon's Member of Parliament. Charles Reid (Liberal Party) comes in second place.

April

  • April 5, 1940: On April 5, the International Alaska Highway Commission recommends that the highway run north from Prince George, east of Hazelton, to Fort James and Whitehorse, then northwest to the Yukon-Alaska border and then due west to Fairbanks. On June 7, 1940, the U.S. Senate passes a Bill on May 29, 1940 extending the existence of the International Highway Commission for 4 more years.
    Almost a year after it was announced that the Alaska Highway project is stopped for the duration of the war, the Canadian Commission for the British Columbia-Yukon-Alaska Highway announces to undertake further surveys (August 9, 1940). At the same time, the immediate construction of the Alaska Highway is urged throughout the United States (August 16, 1940). Towards the end of the year (November 1, 1940), Ottawa announces the construction of the Alaska Highway for the beginning of 1941. The construction is also recommended by the United States-Canadian Defence Board.
  • April 12, 1940: Major Snyder, former head of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, passses away.
  • April 12, 1940: The Whitehorse Liberal Association, a new political organization, is formed in Whitehorse on April 6, 1940. The elected officers of the association are Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King P.C. (Hon. President), Charles Reid (Hon. Vice-President), J.R. Alguire (President) and Horace E. Moore (Secretary Treasurer).

May

  • May 3, 1940: Dr. Alfred Thompson died of a heart attack in Vancouver on Saturday, April 20th. He had been the Conservative member for the Yukon from 1904 to 1909 and 1911 to 1921, and practised his profession in the Territory for many years before moving to Vancouver. During the Great War he was a member of the Canadian Medical Corps.
  • May 3, 1940: The rapid recession of the Grand Pacific Glacier has extended Tarr Inlet, southeastern Alaska, with the result that open sea water now exists on the Canadian side of the boundary where hitherto the ice blocked all navigation. The potential new seaport, however, is inaccessible by land due to the mountainous terrain.
  • May 10, 1940: Shattering all known records, states the Dawson News, the ice moved out this year on Sunday, April 28th, at 1:54 p.m. The earliest previous record was in 1934 when it moved out in the forenoon of May 2nd.
  • May 10, 1940: George Fleming, the first government telegrapher in Whitehorse, back in the days when the town was on the other side of the river, died recently in Sacramento, California.
  • May 24, 1940: A disastrous fire on May 22 wipes out the Orpheum Theatre and the Yukonia Hotel in Dawson.

June

  • June 7, 1940: The famous sourdough and skipper Captain "Paddy" Martin passes away in Whitehorse on June 4. Read that and another article about Captain Martin here.
  • June 7, 1940: Admiral Richard Byrd has returned the floats loaned to him by Yukon Southern Air Transport. Used on the Antarctic Ocean, they are now in service on the lakes and rivers of the Yukon by the YSAT Barkley-Grow.

August

  • August 2, 1940: After 28 years in France, Robert W. Service makes his home in Victoria, B.C.
  • August 23, 1940: Dr. F. Burns Roth is elected the new superintendent of Whitehorse General Hospital.

September

  • September 20, 1940: Sam McGee passes away in Calgary on September 11.

October

  • October 4, 1940: Ottawa gives instruction to recruit 150 men for the army at Dawson, Mayo and Whitehorse.
  • October 11, 1940: Emilie Tremblay is married in Dawson to Louis Legras on October 3, 1940.

November

  • November 1, 1940: For the territorial elections, only W.L. Phelps is nominated for the Whitehorse district. He is therefore declared elected for a three-year term without elections actually taking place.

1941

January

  • January 3, 1941: With this issue the Whitehorse Star enters upon its forty-first year of service to this community.
  • January 3, 1941: On May 1, Pan American Airways (PAA) will begin service from Seattle to Fairbanks via Juneau 4 times a week with new Lodestar Electras. The Electras are stated to be considerably faster than the ordinary transport and will probably carry 12 passengers each.

April

  • April 11, 1941: Harry G. Dickson, pioneer Dominion Land Surveyor in the Yukon, died on Friday, April 4th, in St. Mary's Hospital at Dawson.
  • April 25, 1941: Captain Austin E. Lathrop of Fairbanks, Alaska, passed through here last week on P. A. A. en route to Seattle, where architects are preparing plans for several large buildings Lathrop is going to build at Anchorage, including a 950-seat theatre, a radio station, apartment block, and others.

1942

January

  • January 30, 1942: It is announced that the life story of "Klondike Kate" (Kate Rockwell Matson) is to be filmed in Hollywood. Kate Rockwell Matson travels to Hollywood to choose herself the woman who is to play her role.

February

  • February 20, 1942: The Alaska Highway dominates the news in 1942. On February 20, 1942 President Roosevelt emphasizes the vital necessity for an immediate construction of the Alaska Highway to assure an uninterrupted flow of supplies. Three weeks later, on March 13, 1942, the construction of the Alaska Highway is officially approved by the U.S. and Canadian governments for military purposes. Thirty million dollars have been appropriated by the U.S. government for the project. The highway will follow the route of the airlines: Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Watson Lake, Whitehorse.

March

  • March 27, 1942: It is announced that three large parties are to be employed for the construction of the Alaska Highway, two of which will be working out of Whitehorse and the other out of Dawson Creek. The general plans are being prepared under the supervision of Brigadier General Sturdeyant, but the actual construction is to be carried out under the direction of Colonel W. M. Hoge.

April

  • April 10, 1942: The U.S. army engineering corps arrive in Whitehorse for the construction of the Alaska Highway. Reports state that 15,000 men are required for the construction of the Alaska Highway (June 12, 1942). The southern portion of the Alaska Highway is in use on October 2, 1942: The first car arrived in Whitehorse from Dawson Creek. The construction of the Alaska Highway is completed October 28, 1942. The official opening takes place on November 20, 1942 with a ceremony held at Soldiers' Summit. The Whitehorse Star issues a special newspaper almost entirely dedicated to the opening of the Alaska Highway. After completion of the highway,a new feeder road, connecting Haines with the Alaska Highway, is under construction (December 11, 1942).

May

  • May 1, 1942: The population census states that in 1941 1,679 women and 3,008 men (a total of 4687) lived in the Yukon Territory.
  • May 1, 1942: Ballot boxes arrive in down river settlements near Peace River by dropping them from C.P. Airline planes (April 24, 1942).
  • May 1, 1942: The Polaris-Taku mine, operating in the Atlin district is closing down for the duration of the war, due to inability to secure sufficient labour and supplies.
  • May 8, 1942: There are reports stating that President Roosevelt is considering the construction of a railroad connecting the United States with Alaska, possibly following the route of the Alaska Highway. Costs are estimated between 68 and 200 million dollars.
  • May 15, 1942: Survey parties arrive in the Territory for the purpose of mapping out a feasible route for the proposed United States-Alaska railroad
  • May 15, 1942: On May 10, 1942, the Yukon Southern Air Transport Ltd. Inaugurates a daily service between Edmonton and Whitehorse (Fridays excepted).
  • May 29, 1942: On May 22, 1942, Minister Howe tells the House of Commons that Private air lines will not be allowed to operate in competition with the projected new TransCanada air lines services to the Yukon and Alaska.

June

  • June 5, 1942: The U.S. government is considering a pipeline connecting the oil wells in Fort Norman, N.W.T. with Whitehorse. Negotiations between the Canadian and U.S. governments are underway.
  • June 12, 1942: Louis Nadeau of Chief Gulch discovered one of the largest nuggets ever found in that district valued at $1,200.

July

  • July 24, 1942: Strict military control over all civilian travel to and from Alaska is established on July 14. A military pass is now required for any civilian entering or leaving the territory.

August

  • August 21, 1942: Plans are prepared for the erection of a new wing to Whitehorse General Hospital. The construction of the new wing starts on November 13, 1942.
  • August 21, 1942: The Government of Canada approves the establishement of restricted military areas as established by General W.M. Hoge. The area includes portions of the Whitehorse airport and its vicinity. Hunting is prohibited in this area and travel is restricted to those with a pass.
  • August 21, 1942: $2,000 is allocated for improvement of roads and sidewalks in Whitehorse during the year. Wood sidewalks are retained on the two main streets. On the other streets, the wood sidewalks are replaced with crushed rock surfaced with decomposed granite.

September

  • September 11, 1942: Negotiations between the U.S. government and the White Pass and Yukon Route are in progress for the U.S. government to operate the railroad for the duration of the war.
  • September 11, 1942: All travellers passing through Alaskan Territory must secure a permit from the U.S. Military Police.

October

  • October 2, 1942: The first combination canteen-clubhouse in the Yukon opens in Whitehorse for the army. The space is an annex to the library and former meeting hall of the I.O.D.E.
  • October 2, 1942: The son of Bishop Stringer is married on August 29 in Toronto.
  • October 9, 1942: A second highway to Alaska, along route "A" from Seattle north is recommended by the Alaska International Highway Commission, but not favoured by the Federal Works Agency.

December

  • December 4, 1942: Leslie Cook becomes a hero flying in a snowstorm and sub-zero-weather and saving a soldier's life. Shortly after, Les Cook dies in the "saddest airplane tragedy in the history of Whitehorse". His plane crashes on one of the main streets soon after take-off.
  • December 18, 1942: Another historic landmark in Whitehorse is destroyed by fire on December 16 when the N.S.A.A. Hall burns down.

1943

January

  • January 8, 1943: Dr. I. D. Snider, well-known throughout the Yukon, Alaska and British Columbia as a dentist, is now a captain in the Armed Forces. He left Dawson a few years ago and established himself in the Medical-Dental Building in Vancouver.
  • January 8, 1943: The C. P. A. plane which disappeared December 20th whilst en route to Vancouver with 8 passengers has not yet been located and the cause of the unfortunate accident still remains a mystery.
  • January 8, 1943: The impetus given to scientific research in times of war is truly striking and phenomenal. One of the scientific dreams which modern research is bringing steadily closer to realization is the capturing of energy directly from the sun's rays. The tapping of even a small part of the tremendous, quantities of solar energy which flood the earth every day and its harnessing to man's industrial and domestic needs would effect a complete transformation in the life of every nation.

    The January 8th edition is the only January edition available in the online archives.

February

  • February 19, 1943: A dynamite explosion in Dawson Creek on February 13 demolishes an entire block, causing the death of 5 people, and more than 150 are injured.
  • February 19, 1943: The mayor of Atlin, Major C. William A. Neville, dies on February 8, at the age of 81.

    The February 19th edition is the only February edition available in the online archives.

March

  • March 5, 1943: A fire on March 3 damages the Whitehorse library and destroys numerous books.
  • March 5, 1943: Atlin is experiencing one of the greatest logging and sawmill booms in its lifetime.
  • March 5, 1943: Several movie stars arrive in the north to entertain the troops involved in the construction of the Alaska Highway.

    The March 5th edition is the only March edition available in the online archives.

April

  • April 9, 1943: The Public Library, which is under the management of Whitehorse Chapter, Imperial Order Daughters of Empire, reports a banner year due to increase in population. The book exchange department has been one of the busiest offices in town, and the Reading Room, with its tables well stocked with the latest magazines and papers and letter-writing materials, has been patronized daily. Records show that 4,044 books were in circulation, of which number, 417 were loaned to out-of-town borrowers.
  • April 9, 1943: Several Dawsonites are now working at the Snag airport or freighting in and out of Whitehorse. These include Bill Anderson, formerly of Yukon Dredge No. 2 and an outstanding Bear Creek ball player. C. B. Smith is driving a "cat," Erland (Snooze) Benson is trucking as also are Reg. Ryan, Earl Brooks and Vic McLellan.
  • April 9, 1943: A party of 15 or more, consisting of Dominion geologists and representatives of six United States oil corporations will be arriving in the north in the near future to prospect for oil in the Mackenzie river area between Providence and Fort Norman according to a report emanating from Ottawa.

    The April 9th edition is the only April edition available in the online archives.

July

  • July 2, 1943: Medical health officers order compulsory inoculation of all Indians at Moosehide because of a possible typhoid epidemic.

August

  • August 27, 1943: Dr. W. Graham Gillam, M.R.C.V.S., has been to Dawson and inspected all the herds of cattle in the district for T. B. and was very favourably impressed with the tests, all animals being in Al condition. He will be leaving here this week-end on his return trip to Vancouver.
  • August 27, 1943: A huge British and Canadian armada dropped upwards of 2000 tons of bombs on Berlin Monday night, turning it into a blazing inferno visible for 250 miles. It was the heaviest raid in the war in which great four-ton super block-busters and hundreds of thousands of incendiaries player the major role. Fifty-eight Allied bombers were lost in the raid, seven of which were stated to be Canadian.

September

  • September 3, 1943: On August 29, U.S. and Canadian officials participate in the formal opening of the Peace River Bridge which is part of the Alaska Highway system.
  • September 10, 1943: In a report made by General George Marshall, figures about the Alaska Highway are revealed: The cost is estimated at $115,000,000, and 10,000 American troops were used in the construction between March and October 1942. The road-bed is 26 feet wide with a surface from 20 to 22 feet wide.
  • September 17, 1943: Governor General of Canada, The Earl of Athlone, and his wife, H.R.H. the Princess Alice, visit the Territory on September 12.
  • September 24, 1943: The TITA movie theatre opens on September 21, 1943: at McCrae with the screening of Irvin Berlin's "This is the Army".
  • September 24, 1943: Daily mail service between Whitehorse and Dawson Creek, B.C. is inaugurated.

November

  • November 26, 1943: An agreement is reached between the U.S. and the Canadian governments regarding the Canol project. The United States carry out the construction program in the N.W.T., Yukon and Alaska and own and operate the project for the duration of the war. Thereafter the properties are to be valued and the Canadian government is to have the first option of purchasing the pipeline and refinery at the commercial valuation.

December

  • December 3, 1943: The closing of the Public Roads Administration Offices on December 2 marks the completion of the Alaska Highway.

1944

January

  • January 7, 1944: Washington releases that the Canol oil pipeline will be completed by the U.S. government despite recommendations that the project be abandoned.
  • January 7, 1944: With the last issue in December, the Whitehorse Star completes forty-three years of service in the Yukon.
  • January 7, 1944: Carpentry work is completed on the new White Pass and Yukon Railway engine house. The building had been destroyed by fire on Christmas night, 1943:.
  • January 14, 1944: A well-equipped completely modern laundry and dry cleaning plant is built on the banks of the Lewes River near McCrae.
  • January 14, 1944: The entire Yukon Territory, N.W.T. and parts of Alberta are declared "prohibited areas" under the Defence Air Regulations. It is stated that this action has been taken "in order that military control can be exercised over air transport in the whole area".
  • January 19, 1944: Pioneering Yukoner, H. G. MacPherson, owner of a drug store on Front Street since 1907, passes away.

February

  • February 4, 1944: Earthquake tremors shook many premises in town yesterday.
  • February 11, 1944: Alexander A. Smith is elected to the Yukon Territorial Council.
  • February 11, 1944: The Honourable Ernest Gruening, Governor of Alaska, is a visitor to Whitehorse on his way to Juneau from Fairbanks.
  • February 11, 1944: Robert W. Service makes an appearance in the Hollywood movie "The Spoilers".
  • February 12, 1944: A farewell banquet for American Brigadier-General James A. O'Connor, Officer Commanding the Northwest Service Command is given by residents of Whitehorse at the Inn Cafe. Horace Moore, editor of the Whitehorse Star, is the Master of Ceremonies. A gold key to town is presented to O'Connor who spearheaded the race to build the Alaska Highway.
  • February 16, 1944: The final weld on the Canol pipeline is made by Bob Shivel, twenty months after the project began.
  • February 19, 1944: The citizens of Whitehorse, through the Whitehorse Star, receives a letter of appreciation from Brigadier-General O'Connor for the send-off. He says the key will always be a treasured memento, but that he needed no souvenir to remind him of the town of Whitehorse and its wonderful people.
  • February 19, 1944: The recreation hall of the RCAF is the banquet location for the first RCAF wedding in the Yukon. Leading aircraftsman Jason McNair marries Rita Aikens. Both are originally from Montreal. The wedding takes place in the Chapel of Christ Church.
  • February 24, 1944: CFWH, the U.S. Army operated radio station, begins regular broadcasting.
  • February 25, 1944: Sales of War Savings Certificates in British Columbia and the Yukon registered a substantial gain in January amounting to $425,000 compared with $380,892 in December.
  • February 25, 1944: The Whitehorse Chapter of the I.O.D.E. submits it annual financial statement. Mrs. Matthew Watson of the Carcross chapter alone raised $608 for the organization's contribution to "the war funds".

April

  • April 28, 1944: Henry C. Macaulay, first mayor of Dawson, YT, dies in Vancouver at the age of 74.

May

  • May 5, 1944: The Canol Refinery, built by Standard Oil for the U.S. Army, officially opens in Whitehorse on April 30, 1944. Three thousand people attended.
  • May 12, 1944: Alaska Highway air fields have already more than paid for themselves with the number of aircraft that has utilized them under emergency conditions.
  • May 25, 1944: The first river boat of the season, The Whitehorse, departs for Dawson on with Captain Bromley in control.
  • May 26, 1944: Dawson suffers its worst flood in history, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Four American bombers from Fairbanks, Alaska are called in to break the ice jam.

June

  • June 6, 1944: The Western Allies landed in northern France, opening the long-awaited 'Second Front' against Germany. Commanded by U.S. Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Normandy assault phase, code-named "Neptune" (the entire operation was "Overlord"), was launched when weather reports predicted satisfactory conditions. D-Day had begun.
  • June 16, 1944: Whitehorse residents petition Ottawa for public utilities.
  • June 16, 1944: Gordon R. Cameron and his bride take up their residence in Whitehorse.
  • June 16, 1944: On June 11, 1944, Berent Hougen arrives in Whitehorse from Francois Lake, B.C. as the local representative for Rawleigh Products.
  • June 19, 1944: Sam Johnson, a colourful figure in the Klondike Goldrush of '98, passes away at the age of 84.
  • June 23, 1944: On June 9, George Black, M.P. for the Yukon Territory, introduces in the Commons an amendment to the elections Act relative to the Yukon being grouped with Alberta instead of with British Columbia. The amendment was rejected.

July

  • July 7, 1944: Whitehorse Men's Council; Honourary President, Inspector Cronkhite, R.C.M.P: President, E.F. (Ted) Pinchin: Vice President, Jack Barber: Secretary, Rev. L.G Chappel: Treasurer, Geoff Bidlake.

August

  • August 1, 1944: Alaska travel permits are no longer required for traveling the highway to Alaska.
  • August 11, 1944: Whitehorse welcomes the return of the Northwest Service Command after a period spent in Edmonton.

September

  • September 15, 1944: The business men of Whitehorse at their own expense installed both a water and sewerage system, as well as laying the concrete sidewalk on Main Street to 3rd Avenue and to T.C. Richards' home at 3rd Avenue and Steele Street.
  • September 22, 1944: A powerful radio telegraph system nears completion on the Northwest Staging route between Edmonton and Whitehorse. It is called the most effective system of radio telegraph and telephone communications ever established by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Northwest Staging Route is the name given all operations along the Alaska Highway.

October

  • October 27, 1944: War department officials state they intend to continue operating the Alaska Highway until six months after the end of the war as per their original agreement with Canada.

November

  • November 3, 1944: The first U.S. Women's Army Corps arrive in Whitehorse. They are the first WAC'S to be assigned to service outside the United States.
  • November 10, 1944: Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States for a fourth term. He is the first to receive this honour.

December

  • December 8, 1944: The Whitehorse Men’s Hockey League is organized. President, Inspector H.H Cronkhite, R.C.M.P: Vice-president, Mr.York Wilson, W.P. & Y.R.: Secretary Mike Nolan, R.C.M.P.
  • December 15, 1944: Under the direction of the British Columbia government schools have been established along the Alaska Highway to serve the families of the maintenance crews.
  • December 15, 1944: Major C.A.K. Innes-Taylor has become director of the U.S. Army Arctic Training Centre at Namao airport.
  • December 22, 1944: Improvements to the Alaska Highway are requested by the American Auto Association. They are anxious to promote post-war tourist traffic.
  • December 29, 1944: Mr. H. Milton Martin is appointed Public Administrator for the Yukon Territory.

1945

January

  • January 5, 1945: It is announced that the All Union Committee of Whitehorse backed by the International Trade Union of North and South America will sponsor a Yukon Carnival Week to be held at Whitehorse in March.
  • January 19, 1945: George Black, M.P. of the Yukon Territory, and Councillor Smith address the subject of the incorporation of Whitehorse.
  • January 19, 1945: On January 18, C.K. LeCapelain, inspector of national parks at Ottawa, expresses his doubts that the Alaska Highway would be utilized as a tourist route in the postwar years.
  • January 19, 1945: Section 424 of the Criminal Code of Canada has been made effective in the Yukon, prohibiting the purchase and sale of gold.

February

  • February 9, 1945: Wing Commander R.F. Douglas arrives to assume command of the R.C.A.F. station in Whitehorse.
  • February 21, 1945: Mr. and Mrs. Murdock McCuish of Dawson City are advised that US forces have freed their son John and his wife Virginia from a Japanese Internment camp on Luzon Island in the Philippines. The pair had evaded capture for two years before they were forced to surrender on Mindanao Island.
  • February 23, 1945: Prime Minister King announced Monday that Canada has been granted six new air routes into the United States, including Whitehorse-Fairbanks.
  • February 24, 1945: The Whitehorse Men's Council holds a banquet in the Whitehorse Inn Cafe and views full colour motion pictures of construction of the Alaska Highway.

March

  • March 2, 1945: The Yukon Fish and Game Association is organized in Whitehorse on February 17. President, G.R. Bidlake; Vice-president, F.H.R. Jackson; Secretary-treasurer, W.D. MacBride. The yearly membership fee is one dollar. Goals are to propagate and protect fish and wildlife in the Yukon.
  • March 4, 1945: The Labour Party stages Yukon Carnival Week that runs from March 4 to March 11. Doris Lesanko is crowned Carnival Queen.
  • March 7, 1945: American troops seize the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany, a vital operation that saved many lives and perhaps shortened the war. Brigadier-General William Hoge, who was in charge of the initial construction work on the Alaska Highway from his headquarters in Whitehorse in 1942, directed U.S. Combat Command B in its celebrated capture of the Remagen Bridge.
  • March 9, 1945: It is announced that arrangements have been made for the closing down of the Canol oil undertaking including the operation of the Whitehorse oil refinery on June 30. The government of Canada will be afforded the first opportunity of purchasing, followed by the U.S. government.
  • March 9, 1945: Harry Chapman died recently at his home in Vancouver, at the age of 78. Harry arrived in the Yukon in 1897, and for a number of years was with the R.N.W.M.P. stationed in Whitehorse. He was also reportedly the first man to construct a steamboat at the headwaters of the Yukon river.
  • March 16, 1945: Mushing in the Lower Yukon has been tough going these days on account of heavy falls of snow. Percy Dewolfe, mail carrier, and Fred Cook of the Numa Lake Mines outfit can tell you all about it.
  • March 16, 1945: There was a large crowd congregated outside the local post office Sunday afternoon to witness the crowning of the successfiil contestant, Miss Doris Lesanko, as Queen of the Carnival. It was a colourful affair and nicely arranged. Miss Tesanko, the popular waitress at the Whitehorse Grill, escorted by her attendants Miss Alaska (Miss Ruth Berglin) and Miss Dawson (Miss Margaret Neff) was driven to the site of the throne on a gaily decorated fire wagon driven by Fire Chief Stan Dunbrack.

April

  • April 6, 1945: W. S. Watson died at his home in Vernon on March 29th, at the age of 78. He came to the Yukon in 1899 and was employed as storekeeper by the W. P. & Y. R. during the construction of the railroad; he continued in this position until his retirement through ill health in 1941.
  • April 6, 1945: The Yukon Fish and Game Association is bringing in a shipment of Ring-necked pheasants from Alberta.
  • April 13, 1945: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died suddenly on April 12th from a cerebral hemorrhage. Vice-president Harry S. Truman assumes the presidency.
  • April 13, 1945: A bus route connecting Anchorage and Fairbanks with Whitehorse over the Alaska Highway is proposed by O'Harra Bus Lines, who have added 5 new busses to their fleet of 21.
  • April 20, 1945: Impressive memorial services for the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt were held Sunday at both the headquarters of the Northwest Service Command in Whitehorse and at the Whitehorse airport.
  • April 20, 1945: Two important surveys will be undertaken by the Geographic Branch of the B. C. Department of Lands. One party, headed by Mr. Hugh Pattinson of the topographical staff, will go into the Dease Lake-Endako area to complete triangulation undertaken last year, to give a general idea of the capabilities of that area as a highway route to Alaska. The other major survey is the running of the Yukon-British Columbia boundary from west of Teslin Lake to Watson Lake.

May

  • May 4, 1945: As Canada's Eighth Victory Loan draws towards the end of the second week the showing for the Whitehorse area is extremely poor. At the time of writing there has been only about $60,000 subscribed, leaving about $170,000 still to be raised to reach our quota.
  • May 4, 1945: The committee in charge of V-E Day Observance here has now completed all arrangements and are awaiting confirmation that Victory in Europe has been achieved.
  • May 11, 1945: Two thousand people take part in V-E day celebration in Whitehorse on Tuesday, May 8th, the day hostilities officially ended.
  • May 11, 1945: In anticipation of accelerated traffic between Alaska and Seattle this summer, Pan American World Airways Clippers will operate 14 round trips weekly beginning yesterday. Space for at least 700 additional passengers each month will be made available by this increased service. The twice daily flights will bring Fairbanks 10½ flying hours, Whitehorse 7½ hours and Juneau 6 hours from Seattle. Three flights weekly will connect Nome with Seattle in 14 hours flying time.
  • May 11, 1945: During recent sessions of the Territorial Council held in Dawson, an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Ordinance was made, requiring all operators of motor vehicles in the Territory to hold a driver's license as of September 1st. Also, the bounty on wolves and coyotes was raised to $20 and $10 respectively.
  • May 18, 1945: When nominations closed Monday, three candidates had entered the contest to represent the Yukon Territory in the next Dominion parliament. These are Hon. George Black who is seeking re-election as the Progressive-Conservative candidate; Mr. Clive H. Cunningham representing the C. C. F. party and Mr. Tom McEwen the Labor-Progressive party. It was confidently expected that a Liberal candidate would also be in the running but this did not materialize. Across the country, the list of candidates is the largest in Canadian history.
  • May 18, 1945: A petition by the Yukon Fish and Game Association to import deer, elk and buffalo into the Territory at Federal expense, for propagation purposes, received the approval of the Territorial Council who will request that a suitable number of such game animals be shipped into the Yukon as soon as conveniently possible.
  • May 25, 1945: Mr. V. I. Hahn, at the end of this month, leaves the employ of the White Pass & Yukon Route after more than forty-seven years' service. Coming to Skagway to work in the draughting office of the company in May of 1898, he became Chief Engineer shortly after the construction was over. In 1906, he was promoted to Superintendent, which position he still holds.
  • May 25, 1945: The surveying of a permanent all-weather highway between Whitehorse and Dawson will soon commence. Know McKusker is getting a gang ready to go north to Whitehorse and Carmacks as soon as trails clear.

June

  • June 1, 1945: The river boat Casca is the first sternwheeler of the season to head down to Dawson.
  • June 1, 1945: R.C.A.F. staff member Patrick McCanney was drowned at Whitehorse when he and a companion lost control of their boat. Read the entire article here.
  • June 1, 1945: On May 23, the British Lancaster aircraft "Aries" goes on a historic non-stop flight Whitehorse-London. Read the entire article here.
  • June 1, 1945: At the last meeting of the Whitehorse Men's Council Mr. A. E. Hardy disclosed that arrangements were about to be completed for Whitehorse to join the circuit of the National Film Board whereby at regular intervals standard films of national character will be displayed for the public pleasure under the direction of the Whitehorse Men's Council. We have reproduced this and several other articles from this issue - see them here.
  • June 15, 1945: On June 10, in the 20th general election in Canadian history, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's Liberal government is re-elected to its third consecutive majority. George Black, Progressive Conservative, is re-elected to represent the Yukon in the House of Commons.
  • July 29, 1945: Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) has applied for a license to operate at Whitehorse-Fairbaks route, though it would be operated by Canadian Pacific Air Lines. TCA is only airline able to make such an application according to Aviation Act regulations. Read the entire article here.
  • July 29, 1945: "A public reception was held at the headquarters of the U. S. Airbase here Sunday evening in honour of Lt. General Harold L. George, commander of the USAAF Transport Command and Brig.-General Dale V. Gaffney, head of the Alaskan Transport Command." The previous week in Edmonton, Brig.-General Gaffney had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his services as a pilot since 1917.

July

  • July 6, 1945: "On July 1 certain functions of the Northwest Service Command were transferred to the newly-created Northwest District of the Sixth Service Command with headquarters in Chicago. Its district headquarters will be located in Edmonton, with operations being directed from Whitehorse." The new district commander is Col. C. M. Clifford, the former NWSC chief of staff.
  • July 6, 1945: Contracts have been awarded to build the Peace River highway (later named the Hart Highway), to join Dawson Creek to the rest of the province.
  • July 20, 1945: Despite rumours that the Alaska Highway will be abandoned after the war, a survey of people at tourist camps in the US reported that "the majority of Americans were expecting to take a trip over the Alaska Highway following the war, instead of going to Europe, the Pacific coast, etc."

August

  • August 3, 1945: To commemorate the 88th anniversary of the USAAF, Lt.-Col. Frank E. Williamson, officers and personnel of the 1462nd A.A.F Base Unit, A.T.C., were hosts to the townspeople of Whitehorse at their headquarters on Wednesday.
  • August 3, 1945: Miss Kathleen Roxborough (28) of Atlin, who during the past two years has been resident in Vancouver, died on July 26th when the car she was a passanger in went over an embankment at Savona and rolled several times.
  • August 10, 1945: Soviet Russia officially declared war on Japan on Wednesday. What a headache for the Japanese. What with the unprecedented destruction caused by the newly- discovered atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Russians on the east and the other Allied nations on the west they are doomed.
  • August 10, 1945: Ed. Benson, well-known Ruby Creek gold miner, was strangled to death at his claim today by a large water wheel. He was found by his partner, Fritz Wickstrom.
  • August 17, 1945: Tuesday, August 14, 1945, will hereafter be recorded as another outstanding date in human history, for on that date the Japanese were forced to accept the United Nations terms of Unconditional Surrender. Thus was brought to a close the second of two of the greatest and deadliest wars ever perpetrated upon the human race.
  • August 17, 1945: Mrs. Martha Grace Watson, 80 years old, arrived in Whitehorse on a P.A.A. plane. She left Seattle in 1899 with her husband, and they spent 18 years in Atlin and Carcross running hardware stores.
  • August 24, 1945: Every possible effort must be made to reopen the Atlin Hospital, says Hon. E. T. Kenney, lands and forest minister. "There is an excellent hospital, completely, equipped, even to surgical instruments, at Atlin, but it is closed because there is not a dector or nurse available." Completion of a road to Carcross is another great need.
  • August 24, 1945: Donald Gunar Peterson, 15, of Vancouver, wiper on SS. Princess Nora, was killed recently when he plunged over a cliff at Skagway. The youth, accompanied by three other members of the crew, was climbing a hill near the dock when he lost his footing and plunged nearly 100 feet.
  • August 31, 1945: Col. C.M. Clifford, Commander of the Northwest division, US Army, announces that the Alaska Highway will not be open for civilian travel until adequate facilities for maintenance, subsistence and fuel supplies are available.
  • August 31, 1945: Piloted by Charles E. Porter, superintendent of the O'Harra Bus Line Service, the first commercial bus to be placed in operation for service between Fairbanks and Whitehorse arrived in town yesterday with six passengers on board.

September

  • September 21, 1945: Fire completely guts the Whitehorse Bowling Alley on Main Street.
  • September 28, 1945: A bi-weekly bus service between Whitehorse and Dawson Creek, B.C., inaugurated by the British Yukon Navigation Co. The trip takes two days and three nights, the busses running 12 hours daily.
  • September 28, 1945: Beatrice Lorne Smith, the "Klondike Nightingale", passes away in Vancouver at the age of 80.
  • September 28, 1945: Canadian Pacific Airlines Ltd. Announces its plans for operating an all-Canadian air route to the Orient. It will include a direct line from Winnipeg to Hong Kong and Singapore, via Edmonton, Fort St. John, Whitehorse, Paramashuro, Tokyo and Shanghai.
  • September 28, 1945: More than 14,000 miles of wire are used in the Edmonton-Fairbanks portion of the military telegraph-telephone line erected by the American army. It makes the Whitehorse telephone system the most up-to-date in the world.

October

  • October 1, 1945: Canadian Pacific Airlines begins an air service between Whitehorse and Fairbanks. The CPA staff gives a party for their regional director Jack Barber in the '98 ballroom. Grant McConachie, General Manager of the Western Division of Canadian Pacific, promises better service between Whitehorse and Dawson City with the addition of new Lodestar aircraft.
  • October 1, 1945: The British Yukon Navigation Company (BYN) inaugurates bus service between Whitehorse and Dawson Creek. The US Army requests that the White Pass and Yukon Route begin a scheduled bus service on the Alaska Highway. Using four buses formerly run by the U.S. Army and four new "Pony Cruisers,” BYN begins twice-weekly service.
  • October 28, 1945: The federal Minister of Justice, Louis St. Laurent, announces on October 26 that the Canadian Army will take over maintenance of the Alaska Highway on April 1, 1946 and that the Royal Canadian Air Force will take over operations of the Northwest Staging Route (the airfields) on June 1, 1946.

November

  • November 2, 1945: The erection of a new federal building in Whitehorse as a post-war project is announced.
  • November 9, 1945: In a Canada-wide poll, Canadians favour the maintenance of the Alaska Highway over its abandoning.
  • November 30, 1945: Reports circulate that the Alaska Highway will be used as a permanent training ground for the Canadian Army.

December

  • December 11, 1945: Yukon Fish and Game Association holds their first annual game banquet in the dining room of the Whitehorse Inn.

1946

January

  • January 4, 1946: Mr. G. P. Belanger, manager of the dog team party which left here recently en route to Winnipeg, writes us that they were given a royal welcome upon their arrival at the Highway Maintenance Camp at Muskwa, B.C. The party arrived there in great form Christmas Eve and were treated to a swell Christmas dinner at the recreation hall by the U. S. Signal Corps personell there.
  • January 6, 1946: The plans which have been prepared in Ottawa for the new Federal building to be erected on the ballpark site in Whitehorse were received in town this week for checking purposes and have already been returned to Ottawa. Those who saw them reported that when completed the structure will be one of which Whitehorse may well be proud.

February

  • February 1, 1946: The RCAF presents a dance at the '98 ballroom with music by the Rhythm Rascals. Admission is one dollar. Unescorted ladies get in free.
  • February 21-23, 1946: The Whitehorse Winter Carnival is held. Queen candidates are Frances VanBerkel, Gudrun Erickson, Vivian Harris, Edna Ricalton and Viola Sullivan of Skagway.

March

  • March 15, 1946: The first shipment of beer ever to be exported from Alberta to the Yu kon and the first to be brought over the Alaska Highway arrived in Whitehorse last Saturday morning. It consisted of 550 cases of Export and 650 cases of Rex from the Sick's Brewery in Edmonton, Alberta. Only 3 bottles were broken in transit.
  • March 22, 1946: Defence Minister Abbott states there is no possibility of the Alaska Highway being opened to civilian traffic in the near future.
  • March 29, 1946: B.C. Premier John Hart announces in the Provincial Legislature that civilians will be permitted to use the Alaska Highway subject to certain regulations.
  • March 29, 1946: There is much discussion about moving the capital of the Yukon from Dawson City to Whitehorse because of easy access.
  • March 29, 1946: After being under the control of the United States Army since 1942, the White Pass & Yukon Route is to revert to its owners on May 1st.

April

  • April 5, 1946: In a ceremony at Whitehorse, the US military turned the Alaska Highway over to the Canadian Army. Brigadier-General Geoffrey Walsh became the first Canadian commander. Walsh felt that the road, having received so much publicity during the war, would attract the attention of peacetime travelers. Yet lodges and gas stations were still rare and Walsh declared that the military pass system would stay in place. US Major-General William Hoge attends the transfer celebrations and is warmly welcomed back to Whitehorse.
  • April 5, 1946: Another attractive Neon sign was erected this week, this time over the premises of Messrs. Tavlor & Drury Ltd. Erected on the corner of the premises, it is visible on both Main Street and First Avenue.

May

  • May 10, 1946: C.T. Dawson, district resident architect for British Columbia and the Yukon, recommend to erect the new Federal building on the south side of the ball park, facing on Main Street and occupying six lots between Third and Fourth Avenue.
  • May 19, 1946: Mr. Grainger returns to Whitehorse from Albuquerque after 48 years of absence.
  • May 24, 1946: The federal government considers a proposal to extend the boundaries of the Yukon Territory to include that portion of the N.W. T. west of the Great Bear and Great Slave lakes.
  • May 24, 1946: The Young People's Association sponsors May Day celebrations including sporting events and the Queen contest.
  • May 31, 1946: The local radio station CFWH is transferred from the U.S. army to the Canadian army.
  • May 31, 1946: A draft Bill is to be presented to the House of Commons according to which Whitehorse would become the capital of the Yukon if a part of the N.W.T. becomes a part of the Territory.

June

  • June 7, 1946: Operations of CFWH, the local radio station, is transferred from the US Army to the Canadian Army.
  • June 7, 1946: At the Men's Council annual meeting, elected members are: Honourary President, Willard Phelps: President, Gordon Lee: Vice-president, Jimmy Gentleman: Secretary, Rev. L. G. Chappel: Treasurer, F. Dunn.
  • June 14, 1946: The Right Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King begins his twentieth year as Prime Minister of Canada thereby surpassing the previous record holder, Sir John A. Macdonald.
  • June 21, 1946: In the first appeal for clothing to be sent to Europe where they desperately need it, Whitehorse contributes by far the largest shipment per capita in Canada.
  • June 28, 1946: Senator Alexander Duncan McRae dies at the age of 71 in Ottawa.
  • June 28, 1946: In a plebiscite, the incorporation of Whitehorse is rejected by the Whitehorse residents.

July

  • July 10, 1946: Antoine Cyr passes away.
  • July 19, 1946: Whitehorse opens a community-supervised playground for the children ages 2-6.

August

  • August 9, 1946: It is reported that plans are made for the disposal of a portion of the canol project. The portion comprises the pipeline and the refinery in Whitehorse but not the plant and equipment located at Norman Wells.
  • August 23, 1946: It is announced that restrictions for the Alaska Highway have been modified to permit passage of properly-organized hunting parties over the route.
  • August 23, 1946: Hougens moves their store from Second Avenue and Wood Street to the White Pass Hotel on Main Street across from Taylor and Drury.
  • August 30, 1946: Development of the Alaska Highway for tourists is urged in the House of Commons.

September

  • September 6, 1946: The National Film Board in Ottawa produces the first complete motion picture of the Alaska Highway. It will receive wide distribution.
  • September 13, 1946: O'Harra Bus Lines inaugurates bus service from Whitehorse to Haines and Juneau on September 12.
  • September 20, 1946: The Young People's Association elects Rolf Hougen as President, Bill Jefferies as Vice-President, Peggy Ellick as Official Scribe, and Art Yeulet as Treasurer. Y.P.A. opens its own clubhouse in a former Army barracks that is moved from Sixth Avenue and Strickland Street to Fourth Avenue and Hanson Street.

November

  • November 1, 1946: First International Kiwanis Club Yukon is organized in Whitehorse on October 29. President, Fred Dunn: Vice-President, Dave Wilson: Secretary-Treasurer, Ken Wilson.
  • November 15, 1946: With the aid of the local Curling Club, the Kiwanis Club of Whitehorse has purchased the fine theatre formerly operated by the U. S. Army at McRae. The building committee is to arrange to have it removed to a suitable site in town as expeditiously es possible. Two metal huts have also been secured, measuring approximately 180 ft.x 36 ft. and will be put to use in the near future.
  • November 15, 1946: Mr. W. Battrick visited the town dump Monday morning with gun in hand and found a wolf caught in one of the traps he had set there. The marauder was shot and brought into town where it was on exhibition for a time on Main Street in front of the Yukon Fur Shop.
  • November 22, 1946: With over $5,300 raised by donations, the Territorial Council has agreed to allocate another $5,000 to allow installation of an elevator in the Whitehorse hospital.
  • November 22, 1946: The first official meeting of the newly-organized Canadian Postal Employees' Union, Whitehorse Branch, was held Tuesday, November 18. Miss Vera White was elected president and Jack Woods secretary-treasurer.
  • November 29, 1946: About thirty trucks laden with foodstuffs and supplies are now en route from the United States to Alaska. A dozen or so left Great Falls, Montana, on Monday with the foodstuffs. About twenty other trucks, loaded with railroad supplies for the Alaska Railroad, left Seattle Sunday.
  • November 29, 1946: An addition to the Whitehorse Inn will be started soon, to provide a banquet hall with a seating capacity of 300 guests and stage for orchestra etc., and 19 more de luxe rooms.

December

  • December 6, 1946: Charged withillegal possession of RCAF truck tires, truck operator Fred Sandy pleaded guilty before Magistrate C. S. Kitchen in Dawson Creek. He was released on $500 bail pending sentence. He claimed that he had found the tires on the side of the Alaska Highway near Kiskatinaw River, but the tires' serial numbers were same as those on a trailer stolen from the RCAF.
  • December 6, 1946: The U. S. Navy's huge expedition to study the mysteries of Antarctica left Norfolk, Va., Monday on its ten-thousand-mile trip. A base will be established on the Ross ice shelf, and an airstrip prepared for six twin-engine planes to be launched from the carrier "Philippine Sea" sometime in January. Most of the 9 ships carry supplies for eight months - everything from beef to coffee, candy, movies, airplanes and 32 husky dogs. There are 4000 men engaged in the expedition whiich will last for at least four months.
  • December 13, 1946: Alaska-bound ships, four available for almost immediate loading, got the first call Monday as signing of agreements between waterfront emloyers and three A.F.L. unions ended a crippling 69-day tieup at Seattle.
  • December 13, 1946: A car leaves the Whitehorse Inn each Saturday night at 8 p. m. for the Marsh Lake Lodge. Round trip, including dinner, is $5.00.
  • December 20, 1946: Capt. Norman "Kid" Marion died December 10th at the Marine Hospital at Seattle, at the age of 66 years. He came north as a young man and for some years delivered mail by dog sled over the trail between Dawson, Eagle, Fort Yukon and St. Michael. Later he took up steamboating on the river with the Northern Navigation Co., which later merged with the British Yukon Navigation Co.
  • December 20, 1946: Senator Warren Magnussen has been notified by the State Department of the United States that Canadian truckers hauling merchandise trom Canadian territory into Alaska will not be subject to duty on their trucks. However, they will not be permitted to pick up merchandise in Alaska for transmission into Canada.
  • December 27, 1946: With this issue, The Whitehorse Star completes 46 years of service to the community. A few years ago, possibly three hundred people resided here during the winter months. Last Friday there were over three hundred children alone who received gifts from Santa Claus at the Christmas concert held in the Capitol Theatre. Where the population was formerly given at approximately 600, today it is over 3,000.
  • December 27, 1946: If proposals now being considered by the B. C. Minister of Lands are implemented, indiscriminate homesteading in the remote areas of the province will be discouraged. New controls are likely to be enforced restricting settlement on crown granted lands to areas within reach of existing facilities, such as roads, schools and other services.

1947

January

  • January 17, 1947: The Yukon Fish and Game Association re-elects officers by acclamation. President, G.R. Bidlake: Vice-President, Thomas Portlock: Secretary, W.D. MacBride: Treasurer, J.B. Watson.
  • January 17, 1947: Three Territorial Councilors win seats by acclamation. They are John R. Fraser for Dawson, Ernest Corp for Mayo, and Gordon Lee for Whitehorse.
  • January 17, 1947: The Ottawa Journal reports on January 10th that the defence department plans for maintenance of the Alaska Highway by civilian control rather than military control.
  • January 24, 1947: It is announced that the Canadian governement has agreed to permit the United States government of dispose of the Canol project to private intererests.

February

  • February 3, 1947: The coldest temperature ever recorded in North America, -81.4 F/-63 C, at Snag. The airfield was built during World War II as part of the Northwest Staging Route to provide weather observations and an emergency landing strip for air traffic heading to Alaska and beyond. The same day, the thermometer bottomed out to at least -80F in Mayo.
  • February 24, 1947: Snag achieves notoriety as being the coldest spot on the North American continent with temperatures hovering around minus 82 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 degrees Celsius).
  • February 21-23, 1947: The Whitehorse Winter Carnival features Queen candidates Mary Gunn (MacBride), Gloria Cyr, and Margaret Ricalton. Beard contest registration begins on January 1, and the contest ends February 23.
  • February 21, 1947: Fire destroys weather and radio stations at Mayo.
  • February 21, 1947: The construction of the Pine River Bridge and Highway is announced. They will link the coast cities with the Peace River district and afford direct communication through to Fairbanks, via Ashcroft, Williams Lake, Quespel, Prince George, Commotion Creek, Watson Lake and Whitehorse. The Bridge is completed and opened for traffic mid October.

March

  • March 21, 1947: J. E. Gibben, Q.C. assumes the office of Public Administrator for the Yukon Territory.
  • March 21, 1947: George Black proposes in his address to the House of Commons the fusion of the MacKenzie district N.W.T. with the Yukon.
  • March 28, 1947: The B.C. government announces it is ready to lease five-acre lots for hotel, gas station, and restaurant purposes on the Alaska Highway.

May

  • May 9, 1947: The United States government rejects all bids for the Canol project.
  • May 30, 1947: The paddlewheeler Casca is the first boat to leave for Dawson.

June

  • June 12, 1947: "Challenge of the Yukon," a radio serial featuring Sergeant Preston and his lead dog King, begins broadcasting on the ABC radio network. The program aired on ABC until December 30, 1949 and then on The Mutual Broadcasting System from January 2, 1950 through the final broadcast on June 9, 1955. The title changed from "Challenge of the Yukon" to "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" in November 1951.
  • June 13, 1947: Hon. Paul Martin, minister of National Health and Welfare, discloses that arrangements have been completed for the first large-scale tuberculosis X-Ray survey of the Indians of the Yukon.
  • June 20, 1947: "Whitehorse paved the way for aviation in the north" - read the article here.
  • Summer 1947: C.P.A. expands its service under the leadership of Grant McConachie, President of Canadian Pacific Air Lines, who started Yukon Southern Airways back in 1939. "Just think of it," said McConachie, "if Magellan's world could be compared to a watermelon, it took three hundred years and steam power to shrink it to the size of an apple. But in half a century the airplane has shriveled it to the size of a pea, and in another fifty years will reduce it further to the size of a pinhead."

July

  • July 4, 1947: As of July 1st, the boundaries of the Whitehorse mining district are expanded by proclamation. The Whitehorse Mining district embraces now the whole of the Southern Yukon to approximately the 63rd parallel of North Latitude.
  • July 11, 1947: Imperial Oil Company acquires the Whitehorse oil refinery and will move it to Alberta. They dub the final trip "Imperial Oil's $7,000,000 gamble." The company only paid the US Foreign Liquidation Commission $1 million for the refinery itself. The remaining $6 million was spent tearing the refinery apart, and moving the seven thousand tons more than 1,300 miles, first by truck from Whitehorse to Dawson Creek, and then by train to Edmonton and its final destination near Leduc. In addition, they sent three large shipments to Skagway over the White Pass and Yukon Route railway, then down the coast on the Canadian Pacific Railway steamer Nootka to Vancouver, then by railroad to Edmonton.
  • July 11, 1947: Old-time Yukoners and Alaskans hold the 16th annual International Sourdough re-union in Seattle to celebrate the 50th anniversay of the arrival of the S.S. Portland in Seattle on July 17, 1897 which started the Klondike stampede in '98.
  • July 18, 1947: The first Pan-American conducted tour to Alaska over the Alaska Highway left Seattle on June 28.
  • July 20, 1947: His Excellency Viscount Alexander, the Governor General of Canada and the Vice Regal party arrives in Whitehorse on July 18 and will be staying at the R.C.A.F. station on the airbase.
  • July 25, 1947: The members of the transportation committee of the Vancouver Board of Trade visit the Territory.

September

  • September 5, 1947: The Northern Commercial Company is erecting a substantial building for their Caterpillar machinery department and Ford Dealership at the comer of Main Street and Third Avenue.

November

  • November 7, 1947: Federal government will aid in the development of Yukon Coal Mine.
  • November 14, 1947: Mr. Monroe, who has been the assistant Territorial Treasurer for several years, assumed the position of Territorial Treasurer.

December

  • December 4, 1947: The senior men's hockey season opens in the new RCAF Arena, one of the hangers built during the installation of the Northwest Staging Route and airfields to Alaska.
  • December, 1947: Three Air force hockey players from Whitehorse are invited to the RCAF training camp in Edmonton being held to select a team to represent Canada at the 1948 Winter Olympics in Switzerland. Andy Gilpin, Len Beech and Ross King attend the tryout camp.
  • December 5, 1947: The Yukon Jewelry and Novelty shop owned by Mr. R. Gordon Lee is now installed in newly erected and modernistic premises on Main Street.
  • December 12, 1947: Whitehorse District Liberal Association elected officers for 1948. Honourary President, W.L. Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada; President, Mervyn Warwick; First Vice-President, Boyd Johnson; Second Vice-President, Mrs. Kerruish; Secretary-Treasurer, I. H. Dennison.

1948

January

  • January 9, 1948: The Kiwanis Club installs new officers. They are: President, W. Hamilton: Jim Gentleman, Vice-President: Charlie Taylor, Secretary-Treasurer.
  • January 16, 1948: The Whitehorse Branch of the Canadian Legion elects new officers. Honorary President, Lt. Col. J.R.B. Jones: President, W.M. Emery: First Vice-President, R.G. Mellway: Second Vice-President, George Maddocks.
  • January 30, 1948: The oil pipeline from Skagway to Whitehorse, constructed by U.S. Army during the war, and unused since the middle of July 1946, is re-opened by the White Pass & Yukon Route on lease from the U.S. Government.

February

  • February 4, 1948: A petition seeking incorporation of Whitehorse has been prepared by the Corporation Committee of the Board of Trade.
  • February 21-22, 1948: Days of '98 are revived with "wide-open roulette, craps, ace away, crown and anchor, bingo and a complete midway" at the DOT hanger at the airbase. $100 in stage money is sold for $1.00 in "real money." The beard judging contest is held Friday, February 21 and the Queen contest finalists are announced Saturday, February 22. There are prizes for the best Days of ‘98 costume for both men and women.
  • February 26- 29, 1948: The annual Winter Carnival begins with a fashion show in the Army Theatre on Main Street. The International Dog Derby featuring ten teams, three of which come from Alaska, begins on the river in front of the White Pass depot. On the weekend, there are children's dog races, a ski meet at the Ski Bowl across the river, and hockey at the RCAF Arena. Days of '98 continue at the DOT hanger. The RCAF provides bus service from downtown Whitehorse to the Arena. A ride costs 15 cents.

March

  • March 5, 1948: It is announced that White Pass & Yukon Route have donated a site between Third and Fourth Avenues for use as a civic centre.
  • March 26, 1948: The Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE) is officially organized in Whitehorse. Officers are: Exalted Ruler, E.F. Pinchin: Leading Knight, W. Stoddard: Loyal Knight, J. Fox: Lecturing Knight, J. Moran: Secretary, W. Williamson: Treasurer, Dick Carswell: Inner Guard, Jack Earle: Tyler. Phil Delaney: Esquire, Ray Read: Chaplain, Stan Dunbrack, Historian, H.E. Moore: Organist, E. Veale.

April

  • April 1948: The expansion of the Whitehorse Inn is complete and the ballroom is officially opened. Saturday night supper dances are a popular item.
  • April 9, 1948: It is reported that Klondike Kate is to be remarried to W. I. Van Duren, an accountant from Bend, Oregon, whom she has known for the past 18 years.
  • April 16, 1948: An Alaska-Yukon travel club is inaugurated in Juneau. Its purpose is to publicise the north and improve travel service within the region.
  • April 23, 1948: Fire destroys Jacquot's store and beer parlor at Kluane.

May

  • May 1948: Northern Commercial Company opens its new Ford facility at Third and Main.
  • May 14, 1948: The timing clock failed in Dawson's ice pool for the second successive year.
  • May 21, 1948: Sid Poulton establishes his office on the vacant lot adjoining the Whitehorse Star office. New and larger windows have been installed in the Fashion Shoppe premises on Main Street. On the south side of Main Street, on Third Avenue, Pete Petiot is building new premises that will be occupied by the Vet's Barber Shop and Laura's Beauty Salon. On Front Street, extensive alterations have been made to Besner Shoe and Shoe Repair Shop.

June

  • June 4, 1948: Inspector H.H. Cronkhite leaves Whitehorse at the end of June as he is transferred to Ottawa.
  • June 4, 1948: On May 26, 1948 K.B. Hannan is appointed General Manager of the White Pass & Yukon Route.
  • June 11, 1948: For the first time in Canada, a helicopter is used for topographical and geological survey work, in the Yukon Territory.
  • June 25, 1948: A fire destroys Graham's Garage at the old Elliot premises near the railroad track. Damage was estimated at $30,000.

July

  • July 2, 1948: The President of Canadian Pacific Airlines Ltd. announces the inauguration of nonstop "Sleeperette" service from Whitehorse to Vancouver with a flying time of six hours. This is the first of its kind in Canada.
  • July 13, 1948: Jack E. Gibben is appointed Commissioner of the Yukon.
  • July 16, 1948: The American Automobile Association publishes a detailed report on the condition of the Alaska Highway. The width and generally good conditions are emphasized.
  • July 23, 1948: The Canol oil refinery has been removed from Whitehorse.

August

  • August 13, 1948: World famous magician Mitchell Cain appeared at the Capitol Theatre in Whitehorse.
  • August 13, 1948: Sourdoughs who took part in the '98 gold stampede into the Klondike meet in Vancouver to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that historic event. Robert Service is among the participants.
  • August 17, 1948: Imperial Oil opened its refinery at Clover Bar, near Edmonton. The refinery had been shipped to Alberta from Whitehorse.
  • August 20, 1948: The Dawson News reaches the half century mark. The first issue came off the press on July 31, 1899.

October

  • October 15, 1948: Residents in the Yukon were pleased to learn that a regular mail service is now in operation on the Alaska Highway. This means that they will receive mail every five days instead of every fortnight as before.
  • October 15, 1948: The Honnourable Captain George Black P.C., M.P. is retiring from political life. Captain Black had represented the Yukon in parliament for twenty-two years.
  • October 15, 1948: John R. Fraser, Dawson City Councillor, dies at the age of 80 (estimated) in Dawson.
  • October 21, 1948: The last river boats of the season, the Keno and Nisutlin, finish their runs and are placed in winter quarters.
  • October 22, 1948: Mr. W.A. Wardrop is appointed Territorial Treasurer at Dawson City.
  • October 22, 1948: Chapman's Shoe Store opens on Main Street, west of Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse.
  • October 22, 1948: Works start on the hydro-electric plant for Whitehorse.

November

  • November 5, 1948: The Marbeck Flower and Gift Shop opens across from the Whitehorse Inn on Main Street in Whitehorse. The shop includes a complete florist service, gift shop and lending library.
  • November 12, 1948: After years of operation, Diana May Candy Store moved to larger premises. It was the first candy factory in the Yukon or the N.W.T. and the only one north of Edmonton.
  • November 19, 1948: The Pacific Northwest Trade Association urges a railroad linking the United States and Alaska, through British Columbia and the Yukon.
  • November 26, 1948: Work was started on fifty new Air Force homes to be completed next summer. The new subdivision is located across the Alaska Highway, adjacent to the airport.

December

  • December 10, 1948: New Benevolent Protective Order of Elks officers are installed. Exalted Ruler, D.W.K. Stoddart; Leading Knight, J.H. Fox; Loyal Knight, H. Damon; Lecturing Knight, W. Miller; Secretary, W. Williamson; Treasurer, Dick Carswell; Inner Guard, Frank Mikush; Tyler, C.A. Chapman.
  • December 17, 1948: R.E. Garrow was elected president of the Yukon Fish and Game Association at their annual meeting. Vice President is George Aylwin. Charles Rosenberg is Secretary and J.B. Watson is the Treasurer.

1949

January

  • January 21, 1949: W.M. Emery is re-elected President of the Whitehorse Branch Canadian Legion. First Vice-President, R.C. Watson: Second Vice-President, F. McLennan: Executive: N.W. King, A.C. Waites, Mrs. Furry: Sergeant-at-Arms, E.L. Gay: Trustees: William Morris, R.G. Lee, Andy Borland.

February

  • February 4, 1949: Winter Carnival for this year is cancelled.
  • February 25, 1949: A Whitehorse All-Star hockey team, lead by coach Lloyd Camyre, travels to Nanaimo on a CP Airlines charter DC 3 to compete in British Columbia Intermediate Playoffs. They lose both games they play and then tour the Okanagan.
  • February 25, 1949: Mrs. I. Taylor, wife of W.D. Taylor, passes away on February 21, 1949 while on vacation in New Zealand.

April

  • April 1, 1949: Newfoundland is welcomed into confederation as the tenth province of Canada.
  • April 1, 1949: A million dollar power is plant planned for the Mayo mining area. Construction of a 2500 horsepower hydro-electric project may start this summer.
  • April 8, 1949: Allish's Fur and Gift shop, the smallest little store in the Yukon, has moved to larger and brighter premises formerly occupied by the Blue Owl Café.
  • April 22, 1949: Work on the Whitehorse Civic Centre starts.
  • April 22, 1949: It is announced that construction of a road between Atlin and the Alaska Highway (Jake's Corner) will be undertaken by the Canadian Army.
  • April 29, 1949: The first white woman settler in the Yukon, Louis Lagrois, passes
  • away on April 28 in Victoria at the age of 77.

May

  • May 6, 1949: At the annual meeting of the Board of Trade, the following were elected: President, Alan MacGregor; Vice-President, Keith Johnson; Secretary, R.J. Rowland; Directors: Rolf Hougen, Gordon Lee, Jim Norrington, D. Cavaye, E. Lortie, W.D MacBride, George Van Roggen and Ed Harper.
  • May 13, 1949: Difficult airfield conditions at Dawson making it impossible for planes to land there lead to a short food shortage in the town.
  • May 20, 1949: On May 17, 1949, J. Aubrey Simmons is chosen as candidate for the Liberal Party for the Yukon-Mackenzie Riding in the forthcoming general election on June 27, 1949.
  • May 20, 1949: An agreement providing for the first time for the payment of old age and blind pensions in the Yukon Territory is signed in Ottawa on May 13, 1949 and is in effect as of June 24, 1949.
  • May 27 1949: A.M. (Matt) Berry announces that he is an Independent candidate for the Yukon-Mackenzie River seat at the general election on June 27, 1949.

June

  • June 3, 1949: It is announced that a Road Information Service will be established along the Alaska Highway.
  • June 17, 1949: A disastrous fire in Mayo destroyed Mill and Assay office.
  • June 24, 1949: Clyde G. Wann marries Helen Shaug at Coeur D'Alene, Idaho on June 8, 1949.
  • June 27, 1949: The Canadian federal election of 1949 is the first in almost thirty years in which William Lyon Mackenzie King did not lead the Liberals. King retires in 1948 and is replaced by Louis St. Laurent. The Liberal party is re-elected with its fourth consecutive majority government. Liberal J. Aubrey Simmons is elected Member of Parliament for Yukon-McKenzie Riding.

July

  • July 8, 1949: The Governor General, the Viscount Alexander of Tunis, visits the Yukon on July 4, 1949.
  • July 29, 1949: Councilor R. Gordon Lee is re-elected to Territorial Council.

September

  • September 2, 1949: The U.S House passes a bill for the eventual purpose of linking Alaska by rail with the United States, through British Columbia and the Yukon.

October

  • October 28, 1949: Dee's Fabric Shop moves into larger premises on Main Street.
  • October 28, 1949: The Kiwanis Club elects officers for 1950. President, Charlie Taylor; Vice-President, Stuart McPherson; Directors: F. Arnott, William Hamilton, Keith Johnson, D. Cavaye, Gordon Cameron, Jack Hogg and Jimmy Quong.

November

  • November 4, 1949: The Whitehorse Juvenile Hockey Association is formed. President, Keith Johnson; Vice-President, Major Cambridge; Secretary-Treasurer, Fred Locke.

December

  • December 2, 1949: Mr. And Mrs. T. D. Pattullo celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on November 30, 1949.
  • December 9, 1949: The newly elected officers of the B.P.O. Elks are: Exalted Ruler, William Hancock; Past Exalted Ruler, D.W.K. Stoddart; Leading Knight, W. Williamson; Loyal Knight, L. Scown; Lecturing Knight, V. Chapman; Secretary, G. Tweedale; Treasurer, J. Fox; Inner Guard, E. Hammer; Tyler, C. Aird; Trustees: E. Pinchin, M. Brown, Harry Johannes.
  • December 9, 1949: It is announced that the Atlin highway is now open for traffic.
  • December 9, 1949: On May 5, 1949, the Canadian Board on Geographical Names gives approval to changing the name of "Lewes River" to "Yukon River". This means that the name "Yukon River" may be officially used when referring to the stream from its source to its mouth, including the part running from its source to the junction with the Pelly River.
  • December 30, 1949: Inspector H.H. Cronkhite passes away on December 28, 1949 at the age of 51.


Continue to January 1950