Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine


Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Yukon Territory
Chapter 7. General Information


It is very doubtful whether people who have never lived in the Yukon can appreciate to any accurate extent the climatic conditions which exist in this Territory during the v inter and summer seasons. Some are under the impression that the winter is extremely rigorous, and that the few hours of light during the day render this season of the year anything but delightful. It is quite true that at times the cold is intense, but at the same time an exceedingly low temperature does not continue for a long period at a time. The weather may be extremely cold for :i week or occasionally two weeks, and then there is usually a milder period, when the thermometer registers not more than 20 or 25 below zero. A temperature of from 15 to 25 below zero, with a few hours of sunlight, may be characterized as ideal Yukon winter weather. The snow is fine and powdery, the air is dry and crisp and the sky is clear. What may be termed the most depressing period of the year is between the middle of December and end of the first week in January. During this period the sun occasionally shines on the surrounding hills, unless there is severe cold, in which case the sun may not be seen for several weeks. By the middle of February, however, there are usually a few hours of sunlight. The trails leading from Dawson to pie different creeks are comparatively level, and by the middle of January are in splendid condition for sleighing. Wrapped in costly furs and seated behind spanking teams, many of the citizens of Dawson avail themselves of this exhilarating form of enjoyment.

It has been well said that the climate of a country is the sum and average of the weather. If this be so, then a glance at the accompanying chart will convince the most sceptical that a Yukon winter has its periods of moderation as well as its periods of extreme cold, and that there may not be such an unfavourable comparison with the climate experienced on the western plains. (See opposite page 137).

A very low temperature is usually accompanied by a thick fog, which hangs over the Yukon valley to a depth of four or five hundred feet. While Dawson is enveloped in this grey shroud the atmosphere surrounding the tops of the mountains is quite clear, and at an elevation of S00 or 1,000 feet the temperature is from S to 12 degrees warmer than in the valley.

Dawson is well protected from winds by the surrounding mountains but as Shore is a marked absence of winds throughout. the district, this condition may be due in the fact that this part of the Territory is situated on the extreme north of the Temperate. Zone, and therefore outside the range of the anti-cyclonic area of the interior. Occasionally during the winter the Chinook winds sweep across the Yukon valley; which would seem to indicate the passage of a storm centre to the eastward, if we accept the theory that the cause of these wind-is similar to that of the foelm experienced in Switzerland.

One of the greatest ranges of temperature within such a short period that has been experienced in the Territory, or that has been shown by the official records, occurred in February, 1907. On the 14th the temperature was 1 below zero, on the 15th it was 45 above, and on the I8th it was 45 below, a difference of 90 degrees within three days.

As is common in all northern latitudes, the display of the Aurora Borealis is, at times during the winter nights, magnificent. For a moment a flickering light may be seen at some distant point in the sky, then with the speed of a javelin flying from the hand of Achilles, there flashes across the sky a streak of light, the end of which is lost on the opposite horizon. There is an apparent twitching of the phenomenon, and in a few seconds waves of light radiate in all directions. Vivid flashes overspread the sky. as if 1 ethereal radiance 'were escaping from Prometheus' reed. The sky is lit up with the lurid glare of this remarkable phenomenon, which writhes and mists in all conceivable forms; at times presenting huge parallel arches, then suddenly changing into the most irregular and fantastic shapes.

The following is an extract of a report on the climate of Dawson, by Air. F. F. Sinpart:—

'Spring may be said to open towards the end of April, the last zero temperature of the winter usually occurring about the fifth of this month. A lay, with an average temperature of 44 degrees, is by no means an unpleasant month, and the twenty-third is the average date of the last frost of spring. Daily observations during five summers indicate that on the average the temperature rises to 70 degrees or higher on 46 days, and to 80 degrees or higher on 14 days; 90 degrees was recorded in Dawson in June, 1899, and 95 degrees in July of the same year. These temperatures with much bright sunshine and an absence of frost during three months, together with the long days of a latitude within a few degrees of the Arctic circle, amply account for the success so far achieved by market gardeners near Dawson in growing a large variety of garden produce, including lettuce, radish, cabbage, cauliflower and potatoes, and warrant the belief that the hardier cereals might possibly be a successful crop both in parts of the Yukon Territory and in the far northern districts of the Mackenzie river basin. August 23rd would appear to be the average date of the first autumnal frost, the temperature rapidly declining during the close of this month. Although night frosts are not infrequent in September, the month as a whole is mild, with a mean temperature of 42 degrees. October may be fairly termed a winter month, the mean temperature being but 22 degrees, and the first zero of winter recorded on the average about the 18th.'

Professor John Macoun, in a report on the climate and flora of the Yukon Territory, described the effect of the Coast range of mountains on the climate, as follows:—

'Instead of the Coast range being an injury to the interior, it makes the climate pleasant both in summer and winter. The Yukon district has two climates, a wet and cold one on the coast, which may be called the Alaskan climate, as nearly all the coast region belongs to the United States. The climate of the Yukon district in Canada is just the reverse, being dry and warm in summer and cold in winter, with a light snowfall. Owing to the moisture rising from the warm Japanese current being carried inland by the upper southwest air current and striking the Coast range, this moisture is at once precipitated on pie sea face of these mountains in the form of rain or snow, and the air freed from its moisture descends on the Yukon plain as dry air and having an increased temperature. It follows that the rainfall must be light in summer and also the snowfall in winter.'

The following' table shows the length of days at certain periods of the year between December 21 and June 21, namely:—

SPORT AND SCENERY.

To the tourist in search of an ideal trip, to the sportsman in search of adventure and abundance of large game, to the geologist or scientist desiring- to study the enormous upheavals of the earth's crust and subsequent transformations which have taken pi ale in this northern country, to those who desire to come into close touch with pioneer life and view some of the most wild and rugged scenery in the. world with the full comforts afforded by modern transportation facilities, to the mineralogist and capitalist who desire to see the most modern mining machinery extracting gold from the earth under conditions such as exist nowhere else in the world and who may desire to find a field for profitable investment, it is doubtful if there is a part of any country in the world affording such a wide field for exploitation and investment as can be found in the Yukon Territory. Wider the heading of transportation, we have shown what can be constituted a great circular route from Pacific coast ports through the Yukon Territory and Alaska. A beautiful inland voyage, a trip of 2,000 miles down the Yukon on palatial river steamers, every part of the route marked by some landmark of the adventurous explorers of the early clays or relics of the thrilling escapades during the great rush of 1897 and 1898; and, if desired, an ocean trip between St. Michaels and Seattle or San Francisco.

We will now endeavour to give the tourist an idea of this scenic route, and the hunter a few facts concerning the abundance of game to be found in the Yukon,

VICTORIA OR VANCOUVER TO SKAGWAY.

Sailing from Victoria, Vancouver or Seattle, and seated on the deck of one of the luxuriously fitted steamers plying along the Pacific coast from those ports to Skagway, passenger;, and tourists enjoy what ' Official Bulletin No. 10' published by the Provincial Government of British Columbia, designates as ' the trip par excellence of the American continent.' We have not the slightest hesitation, however, in assuring the prospective tourist that the trip along the coast of British Columbia, when extended to the Yukon, is the trip par excellence of the American or any other continent. Travellers who have visited all parts of the world and have admired scenery rendered immortal by poetic genius, have freely admitted that the scenery along this unparalleled inland voyage not only equals but excels even the beautiful fjords of Norway and the wondrous beauties of the ' Isles of Greece.' The official bulletin we have just mentioned, in describing the trip along the coast of British Columbia, says:—-

'Free from the cares and conventionalities of every-day life, and breathing the very air of heaven itself, you burst, like the ancient mariner, into an unknown sea tilled with untold beauties, and sail over a bosom of waters unrutiled as glass; among myriads of islands; through deep, rugged, rock-walled channels; past ancient Indian villages, media-val glaciers, dark, solemn, pine-clothed shores, snow-capped peaks, dashing cataracts, yawning mountain gorges, spouting monsters and sea-v helps—away to the north a thousand miles almost, to mix with the icebergs that once floated under the sovereignty of the Czar of the Russias, but now drop peacefully from ancient glaciers over which the American eagle holds watchful guard—a continuous panorama in which the purest, the rarest, the wildest, the most beautiful and the grandest forms of nature are revealed.'

On the tints of Dyea and at Skagway, which is reached in three or four days, the multitude of gold-seekers landed [during the great rush. Where shiploads of supplies were piled up in almost inextricable confusion there is now a well laid out city and commodious wharfs. When the trains arrive from the north or the steamers from the south, hotel porters jostle each other in their noisy attempt to attract passengers. Busses are in readiness, and passengers are rapidly driven to some of the well-equipped hotels in the city.

SKAGWAY TO WHITEHORSE.

The passenger train leaves Skagway at 0.00 a.m., and arrives at Whitehorse at 4.30 p.m. The journey across the White pass is one of unique scenic grandeur. Quickly passing from the railway yards at Skagway, the railroad follows the Skagway river, passing through the canyon, and then commences the ascent across the famous White pass, which was named by Mr. Ogilvie in honour of the Honourable Thomas White, who was Minister of the Interior of Canada between 1885 and 1888, and who authorized the expeditions to the Yukon district in charge of Dr. Dawson and Mr. Ogilvie. Some remarkable engineering feats were accomplished in the construction of this road through the White pass. The distance from the bottom of the pass to the summit is 21 miles, and the altitude is 2,052 feet. Clinging to the rocks the railway winds its way up the precipitous mountain sides; on one side a sheer wall of rock, on the other a yawning chasm through which rushes a mountain torrent. Across a high cantilever bridge, Rhich was substituted for a switchback, and through several tunnels in this mountain fastness, the timber line is passed and the summit is reached. At several points on the road a splendid view is obtained of the Skagway valley, and on either side of the pal are serried and jagged rocky peaks, which stand out in hold defiance like the battlements of some ancient fortress. From the summit there is a gradual descent to the north and the scenery changes. Professor John Macoun, describing this part of the route, says:—

'Here we were above the tree line, and bare mountain slopes, broken rocks, pools of water and a truly Arctic or high mountain vegetation showed the climate to be cold, while the stunted or broken trees lower down indicated the immense snowfall, which is characteristic of the whole coast region.

'As we descended towards Fake Bennett the vegetation rapidly changed, and stunted firs gave place to small spruce and the high mountain shrubs and herbaceous plants began to be replaced by forest species.....

'At Caribou crossing, twenty-four miles from Bennett, without descending one foot, the whole vegetation had changed and everything indicated a genial climate."

Describing the tract of country between Fog Cabin and Bennett, a writer in 1899 says: 'Here the valleys narrow and here they widen out. We begin to find the bogs, which in the fall of '97 destroyed 1,700 horses engaged in packing to the lakes. Though years have passed since then, the winding trail is passed every now and again, and it has the appearance of having been used yesterday. Sticking out of the bottomless mud we see forelegs and hindlegs, with occasionally the still bloated body of some poor beast who died in the service of man over a route which it was contended would never be crossed in any other way—a time when any talk of a proposed railroad was scoffed at and regarded as a good trail joke.'

The railway follows the east side of Lake Bennett to Car-cross, at the foot of the lake. From this point steamers run to Conrad, on Windy Arm, where there are valuable quartz mines from which large quantities of ore have already been shipped. There is very little change in the character of the country between Caribou crossing and Whitehorse.

Whitehorse is situated l>n the left bank of the Lewes river, at an elevation of 2,01)0 feet, and is the terminus of the White Pass and Yukon Railway. It is also the head of navigation on the Yukon river, and the terminus of the winter stage route from Dawson. During the spring of 1005 the greater part of the town vas destroyed by fire. The principal public buildings are the post office building, in which are situated the offices of the Mining Recorder and Crown Timber and Land Agent, the customs office and telegraph office, erected at a cost of $05,000, and a public school at a cost in the neighbourhood of $7,000. Whitehorse is also the distributing point to the Kluane gold-fields, and several valuable copper properties. Miles canyon and Whitehorse rapids are only a short distance from Whitehorse, and are the scenes of many a wreck in the early days. AI any lives were lost in shooting this turbulent portion of the Lewes, which is well worth a visit.

'The distance from the head to the foot of the canyon is five-eighths of a mile. There is a basin about midway in it about 150 yards in diameter. This basin is circular in form, with steep sloping sides about 100 feet high. The lower part of the canyon is much rougher to run through than the upper part, the fall being apparently much greater. The sides are generally perpendicular, about 80 to 100 feet high, and consist of basalt, in some places showing hexagonal columns.'

'The Whitehorse rapids are about three-eighths of a mile long. They are the most dangerous rapids on the river, and arc confined by low basaltic banks, which at the foot suddenly close in and make the channel about thirty yards wide. It is here the danger, lies, as there is a sudden drop and the water rushes through at a tremendous rate, leaping and seething like a cataract.' (Ogilvie.)

During the great rush of 1897-98 hundreds of boats and scows made this perilous passage. The following graphic description has been written of the experiences of the thousands of reckless and resolute men, who fearlessly entered these rapids regardless of danger, and without thought of the disaster which befel many of them:—

'Fiftymile river brought the migrating thousands to Miles canon and Whitehorse rapids .... Put when our indomitable swarm of gold hunters arrived there, there was only a momentary hesitation, and, the one behind the other, the boats tiled into that tremendous first, section of the canyon, dodged the whirlpool in the middle, rushed down the second section of the canyon, tossed around for awhile in the seething waters of the Squaw rapids, made that stupendous turn into Whitehorse, an extra grip was taken on the oars, as with rapidly accelerating speed they plunged into that final chaos of angry water, which landed them either safely below or gave the life-saving station a quick ten minutes' work. All night and day the procession continues. There being no darkness, there was nearly as many passing there at midnight as at midday. Weeks and months the procession continued, and only the ice of the fall put a stop to this, the most stupendous feat ever performed by a non-aquatic stampede of gold hunters.

'At the foot of Whitehorse (rapids) boats were baled out, and clothes and provisions laid out in the sun to dry after the drenching of spray just received. Over Lake Laberge went the white fleet of unpainted boats, and then came the final tug-of-war in Thirtymile river, which wrecked more brave fellows in a day than Whitehorse did in a week. Sunken treacherous rocks; a shallow rapid current reaching a speed in places of nearly ten miles an hour; gravel bars over which the rapid waters were lashing into foam which concealed protruding boulders and impassable shallows, mammoth rocks standing in the river in groups, as if they would bar the path of the intrepid miners and against which the current would dash itself in impotent fury, carrying everything which floated upon its surface with a devilish malignity and well-nigh irresistible force upon those flinty points which could and often did break a heavily built scow into two or three pieces with as great ease as a clay pipe stem can be broken on an anvil with a blacksmith's sledge hammer. Few indeed were the miners who passed there in the early summer without repeated hairbreadth escapes both for themselves and their property. Felow Thirty-mile was found the placid Lewes and mighty rolling Yukon, and boats floated serenely on to the metropolis of the great Northwest, and tied up to the shore, where boats were ten and twelve feet deep.'

WHITEHORSE TO DAWSON.

From Whitehorse to Dawson there is an almost daily -en-ice of steamers, and the journey down the Yukon river is now made with absolute safety on the splendidly equipped steamers which ply on this route. The tourist or traveller has ample opportunity of viewing the Thirtymile river, which has just been described, Five Fingers and Fink rapids, and other interesting parts of the journey. To the sportsman in quest of valuable trophies, the Felly, the Stewart and the Peel—the latter a tributary of the 'Mackenzie—afford excellent fields for sport. Mr. F. C. Selot, who has a world-wide reputation as a hunter of big game, and who has captured many trophies in the jungle and in the African forest, has visited the Yukon on several occasions, and secured some splendid specimens of the big game which are so abundant in many parts of the Yukon.

'Among the game animals can be mentioned caribou, moose and mountain sheep. There are no goats, deer or elk in the vicinity. The caribou is of the woodlands variety; plentiful along the foothills of the mountains, travelling about during the fall in large herds, the upper Klondike being a well known range of theirs. A smaller variety, known as the barren ground caribou, inhabit the Mackenzie river country. The moose, the largest wild animal in North America, is well known in all the upper Yukon region, this section furnishing the largest specimens obtainable. The horns of both caribou and moose produced in this country are handsomer and more massive than those found in other sections. A spread of five or six feet for moose antlers is not uncommon, and most caribou head- will average over thirty points, and are of most graceful contour.

'The mountain sheep of the country is a very different animal than the Fig-Horn of the Rocky mountains, being entirely white, younger animals having patches of grey. They are peculiar to Alaska and the Yukon country, and although existing here for years they have but recently been brought to the attention of the scientific world, and as yet are very rare in outside collections. They are often hut erroneously termed mountain goats, the resemblance being their colour; the fleece and horns are totally different, even "ibex" and "chamois" are terms likewise applied to them. Farther north, in the barren ground- of the Arctic circle, is found the little known musk-ox, which do not extend their travels to the Yukon.

'The lakes contain fine trout, and the familiar pickerel. Brook trout are scarce, but the handsome greyling are everywhere in the swift water, affording delight to the Isaac Walton of the vicinity.

'Ducks, geese, cranes and kindred species abound, for this is their natural rendezvous; but even here in their chosen country they are of local distribution, very plentiful in the low swampy sections where they breed, and almost unknown in others except during migration. At this season of the year (latter part of October) the majority of the ducks follow up the Yukon valley while the geese choose the downstream route and follow the salt water coast to California.' Sandhill cranes in great number, however, pass Dawson in the fall, going up , the Yukon. They are often mistaken for geese owing to their habit of travelling in Y-shaped Hocks and columns, but can be easily distinguished from them by the high pitch of their call note, and from the fact that a crane's flight consists of a series of flaps and a long sail on extended wings- something not observed with geese. The varieties of duck noticed are mallard, pin-tail, long-tail, green wing teal, widegon, buttflr-ball, blue-bill, golden eye, surf duck and harlequins.

"Grouse are well represented by five varieties, the bine grouse of the heavy timber known as looters, ruffed grouse, inconvetly called pheasant, Canada grouse, sometimes called fool-hens, owing to their tame unsuspecting natures, allowing themselves at times to be actually knocked over with sticks; the harp-tailed grouse, the prairie chicken of the Northwest, and several kinds of beautiful ptarmigan, a bird peculiar to cold countries, of mottled brown coat in summer, changing in winter to rosy white. This rose tint, however, is most noticable in life, since in market specimens or mounted birds the bloum fades to immaculate whiteness.'

Hears are also numerous, and comprise the small black variety, several specimens of brown bear and the Alaskan grizzly, which attains a great size.

The sportsman who desires to devote all his time to hunting, if he selects the Pelly district, can leave the steamer at Fort Selkirk. Arrangements can be made to obtain a guide either at Whitehorse or Selkirk, together with whatever assistance may be required and the necessary outfit. There is a small steamer makes an annual trip from Whitehorse to Foss Fiver trading post, which is situated at the mouth of Ross river, and to go by this steamer is the quickest and easiest was to reach any point in the upper Pelly district.

If the Stewart district is chosen, then it might be advisable to come to Dawson, obtain an outfit, and take the steamer Prosjtrrlon which usually makes several trips to Mayo and occasionally to Fraser falls. Mr. J. Keele, of the Geological Survey, in his report of 1000 on the upper Stewart river region says: 'At the month of Lansing river ATessrs. Frank Braine and Percival Nash have, established a trading post, and a small band of Indians live close by in cabins. Several Indians from Fort Hoodhopo, on the Mackenzie river, make regular journeys to this point, trapping and hunting along the route. A few white men make a regular business of trapping on the Ross river and its branches.

''This region offers a great field for the sportsman and explorer, most of the country between the Stewart and Felly headwaters and the Mackenzie being quite unknown.

'Suitable boats or canoes can be poled or tracked on the main rivers well up into the watershed ranges. Several of the higher mountain groups offering sufficient inducements to the mountain climber and huntsman are situated within a day's journey from the river.'

Writing of the game in the Pell river district, which is also reached by the upper Stewart, Mr. Camsell, also of the Geological Survey, in his report says: 'Moose, though found over the whole region explored as far as the delta of the Mackenzie river, are ne\or as abundant as they are on the Yukon side of the divide, and on the Peel river itself are rather scarce.

'Caribou are plentiful everywhere in the vicinity of the mountain ranges, some even being found on the plateau.

'Bears, both black and grizzly, arc plentiful near the summit of the divide, and numbers of them were seen all the way down the Peel river, and particularly on the Mackenzie delta and in the mountains to the west of it. Numbers of white mountain sheep were seen on both Braine and Nash creeks. In the mountain section of the Wind river several of them were encountered on the hauls of the stream, as well as the slopes of the valley. A small band was seen on Mount Goodenough, west of the .Mackenzie delta, and they are said to be abundant in the mountain range to the west of this; so that the range of this animal covers the whole district explored.'

The tourist who does not desire to enter the field of sport, will come direct from Whitehorse to Dawson. There is splendid scenery all along the river, and many picturesque and grand views; high benches, gravel terraces, partially bare rounded hills, bluff's of rock and bold rampart-like cliffs. Between Selkirk and Dawson the Yukon valley cuts through a high undulating plateau. From the mouth of the Stewart to White river the Yukon averages about a mile in width, and is filled with many beautiful islands.

Five Finger rapids are formed by several islands standing in the channel and backing up the water so much as to raise it


Caribou in the Mountains, near the Head Water of the Klondike.


Mountain Sheep, a species of big game found in the Yukon.

about a foot, causing a swell below for a few yards. The islands arc composed of conglomerate rock similar to the hills on each side of the river, whence one would infer that they had been a fall here in past ages.

'Six miles below these rapids are what are known as "Kin rapids.'' This is .simply a barrier of rocks, which extends from the westerly side of the river about half-way across.'

Tourists and other! who have visited Dawson are arguably surprised on seeing for the first time the Golden Metropolis of the North. As the steamer swings around in the stream, and gracefully steams alongside the wharf, the visitor is at once impressed by the long line of wharfs and large warehouses. Merchandise is being unloaded from steamers, which may just have arrived from St. Michaels, on Behring sea. 1,800 miles from Dawson, or from Whitehorse. On the upper river steamers there is invariably a large quantity of mail which h handled as expeditiously as are the consignments of an Atlantic liner outside Moville or Queenstown.

Instead of the temporary business structures and rudely constructed dwellings, which visitors expect to find in the Capital of the Yukon, there are many commodious frame houses and beautifully furnished homes; spacious stores behind the large plate glass windows of which are artistically arranged the most up to date and high-class Canadian, English and American goods. There is no one who visits Dawson but admires the handsome public buildings in which the business of the different departments of government is transacted. Government House and the Court House front on the river, and are situated respectively on the north and south end of the Government reserve. The Administration building is situated in the rear portion of the reserve, and is surrounded by a well-appointed park, around which maple, fir and other trees are planted. In front of the building is a beautiful lawn, which during the summer is kept like a bowling green.

Behind the Administration building are the tennis courts, which are well patronized. Baseball, football, cricket and other athletic games are played on the recreation ground adjoining the south of the Administration building.

Among the other prominent buildings in the city are the two hospitals, one of which has lately been built along the most modern lines. There is a Carnegie library, containing over 5,000 volumes, amongst which are the most recent works of all classes of literature and other valuable reference books. This building contains a large general reading room, lecture room, ladies'' reading room, and a room where miners and others can transact business. Then there is the Dawson Amateur Athletic Association building, in which there is a large skating rink, a curling rink, gymnasium, reception room, billiard room, &c. There is a Masonic hall, and a large hall belonging to the Arctic Brotherhood, in which banquets, mass meetings and political meetings are held. There are also several spacious hotels providing ample first-class accommodation for tourists.

In the principal business and residential sections of the city arc wide and substantially built sidewalks, upon which pedestrians can walk along the different avenues from one end of the city to the other. The Canadian Yukon Telegraph line extends from the boundary line 100 miles north of Dawson to Vancouver, a distance of over 2,000 miles. There is a morning and an evening newspaper, and each issue contains a greater amount of telegraphic, despatches than can be found in any paper on the American continent published in a city of twice the population of Dawson. There is telephonic communication with all the principal creeks in the Klondike district, and miners fifty miles from Dawson can at once communicate with any of the business houses in the city.

From Dawson tourists can visit any part of the Klondike goldfields, and see the famous claims on Bonanza and Eldorado which have produced such enormous wealth. "Within a short

distance of Dawson the visitor Inn see the various, mode- of placer mining, huge dredges handling every day thousands of cubic yards of auriferous gravel, and hillsides being washed down by hydraulicking. A splendid trip can als.o be made up the Stewart river as far as Fraser falls on the steamer Prospector. If, however, the time of the traveller is limited, a few days can be spent in Dawson, and the journey down the Yukon can be resumed on some of the lower river steamers to St. Michaels. On the 21st of June hundreds of people climb the mountain behind Dawson to see the midnight sun, which disappears only for a short time. On the lower river, however, as soon as the steamer enters the Arctic circle, the sun can be seen the whole twenty-four hours. The scenery on the lower river Somewhat resembles the scenery between Whitehorse and Dawson, with the exception of the Yukon flats. On this stretch of the route the river is about sixty miles wide and filled with islands. From St. Michaels passage can be taken on ocean steamers to ports on the Pacific coast.

SYNOPSIS OF GAME ORDINANCES.

Except as provided, the following beasts and birds shall not be Minted, taken, killed, shot at, wounded, injured or molested in any way during the following times of the year respectively Muskox, elk or wapiti, moose, caribou, deer, mountain sheep or mountain goats, between the first, day of March and the first day of September in each year;

Grouse, partridge, ptarmigan, pheasants and prairie chickens, between the fifteenth day of March and the first day of September in each year;

Wild swans, wild ducks and wild geese, snipes and pipers or cranes, between the first day of June and the first day of Sept ember in each year.

No one person shall have the right, to kill during the same season, except as hereafter provided, more than two elk or wapiti, six moose, two musk-oxen and six deer.

Any person who kills any of the above beasts shall report himself at the Mounted Police detachment on his way to Dawson or the creeks, and declare his name, the number of beasts killed and the place where he killed them.

All members of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police are game guardians; and any game guardian may call upon any person at any time found in the possession of game to state when, where and from whom it was obtained, and whenever he has reason to suspect that any person is illegally in the possession of game he shall have the right to inspect any bag, or other receptacle, vehicle or other means of transportation in which he supposes it to be, and any person refusing, molesting or obstructing the said game guardian in the accomplishment of such duties is liable upon summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding $100 and costs, and in default of payment to imprisonment not exceeding one month.

Any of the beasts or birds hereinbefore mentioned may be lawfully hunted, taken or killed, and eggs of any of the birds or other wild fowl so mentioned may be lawfully taken,—

1. By explorers, surveyors, prospectors, minors or travellers who are engaged in any exploration, survey or mining operations, or other examination of the Territory, and are in actual need of the beasts, birds or eggs for food.

2. By any person who has a permit to do so granted by the, Commissioner or any officer or person duly authorized by him, permitting such person to take or kill, for scientific purposes, or to take with a view to domestication, am number, not exceeding four of Bach of tho said beasts or birds, or to take eggs not exceeding twelve of each of any of the said birds or of any other species of wild fowl.

Every such permit shall set forth in detail the name, address or calling of the person to whom it is granted, the object for which it is granted, the number of each species or eggs which it is intended such person may kill or take, and the period of time during which the permit is to be in force.

It shall be unlawful for any person to use poison or poisonous substances for the purpose of taking or killing any birds or beasts of any kind whatsoever, and the fact that any person places any poison or poisonous substances in such a position that it may be reached or taken by any bird <>r beast shall be proof that is was used for such purpose, and shall be deemed an offence against the provisions of the game ordinance.

Every person who has in his possession without lawful excuse during the closed season any beast, bird or eggs, killed or taken during such close season, shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding $500, and in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.

EDUCATION.

A superintendent of schools for the Yukon Territory was appointed in 1902, and in the same year a general system of education was inaugurated throughout the Territory. The course of study prescribed is similar to that adopted by the new provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, 90 teachers are employed unless they hold at least a second-class certificate, with normal training, and efforts have been made to employ only specialists in the Dawson public school. The teachers in this school have been selected from some of the best, educational institutions in Canada.

The high school branch of the Dawson public school was instituted in 1D0:. There are two teachers in charge of this branch, one a specialist in classics, modem languages and history, the other a specialist in mathematics and science. In 1904 a laboratory was established with apparatus and materials for the prescribed work in physics and chemistry. In the high grades of the Dawson high school the course of study prescribed by the University of Toronto for pass and honour matriculation is carefully followed, and candidates were prepared for university matriculation in the years 1905 and 1906. As a result of the examinations, several candidates were awarded honours in Classics, Mathematics, English, Physics and Chemistry.

There are eight rooms in the Dawson public school, three of which are devoted to high school purposes, and one to the kindergarten, the latter being supplied with complete equipment for this work. Fire exits are provided for every room, and a regular fire drill is practised by the pupils, who can be out of the building in half a minute after the sounding of an alarm.

In certain districts where the number of children does not warrant the establishment of a regular school under the provisions of the school ordinance, regulations have been made by the Commissioner for the establishment of ' assisted schools,' but the average attendance must be at least five pupils between the ages of six and sixteen, and the course of studies prescribed by the Council of Public Instruction. Teachers of c assisted schools' are also appointed subject to the approval of the Commissioner and Superintendent of Schools.

AGRICULTURE,

Though the agricultural resources of the Yukon are beyond doubt of considerable economic value, yet it must not lie considered that the territory is suitable for occupation, at the present time, by a large number of agriculturists depending absolutely upon this industry. A large agricultural community can only exist in a country where the produce of such an industry can be disposed of at a reasonable profit, or where access can be obtained to markets at a distance, provided transportation rates will permit of fair competition. In the Yukon the principal industry is mining, and agricultural development must necessarily proceed according to the requirements fits the population engaged in the mining industry. Farming operations can only be successful so long as those who are engaged in agricultural pursuits produce no more than is required for consumption within the Territory. Up to the present time, however, the number of agriculturists is not sufficient to supply the local demand for farm produce, and the quality of some of the products is not quite equal to the imported article; but as Professor Macoun has pointed out in his report on the Yukon, ' these matters will right themselves in time, but the climate must not be blamed for the ignorance of the cultivator.' Careful and systematic farming operations, with due regard to the peculiarities of the climate, would abolish the importation into the Yukon of many of the agricultural products required by the people of Dawson and surrounding district. If hay, oats, potatoes, &c., were grown in such quantities as would supply the local market, the price would be much less than is paid at the present time for imported products, the transportation rates would be avoided and the consumer would derive the benefit. Instead of the people of the Yukon paying large sums' outside of the Territory for these products, the agriculturists in the Yukon would transact the business, and the money would be retained in the Territory, and probably invested in such a way as would aid in its future development.

It was computed by Dr. Dawson in 1907 that within the drainage area of the Yukon, as far north as Port Selkirk, there was an area of 60,000 square miles, of which a large proportion might be utilized for the cultivation of crops, and in which cattle and horses could be maintained for local purposes. Since that time there have been discovered other important agricultural districts, which would afford ample scope for farming operations, and the extent of territory available for agricultural purposes is greatly in excess of the area computed by Dr. Dawson. It might be interesting to quote here an extract from Dr. Dawson's report of 1887, showing how much lie was impressed at that time by the agricultural possibilities of the Yukon; and it is also important to note that his remarks had immediate reference to the Felly river district and the valley of the Lewes:—-

'To instance a region which produces the general conditions of the Yukon district and adjacent northern portions of British Columbia, we must turn to the inland provinces of Russia, to which allusion has already been made in connection with climatic features. The province of Vologda, in European Russia, appears to offer the nearest parallel. It is circumstanced relatively to the western shores of Europe as is this district to the western shores of the Nortli American continent. Its area is 155,498 square miles, situated between the 5Sth and G5th degrees of latitude. The climate in both cases is a continental one, in which severe winters alternate with warm summers, and the actual degrees of cold and heat, so far as our information goes, are not dissimilar. There is no very heavy rainfall in either region, such as we find near the western coasts bordering on the Atlantic and on the Pacific respectively. The agricultural products from the province of Vologda are oats, rye, barley, hemp, flax and pulse. The mineral products comprise salt, copper, iron and marble, but the precious metals do not appear to be important, as in the Yukon district. Horses and cattle are reared, and the skins of various wild animals, as well as pitch and turpentine, are among the exports. The population of the province is 1,161,000.'

There is no reason why the agricultural products grown in the province of Vologda should not be grown equally as well in the Yukon. During the past few years comparatively large quantities of oats, potatoes and vegetables have been grown along the Yukon valley, particularly in the vicinity of Dawson, and in nearly all cases excellent results have been obtained. It is computed that the quantity of potatoes grown near Dawson last season and placed on the market aggregated 200 tons. It has been estimated that the population in the Yukon consumes annually over $200,100 worth of potatoes. During the present winter potatoes were sold at a fairly low rate, and in the spring it was found that there was a scarcity in the market. In the latter part of April one family near Dawson, who had held his stock of home-grown potatoes during the winter, sold 13½ tons at 13 cents per pound, which brought him a round sum of $3,000. Potatoes grown in the Yukon are quite equal in size to the importerted product, and when the proper kind of seed is planted in suitable soil and attention is given to the cultivation, potatoes can be grown fully equal in quality to the best outside product. The best quality of potatoes so far have been grown on the islands in the Yukon river. On the land surrounding Dawson, either in the valleys or on the benches, potatoes of good quality can only be grown after the land has been cultivated for a few years. On an island in the Yukon river at Ogilvie 175 pounds of potatoes were planted on the 12th of May, 1900, and by the first or second week in September the crop was ready for lifting, and yielded 5,000 pounds. The ground was ploughed as early in April as the frost would permit, stable manure and about 300 pounds of lime per acre being applied. The potatoes were planted as near the surface as possible, and hilled up as the vines grew. It is estimated that during the present season a much larger quantity of potatoes will be grown than in former years, and some of those interested in agriculture predict that within the next few years there will be a sufficient quantity of potatoes grown to supply the market. Besides what is required for the local market, a considerable quantity of potatoes is shipped every year to Fairbanks, and other points in Alaska.

On an island in the Yukon at Ogilvie three or four buihels of oats per acre were sown about the first of May, and harvested about the middle of August. The yield was about two ton- of oat-hay per acre, which was sold at an average of $50 for ton. Native hay, averaging one and one-half tons per acre, was a so harvest el about July 15.

About thirty miles up the Stewart river is what is known as the Mazie May ranch, owned by M R. Samuel Henry. Mr. Henry allied for this land in 1897, and in the summer of that year harvested 20 tons of native hay. During the last five years about 100 acres have been under cultivation! and crops of oat-hay have been annually taken from the land. In 1902, 125 tons of oat and native hay were cut and sold from this ranch. Mr.Henry says he has no difficulty in selling all the hay he can grow. The native hay is cut about the middle of July and the oat-hay about the first of August. After the hay is harvested it is placed in stacks for about three weeks, and then baled in a 10 by 18 baling press. It is then shipped to Dawson by steamer, if possible, and if a steamer is not available it is brought down the river on rafts. The rate for carrying this hay to Dawson, a distance of about 100 miles, is $7.50 per ton. Mr. Henry has also grown rye and barley, but finds the oat-hay most profitable. A mixed lot of S00 pounds of timothy, clover and red top, was sown on a piece of well cultivated land of about eight acres, but the result was unsatisfactory. Clover seems to grow well in a wild state around Dawson, and there does not seem to be any reason why it should not grow equally as well on cultivated land if it is properly seeded- Mr. Henry is of opinion that much of the seed may have been lost by being covered too deeply. Last year the native hay grown on this ranch was sold at from $55 to $60 per ton, and during the present winter the oat-hay was sold at $110 per ton, when outside hay was selling at $120.

In the fall, as soon as the crop has been taken from the ground, it is ploughed to a depth of about six inches. As early in the spring as possible the land is cultivated, a disc harrow being used to cut and pulverize the sod. The seed is then sown, covered with a square-tooth harrow and rolled in. The price of oat seed in Dawson at the present time is six cents per pound, and 100 pounds of oats are sown to the acre.

The following is a list, of the implements on this ranch, namely: 5 ploughs, 2 disc harrows, 1 spade harrow, 2 mowers, 2 snlkv rakes, and 1 steel haling press, 16 x 18.

In discussing the price of agricultural implements. Mr. Henry says that the importation of these articles is very expensive. For instance, the original cost of the steel haling press was $350, but before it was delivered on the ranch it cost $1,800, or two and a half times the original cost.

At the head of Flat creek, about sixteen miles from Dominion, there is a ranch of 100 acres, on which are grown oat-hav, turnips, potatoes, vegetables, and a large quantity of native hay is also harvested. On this ranch there are eight cows and a bull, hogs, poultry, &c. Dairy farming is carried on on a small scale, butter being made, for -which there is a ready demand on the creeks in the locality. Besides the native hay required for the cattle, a large quantity is sold to freighter-. It is estimated that along the Flat creek valley there are twenty square miles of good agricultural and meadow land. Of the large quantity of excellent native hay which grows wild in this valley, only a comparatively small quantity is harvested, apart from tin1, ranch, some freighters cutting only as much as is required, under permit, for feed for their horses. There are also several farms situated along the Klondike valley.

About four miles up the Pelly there is a farm of 100 acres, which supplier oat and native hay to the roadhouses along the winter trail, and also to cattlemen who drive cattle over the winter trail in the spring, the hay for the cattle being placed at different points along the trail. Most of the root crops grown in this vicinity are disposed of at the roadhouse- aloud the trail. Oats have been ripened and threshed in the Pelly district, but not to any great extent.

In the Duncan and Mayo districts sufficient garden produce is grown to fill the requirements of the community: and sufficient wild hay is cut to supply the local demand.

The following is an extract from a report by Professor John Macoun on the Yukon Territory:—

"... July 16th 1 crossed the Yukon by the ferry, and visited the gardens and farm in West Dawson. The gardens are on the Hat along the Yukon, and seem to have been established before any others in the district. Everything was in a forward state for the season. Munro's farm is on a hill about 300 feet above the river, and about a mile west of the gardens alongside of it. Here was actual farming, and besides the usual garden vegetables there was at least 25 acres of oats which had been sown for fodder. To the north of the oat fields 25 acres were cleared and were being broken up for a summer fallow.

'On August 6th I again visited this farm, and found a marked change in the growth of the oats. Some of the seed had been sown late and some early, but the greater part late and on freshly broken ground. As a result of this the crop was patchy, and tall and short grain grew in close proximity. The land ploughed the year before produced the earliest and best growth of straw. 'Nearly all the grain was in the milk, but where there evidently had been a crop last year 1 pulled up specimens of wheat, barley and oats that were far advanced towards maturity. Fine specimens of oats were gathered that were colouring and had very remarkable grain. Instead of one full grain and an abortive one in the fascicle there were always two and often three. This condition I had never seen before, but it, seems to be universal at Dawson, as later I noticed it in other fields.

'On August 23, I again visited Munro's farm in West Dawson. lie was then cutting his oats for fodder. In his late stoats the Volunteer barley was all ripe, and this was not sowed until -June 5. In this case the barley ripened in 70 days. Tallies in my possession show that there is no frost from May 23 to August 23, or 91 days.

'Owing to the high latitude of Dawson, 61° 15' north, the altitude of the sun above the horizon is never very great. In.' nearly three months, however, there is scarcely any darkness and the sun is above the horizon over three-fourths of the time. The rainfall and snowfall are both light. This light deposition, combined with so much sunshine, gives much warmth, and on exposed soil great evaporation. These conditions are so varied that while on one side of a creek there may be two or more feet of moss and beneath that permanent frost, on the other side the soil may be so exposed to the sun that no moss can exist, and only the deepest rooting' grasses can maintain a foothold. Hence people talking about deep mosses speak of land facing the north, while those who claim irrigation is necessary have in their minds terraces exposed to the sun. This being the case, any one writing on the subject of vegetable growth or the production of crops must take all the circumstances into consideration.

"... From what I saw of growing crops I am satisfied that the soils are good. That in the river bottoms was alluvium, overlying the river gravels. On the hills the soils seemed to be chiefly loams, with sometimes sand in greater or less proportion. As no glacier action had taken place, the soils were very local in character, and largely resulted from the disintegration of the rocks of the locality.

'All attempts at cultivation were apparently successful, even in the Dawson swamp. When the ground is properly worked, the soil mixed, and the ice or frost stratum in late summer is found at a depth of eight or ten feet, there will be a complete revolution, and all crops will mature much earlier. I took notes during the seven weeks I was at Dawson of the growth of all cultivated grains and vegetables, and below will be found my remarks written at the time. Everything, be it native or exotic, grew surprisingly, and while I never found any cultivated thing a failure, I must say the same of weeds. In every case they were a success, and numbers of them were natives of California.

'White clover, alsine and red clover, as well as timothy, grew wonderfully well by road side and on dry soil. In the swamp muck of Dawson much of the clover on lawns, sowed in the swampy soil, looked yellow and had a sickly appearance.

Timothy acts similarly; when sowed in the bog it is sickly and yellow looking, while along dry roads in the woods or on the hillsides it is quite tall and has a seed head from two to three inches in length.

'Barley is certainly well suited to the Yukon district. On August 6, on the farm of West Dawson I found grain quite hard mixed with oats that were much later in appearance. On the I8th August I visited the gardens in West Dawson along the Yukon, and found oats being cut for fodder. Mixed with the oats were many Barley heads fully ripe and others that had hard grain. In all cases the grain was large. West Dawson was again visited on August 21, and 'Mr J Munro was then cutting his oats for fodder. In his latest oats the Volunteer barley was all ripe, and this was not sowed until June 5, so that the ripening of barley at Dawson is an assured fact.

Oats do well everywhere, but are seldom even a fair crop on ground just broken up and then seeded. In all cases I found good oats where sown on second year cultivation. The grain was earlier, taller and better in every way. On August 9, I found self-sown oats on Munro's farm on West Dawson fit, to cut, but only a few bunches on dry ground. Barley was ripe at the same time under the same conditions. This showed me that up to that date there had been enough heat to ripen oats and barley if sown early on dry soil.

'In the matter of wheat I do not speak positively, but I believe that after a few years wheat will ripen on all fairly warm soils, although at present its ripening is doubtful. As far as my investigation wont I could find no person who had sown wheat. Mr. Munro had sown oats grown somewhere in the United States, and he informed me that he was led to believe that the wheat mixed with it was spring wheat. Instead it nearly all turned out to be fall wheat and only made leaves, stooled out, and its roots penetrated the soil to a remarkable depth, and so remained when 1 saw it on August 23. That it will ripen next summer is to me a certainty, and I trust Mr. Munro has not ploughed it all under. Of the spring wheat I may say it was generally taller than the oats, but scarcely as ripe. All the ears were filled to the tip with grain, and the grain was filled out and since has hardened so as to give the appearance of ripe grain. Since my return to Ottawa I have had the grain tested, and the report on the Yukon wheat received from the grain tester, Mr. Ellis, of the Experimental Farm I'm, is as follows: 100 grains planted; 100 grains germinated; 100 grains made vigorous growth. Germinations very quick and growth exceptionally good.

'When grain ripens in the country and is again sown there, it will take on the conditions of its environment and mature earlier, and early frosts, like those attributed to Manitoba, will have no effect as the crop will mature before they come. I may remark here that the wheat in the Northwest ripens earlier now than it did twenty years ago, and many people believe it is the climate that has changed, whereas it is only the wheat that has adapted itself to its environment.' (Macoun.)

Writing of the agricultural possibilities of the Yukon, Dr. Dawson says, that to-day the Yukon Territory may well be characterized by the term which has boon employed in connection with the Mackenzie basin, a portion of Canada's great reserve' ... In the future there is every reason to look forward to the time when this country (Yukon) will support a large and hardy population, attached to the soil and making the utmost of its resources.'

At the present time, however, wc can only say that t ie development of agriculture must necessarily depend upon the development of the mining industry. Under existing conditions the Yukon agriculturist could not possibly compete in outside markets. The price of labour is high, and for competition in agricultural products, distance and transportation rate- re prohibitive.

HORTICULTURE.

Many islands in the Klondike valley and along the Yukon have been cleared and made into gardens, in which vegetables of excellent quality are grown. Last season a comparatively small quantity of vegetables were imported, the market gardeners near Dawson being almost able to supply the demand. The seeds of nearly all vegetables are sown in hot-homes early in February, and then transplanted to cold frame boxes, where plants which are intended to be planted outside are strengthened and prepared for outside planting.

Cabbage plants are sold at $2 per 100 in boxes containing that quantity, or in larger boxes at a similar rate. As soon a-cabbages weigh about a pound each they are placed on the market, at 50 cents a head. Later in the season, however, is they increase in size, the price ranges from 15 cents to 6 cents per pound. Yukon cabbage is placed on the market early in August. Between the opening of navigation and the first of August this vegetable is imported, and sold at from 20 cents to 8 cents per pound according to quantity and competition.

Lettuce grown in hot-houses are sold in Dawson about the latter part of March at 25 cents per bunch. For a short time the demand will reach about 100 dozen per week at this price. In a few weeks, however, the price is reduced to two bunches for 25 cents, and then the demand increases to about lid dozen per week. In summer the usual period between the time of transplanting and the time when the lettuce is placed on the market is three weeks. The leaves are exceedingly crisp and tender.

Messrs. Paddock Brothers, of Dawson, have about 10,000 feet under glass. Last year this firm sold over half a ton of tomatoes at from 75 cents to 50 cents per pound; and they have 1,000 tomato plants, which they expect will yield about 20 pounds per plant during the coming summer. It is expected that ripe tomatoes will be on the market in Dawson by the first of July. The Yukon tomatoes are quite equal in quality to what is grown on the outside, and some weigh as much as one pound each. Tomatoes grown in the hot-houses near Dawson are not placed on the market until they are almost ripe, whereas imported tomatoes are shipped green and lose much of their flavour.

Nearly all other vegetables are grown in sufficient quantities to supply the market. Cucumbers are ready by the first week in April, and are sold at from 75 cents to 50 cents each. Celery is ready for the market by the 00th of June, and sells from 50 cents to 25 cents per bunch. 1'eas are also grown in large quantities, and range from 40 to 15 cents per pound.

Writing of the growth of garden produce in the Yukon valley, Professor Macoun says: 'Growth of Vegetables is so rapid and vigorous that to a person coming from the east it is simply astounding. When I reached Dawson on July 10 early cabbages were being cut, and on August 5 their weight ranged from 3 to 5 pounds. On the 22nd, when I made my last visit, hundreds of matured cabbages and cauliflowers had been cut and sold. 1 measured the two lower leaves of a cabbage cut the day before, and these placed opposite each other had an expansion of 3 feet 9 inches with a breadth of 10 inches. I cannot call this even an average one as there were hundreds larger but later in maturing. Cauliflowers were from 6 to 10 inches in diameter, but I was told larger ones had been cut.

'No doubt the constant daylight gives the force necessary to expand the growing organs of the vegetables in cultivation, but behind the long day are climatic condition^ that as yet are little, understood which in my opinion are the prevailing factor in this wonderful growth.'

Flower seeds are also sown under glass, and the more sensitive varieties can be replanted in the open by the 24th of May. Mist flower seeds, however, can be sown in the open ground l>y May 10. Florists say that much of the soil in its natural state is detrimental to the bloom of giant lift, and that it requires to be well worked before successful results can be obtained. They prefer the soil taken from the inlands and bars along the river valleys. This soil requires very little treatment, and with some additional fertilizer will produce almost any flower grown out of doors; which mature before September 1st.

The Iceland poppy grows splendidly in the Yukon. and when once planted it seeds itself and continues to spread. In some cases the pansy and pink also bloom without replanting, even after a very severe winter.

The bloom and foliage of all plants are strong, bright and (dean. Sweet peas will grow from 9 to 12 feet in height. Canary creeper and Japanese hops will run from 9 to 12 feet in a season, while the nasturtia grow very rank with foliage of immense size.

The bloom of the stocks, asters and nicotine cannot be surpassed in quantity or quality.

TIMBER.

A few years ago there was a large demand in the Yukon for lumber. A large quantity was required for the const ruction of houses, for city improvement, for the construction of flumes to carry water from streams to the different mining claims to which water rights were appurtenant, and for the construction of sluice-boxes and power-houses erected in connection with mining plants installed 011 the principal creeks. The establishment of a. mining camp of the magnitude of Dawson, and the enormous quantity of lumber required within such a comparatively short period, created great activity in the lumber industry, and the four sawmills in Dawson, aggregating a capacity of 0(>,000 feet, were working night and day during the summer season.

The demand for lumber in Dawson may be said to have reached that point where the output is governed by the quantity required for maintenance of buildings and other improvements in the city. On the creeks, however, the operations of large companies necessitate a continual supply. Dredges, parts of which are native lumber, are being constructed, several large water grants necessitate the construction of great lengths of flume, reservoirs and impounding dams are being built, and the general repair of water conduits already constructed may be said to have considerably increased the demand on the creeks for lumber. The Yukon Consolidated Gold Fields Company erected a sawmill on the Twelvemile last fall, of a capacity of o0,000 feet, and have boon manufacturing their own lumber during the past winter.

An enormous quantity of timber has been cut in tin1 Klondike district for mining operations. Wood is the only fuel that has been used up to the present time in thawing the frozen ground, and it is, therefore, an essential factor in the developing and working of claims. At one time a certain quantity of wood piled on a claim was accepted as representation under the old placer mining regulations. Under the Yukon Placer Mining Act, however, this mode of representation was abolished, and in the computation of the value of work as defined by the schedule of representation, the cost of wood used for fuel has been included. In consequence of the enormous quantity of timber used as fuel in connection with mining operations, nearly all the timber of any importance has been cut on the creeks in the Klondike district proper.

Large quantities of excellent timber are cut annually on the upper Klondike for lumber and fuel, and floated down the Klondike river to Dawson, where the logs are caught in booms adjacent to the sawmills, and the smaller timber is piled on the beach for fuel. Besides the supply from the upper Klondike, good timber for fuel is found in the Indian river district, and along the tributaries of the Yukon north of Dawson. From Indian river the wood is brought down the Yukon in rafts, which are moored along the Dawson water front, and from the district north of Dawson it is hauled over the ice h\ sleighs during the winter.

There is also a large extent of timber along the Stewart and Pelly and their tributaries. Owing to the distance from Dawson, however, very little of this timber has been cut except what is required for mining purposes on the creeks and tributaries of these rivers. Writing of the timber on the upper Stewart, Mr. J. Kecle, of the Geological Survey, in his report of 1006, says:—

'The principal forest trees are white and black spruce, balsam, poplar and birch. The limit to which trees grow 011 the mountain slopes varies from 1,800 feet to 2,800 feet above the river.

'The white spruce is the most valuable tree, and furnishes good timber for building and mining purposes. The best groves of this tree are found on the islands or 011 the alluvial flats along the river, but good specimens occur in scattered, groups on the slopes to a height of 2,000 feet above the river in the lower valleys.

'There is a marked deterioration both in the size and appearance of the spruce as the more ortherly branches of the river are approached.

'The balsam fir occurs only on the valley slopes mixed with spruce, beginning at an elevation of about 1,200 feet above the river and continuing upward to the limit of trees. On the slopes of the Ogilvie range, however, the balsam disappears entirely, its northern limit in this area being about the forks of Uackla river.'

On the Pelly river between the Macmillan and the Lewes in northern exposures are thickly wooded. There are numerous groves close to the river, with good spruce up to two feet in diameter. Spruce of the same size is also found along the upper Pelly, but not so plentiful. On -Moose creek there is a beautiful grove of jackpine. The grove is about two miles in length, and the trees will average about sixteen inches in diameter. It is considered that the best timber in the Territory i- situated on tin1 Macmillan, a tributary of the Pelly. The Macmillan is well timbered for about 100 miles from its mouth, the breadth of valuable timber along the valley being about, half a mile in many parts. The spruce is straight, tall, and averages about twenty inches in diameter; some have a diameter of about three feet. The trees carry the size well up, and furnish five twelve-foot logs to the tree.

""The prevailing trees on the river-flats of the Pelly are cottonwood, aspen, alder, spruce and willows.

The open season in the Yukon Territory is characterized by its great drought at the time the mining operations can be best conducted. During the early part of the season, in the month of May, there are occasional rains of many hours' duration, which increase the water supply very materially. During the month of dune there are no rains, and according to past records none are expected between the first week in .Tune and the fifteenth of -July. During that time the mining operations depending on rains for their water supply are at a standstill. The fall rains commence about the first week in August and continue until the freeze-up.

THE SNOW FALL.

On account of the dryness of the atmosphere and the severe cold the snowfall is extremely small. The first snows of any account come in October, although at that time the hilltops are already covered for many days before. If the temperature i> colder than ten below zero Falir. one cannot expect any snowfall. The snowfall comes at intervals during the winter when the temperature rises above 10 below zero. The depth of snow varies with the temperature. In extremely mild winters there are fifty inches, but on the average the depth does not exceed, thirty-six inches.

THE TEMPERATURE.

The temperatures hereunder given were taken from the official records kept by the lioyal Northwest Mounted Police. The table shows the average maximum and minimum temperature for each month. The average temperature of the month was deduced from the daily temperatures. The accompanying sketch Rows the fluctuation of the temperature during the months of November, December, January, February and .March, in the year 1905-1906.

THE GRADE OP STREAMS.

The grade of streams, one of the most essential conditions neeessarv in a placer camp, is a subject which has received, within the last few years, a lot of attention. All pumping plants but two have been replaced by ditches and Mines Avliere grade was sufficient to conduct the water from the neighbouring tributaries. The gradients of the gold-bearing streams are seldom found sufficient for the disposal of the tailings from the mining operations without resorting to artificial means. It is exceptional to find a gold-bearing stream where the natural grade can be used to advantage in sluicing operations.

TABLE SHOWING THE GRADE OF STREAMS.

STREAM VOLUMES.

The expression 'a sluice-head' is a favourite one of the miner.-, meaning the amount of water that twill be sufficient to wash the output of four men shovelling-in. In other words, it is the amount of water that will £0 through a box 10 by 12 inches set on a 9-inch, to the box length, i.e., 12 feet, grade, and the depth of the water in the box to be 5 inches.

The volumes of all streams in the Yukon Territory vary a great deal with the seasons. We have Hood time, high water, mean water, below mean and low water. The flood time of the main tributaries of the Yukon river is during the latter part of the month of May and the beginning of the month of June, while the Hood time of the Yukon river itself is during the second week of the month of June. The small gokl-bearing tributaries have their flood time during the month of .May.

The reader will find in the accompanying table the approximate volumes of the principal streams, including the gold-bearing tributaries, in the Yukon Territory, as measured by the Government mining engineer.

The streams in the Conrad district are torrential during the months of June and July. These streams are practically dry during the -winter.


Return to our Book Index Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus