Hougen Group

Judas Creek

You can have a lot of fun with Yukon place names and learn some interesting history of the places along the way. Take Judas Creek. It’s a small stream that flows into Marsh Lake and is also the name of a sub-division of the unincorporated community of Marsh Lake.

But why on earth is it called Judas Creek. Wasn’t he the guy whom christianity says betrayed his divine master Jesus leading to his capture and crucifixion. According to the King James version of the bible, Judas received 30 pieces of silver for betraying Christ and then he died soon after. On the other hand, the Gospel of Judas, not a biblical book, supposedly documents a conversation between Judas and Jesus which shows that Judas did not betray Jesus, but rather carried out his wishes.

Well, what’s all this got to do with Judas Creek? The Creek was named in 1911 by some disgruntled miners who were unhappy because they had worked very hard for nothing. The creek, they said, betrayed them. Well, not really, rather they were fooled by fool's gold.

Back in 1911, only about 8500 people lived in the entire Yukon. The Whitehorse area was about 600, mostly involved in transportation and mining. Mining was the key and prospectors were a lot like cattle prone to a good stampede. Thus, it was in August of 1911 that a miner came to town bosting about a big goldstrike on Judas Creek. That was enough to set the man on a poling expedition up the Yukon River from Whitehorse and into Marsh Lake. It’s said that quite a few made it to the diggings of Judas Creek and were fighting over the right to stake the best ground. The trouble was there was no best ground. It didn’t take the miners long to figure out that all that glittered in Judas Creek was not gold. It was iron pyrite a rock that looks like gold to the untrained eye. No sir, the unnamed creek that flowed into Marsh Lake was not the next Bonanza or Eldorado. The miners had been fooled by fool's gold. Thus they felt deceived and grumpely named the creek after the man who betrayed Jesus.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

The Weekly Star Reports in 1911

 
January
January 6, 1911 Attorney R. L. Ashbaugh, dean of the Dawson bar and member of the Yukon council, for the bonanza district, passes away January 3, 1911.
January 20, 1911 An agreement is reached between Canada and the U.S. to create an international railroad commission to control the border railways.
March
March 10, 1911
 → April 21, 1911
The Weekly Star reports March 10, 1911 that the police from Fort Macpherson is overdue. More than a month later, the bodies of these four members of the R.N.W.M.P. winter patrol on their way from Fort MacPherson to Dawson are found near the mouth of the Mackenzie river (April 21, 1911). The bodies were found by a relief party which left Dawson February 28, 1911 to seek for the missing patrol which at that time was six weeks overdue.
April
April 14, 1911 The city of Iditarod is laid in ruins by a fire.
April 28, 1911
 → May 12, 1911
Arnold L. Berdoe, general manager of the White Pass & Yukon Route leaves the company after 5 years on the job (April 28, 1911). Soon after (May 12, 1911), vice president Dickeson is appointed the new general manager.
May
May 12, 1911 One of the biggest mining deals in the history of the Yukon is closed when Daniel Guggenheim takes over the entire holdings of the National Trust Company of Toronto in the Yukon territory.
June
June 30, 1911 Dawson suffers from smallpox.
July
July 28, 1911 The minister of justice recommends to reduce the number of judges in the Yukon from 3 to 1.
August
August 4, 1911 Major A.E. Snyder, commander of the Yukon division of the R.N.W.M.P., leaves the north.
August 11, 1911 The (new) steamer Casca under construction at the B.Y.N. shipyards since fall 1910, is launched August 5, 1911. The Casca is entirely new from stern to stern with the exception of her boilers which were used for a short time in the old Casca. (see also June 24, 1910).
September
September 29, 1911
 → October 27, 1911
Frederick Tennyson, Liberal, and Dr. Alfred Thompson, Conservative, are nominated for the Yukon Council. Dr. Alfred Thompson wins the October 23 election.
October
October 27, 1911 Two new gold dredges are installed by the Yukon Gold company: No. 6 on Bonanza and No. 7 Eldorado.