ExploreNorth, your resource center for exploring the circumpolar North

Return to the Home Page The ExploreNorth Blog About ExploreNorth Contact ExploreNorth

Search ExploreNorth
















The history of Beaver Creek, Yukon, to 1972


An Explorer's Guide to Beaver Creek, Yukon

Guide to the Alaska Highway ("Alcan")


The Whitehorse Star, Monday, April 17, 1972

Beaver Creek News, 1972

    The following Beaver Creek historical sketch appeared in the winter issue of the 1972 Northern Canada Women's Institute Northem Light Bulletin. It was compiled and written by the Beaver Creek branch of the Women's Institute and is repeated here for the interest our Yukon, and elsewhere, readers.

BEAVER CREEK - MILE 1202

    "I tell ya, I heard a truck," said Bill.

    "You bin in the bush too long," said Pete, and on they came over Sourdough Hill.

    Bill saw a truck. He saw several and Pete saw them too. They saw a road being built.

    It was 1941 at what is now Mile 1210 on the Alaska Highway. They learned about a World War that day too. Pete Eikland came from Norway to Alaska about 1918 to find gold. One place he looked was Chisana River, not far from the Yukon border. There he met Bill Blair who had come from the northeastern United States. They eventually became partners at a trading post on Snag Creek where there was an Indian settlement. Pete lives at Mile 1202 now with his wife, Mary, a native of Scotty Creek in Alaska. Bill lived at Mile 1202 until 1971. He now lives in Dawson City.

    The Alaska border marked the highway at Mile 1221, so Canada Customs settled their officials at Mile 1206. Pete soon built a roadhouse at 1210. Later they tried Mile 1220 where White River Johnny is now resident, And finally in 1955 came to permanent family dwellings at 1202.

    Highway maintenance crews of the Department of Public Works were here in the beginning too. They eventually built permanent homes at 1202.

    Meanwhile, in 1944 the Canadian Air Force built an airstrip at Snag Creek, and 17 miles of road to the Alaska Highway at Mile 1188. A government community developed not far from the original Indian village. The Air Force stayed until 1954 when the Department of Transport moved in to manage things.

    In 1967 DOT left the airstrip to the weeds. Bill, his family, and many native friends moved to Mile 1202.

    John Livesey was posted at Burwash Landing with the Forces for a while during the war. He liked this country, so following the war, after carefully choosing a spot at Mile 1200 by the Beaver Creek, and a bride Freda from England, he opened a store. They are still there today.

    The Sixty's were "boom" years for Beaver Creek, once known as Snag Creek. The present school building was built in 1960. A microwave tower was built on Mount Dave at Mile 1220 and CNT arrived at 1202 to operate it in 1961 and dial telephones in 1964. Forestry was stationed here in 1961. The United States pump station began at Mile 1204 in 1962 and closed in 1971. Yukon Electric set up in 1963. The Catholic Church was built in 1962, the Community Hall in 1966 and the Fire Hall in 1969.

    Now, with a population of close to one hundred, we thrive on a saw mill, two motels, a summer lodge, information centre, three cafes, two service stations and garage, and a store (closed for the winter months), besides the government services mentioned above.

    Reprinted with permission of the author(s).

    Thanks Ann.

    WGD.