Anderson Hotel / Caribou Hotel
ANDERSON HOTEL (1901-1903)
CARIBOU HOTEL (1903-1998)
- may have been the YUKON HOTEL in Bennett, which was going to be moved to Caribou Crossing in May 1901 by William A. Anderson.
At that time, William Walmsley’s CARIBOU HOUSE was the only hotel in town.
- May 19, 1901, Anderson applies to Hugh McKinnon, on VENDOME HOTEL (Bennett) stationery, for a hotel licence at "Carriboo Crossing."
Opened as the ANDERSON HOTEL.
- Christmas 1901, Anderson sponsored a Turkey Shoot; "Caribou can boast of more crack shots than any other town of its size in Canada, and
the entire population turned out to take part in and witness the contest. A noticeable feature was the entire absence of drunkenness, not an
intoxicated person being present. The Indians took an active part in the proceedings, and every turkey was hotly contested for. Paddie, of
Tagish, carried off the honours for the day" (Star, Dec.27).
- January 1903, Anderson’s bar, hotel and store were sold to Dawson Charlie for a reported $9000. Renamed the CARIBOU HOTEL and
extensively remodelled. "Mr.Scott will manage the hotel in the interests of Dawson Charlie" (Star, Jan.10).
- May 23, 1903: "We call the attention of our readers to the advertisement of the Anderson hotel, at Caribou, which appears elsewhere in our columns. This hotel has been recently purchased by Dawson Charlie who has spared no expense in refitting it so that this well known hostelry is npw one of the finest hotels in the north. Special attention is paid to travelers who maybe enroute to or from Atlin and to those who may have occasion to visit Caribou. The hotel is under the able management of T. M. Watson." (Star). Theodore M. Watson went on to join his father Charles at the Windy Arm Hotel in Conrad in 1906.
- in July 1904, managed by Mrs. E. Ready
- October 1906, leased (?) by R. J. Brittain.
- following Dawson Charlie's death on January 26, 1908, Edwin W. and Bessie Geraldine Gideon rented it from his estate (starting September 1, 1908)
- burned on December 24, 1909; Colonel Conrad's house, just around the corner on the Lake Bennett waterfront, was used as temporary hotel until new one built. Read the article from The Weekly Star of December 31st - Fire at Carcross.
- rebuilt by the Gideons in 1910, with financing from Jack Stewart.
- Polly the Parrot moved into the hotel in 1918, when Captain James Alexander, owner of Engineer Mine (BC Mininster of Mines, 1913) asked the
Gideons to take care of him (Polly was a male) while he and his wife went Outside; they were killed in the wreck of the Princess Sophia
- December 1926, beer licence held by Mrs. E. W. Gideon.
- Click here to see a 1930 advertisement.
- October 27 1933, Bessie Gideon died; although she was reported to have been buried in Carcross, a 1998 cemetery survey has been unable to locate
her grave. The hotel has been reported by many people to be haunted by Bessie's ghost, a shy spirit who is neither friendly nor unfriendly.
Bessie's sister, Louise V. Dawson, had been helping her manage the hotel, and was executrix of her estate. The hotel was on a lot which was rented from Annie
Austin, for $75 per year.
- rented by Jack McMurphy ca.1939-1940
- n.d., owned by May Florence Ross for 9 years; she died in Chilliwack, BC, February 13, 1991, at 92 years old.
- operated by Dorothy Hopcott from 1959 until ?
- owned and operated by Bob Olson from the early 1990s until December 24, 2004, when he was murdered in the hotel. Mark Lange and Dean Boucher were convicted of second-degree murder on August 31, 2006.
- 2007, complete reconstruction by new owners Jamie Toole and Anne Morgan began
- June 6, 2008, dedicated as a Yukon Heritage Site - see photos.
The Caribou Hotel, December 1995
(Photograph © 1995-2023 by Murray Lundberg)
Canadian Development Company Post No. 2
- 1899, built on the right limit (south shore) of the narrows at Caribou Crossing.
- October 8, 1899, application for liquor licence; licence #21 issued.
- effective May 1, 1901, all assets of the Canadian Development Company were taken over by the British Yukon Navigation Company, a division of the White
Pass & Yukon Route.
- June 15, 1901, the building was sold by the British Yukon Navigation Company to Bishop William Carpenter Bompas, for $250.
- "... the house had been used as a road-house, also a post office. The house was a long, one-storied loghouse standing about fifty yards above the lake, and
about the same distance from its margin. There were two good-sized rooms in it, one with large tables and benches, also a small room or office, over
which we saw in large letters the words ‘Bar Room.’ The other large room had evidently been used as a sleeping apartment, as it contained bunks on
each side with very shabby broken-down shelves or bedsteads for the occupants. There was also an office with high desk, intended for whoever took the
duties of postmaster, and a fairly good-sized kitchen. The house was not attractive in any way, either from its present condition or the suggestiveness of its
past the place was infested with mice and squirrels. Other reminiscences of road-house convivialities were evident in the scent of tobacco smoke and whiskey
which haunted the apartments. The space round our house was strewn with empty whiskey bottles; an Indian boy soon cleared this for us We paid him 50 cents
an hour, and by working strenuously for the space of three hours, the bottles were carted off and flung into the lake."
(Archer, A Heroine of the North, p.170).
- in 1903, "The flooring boards were half an inch apart; so shrunken were they that it would be easy to rip them up and lay them down closer together.
Then the roof; it was papered, with battens across the paper. Ventilation is carried to excess." (Archer, p.180).
Caribou House / Scott Hotel
CARIBOU HOUSE: (1899-ca.1903)
SCOTT BROS. HOTEL: (ca.1903-ca.1905)
HOTEL SCOTT (ca.1905-1936)
- probably operating in the summer of 1899.
- October 8 1899, Charles K. Zorn applies to North West Mounted Police at Tagish for a liquor licence at Caribou Crossing.
- April 22 1901, Zorn has sold hotel to William Walmsley; NWMP reports the building is 2 stories, 25x60 feet, with 11 -
8x10 bedrooms with 16 spring beds and 1 - 8x10 foot bathroom; a 20x18 foot bar, 16x16 foot dining room, 10x14 foot kitchen,
3 - 8x10 foot store rooms, a 16x20 foot cellar, and a stable for 12 horses. The transfer of the liquor licence is recommended,
as it is felt that Walmsley, who had a hotel at Bennett, will run it as a first class hotel rather than as a roadhouse.
- May 1901, letterhead reads "Groceries and Provisions. General Merchandise. First Class Accommodations to the Travelling
Public. The Best of Meals, Liquors, and Cigars at Reasonable Rates."
- ca.1903, bought by John W. and Alfred H. Scott; renamed the SCOTT BROS.HOTEL.
- late 1906, the bar was run by Pete Engler; he had been a partner in the YUKON HOTEL at Conrad City that summer.
- n.d., the Carcross school was held in one of the hotel rooms for a time.
- July 13, 1936, destroyed by fire - see the newspaper article here.
A Guide to Carcross