Hougen Group

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Engineer mine photo in 1965by Rolf Hougen.

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Mrs. Alexander with parrot in her hand; Captain Alexander sitting in chair. Yukon Archives. Reginald Brook Sr. fonds, #18.

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Engineer Mine Camp after buildings completed. Tutshi in mid distance. Lawsons camp above smoke stacks. Yukon Archives. Reginald Brook Sr. fonds, #65.

Engineer Mine

Engineer mine was located 42 kilometres west of Atlin, British Columbia, along the shores at the south end of the Taku Arm. In a region of wilderness beauty, the mine has a history of misfortune and curses.

In July 1899, two Swedish prospectors told some White Pass railway engineers about a pale yellow metal they had found on the shore of Taku Arm. The engineers formed a partnership with the Swedes and two of the engineers decided to explore the area. One, Charles Anderson, rowed past large visible quartz veins running down into the lake. He then staked a claim which he recorded in Atlin on July 20, 1899.

In all, twelve claims were staked that year, in an area that became known as the Engineer Group. Ore samples showed very promising results. The first shipment of ore was carried to Lake Bennett aboard the steamship, the Gleaner

Then John Hislop, one of the key figures in the White Pass railroad story, became president of the Engineer Mining Company of Skagway. There were a significant number of local investors, including many White Pass workers. Tunneling work took place over the next several winters. In 1902, the company built a stamp mill, but money woes shut down production for two seasons.

In 1906, some of the claims were mistakenly allowed to lapse and were quickly staked by a Mr. Brown of Atlin. Led by Captain James Alexander, a group from Atlin, known as the Northern Partnership, acquired the claims from Brown.

Evidently there were some under-handed tactics involved with the group's take-over, and Brown placed a curse of death and disaster on everyone involved with the mine.

Still, work continued and, by 1910, the company had two mills on the property, employing about 30 people. For the next few years the property was under litigation and work slowed substantially. By 1912, Captain Alexander had taken control of the mine and found a larger orebody. The mine’s potential increased and several investors, including the provincial government, funded a large-scale operation.

By 1917, work on the mine leveled off as the First World War severely depleted the pool of mine workers. In 1918, Captain Alexander seemed to have found a buyer for the mine, so in October he and his wife decided to head south. Alexander left his pet parrot “Polly” at the Caribou Hotel in Carcross, and took the White Pass train to Skagway.

From Skagway, the couple sailed to Vancouver on Princess Sophia. On October 22nd, the Sophia ran aground on Vanderbilt Reef. Two days later with all passengers still on board, the ship slipped off the reef. Three hundred and fifty-three passengers and crew drowned in the icy waters of the Lynn Canal, including Captain Alexander. The tragedy had a terrible impact on the Yukon since many key players from the Yukon’s mining and transportation industries were headed south after the summer season. Polly the Parrot lived at the Caribou Hotel in Carcross for more than 50 years after Captain Alexander left the famous bird there.

Captain Alexander’s death had an immense effect on operations at the Engineer Mine. It ceased production for five years while litigation dragged on over ownership of the property.

In 1924, investors from New York acquired the mine and built a number of structures including bunkhouses, a mess hall, and several residences. A powerhouse was built on the Wann River, 5 km south of the mine. The mine site began to resemble a small town. By 1925, upwards of 140 men worked at the mine. The S.S. Gleaner, and later the S.S.Tutshi, made regular visits, delivering mail to a wooden box nailed to a tree.

 

 

The mine made a profit for a while, but never achieved its hoped-for potential. The workforce declined to about 20 men in 1930. At this time several of the gold-bearing veins were depleted, and the mine closed once again.

 

 

It seems the reported curse delivered by Mr. Brown had some merit. Certainly the mine experienced more than its fair share of trouble, and for Captain Alexander, his untimely death on board the Princess Sophia, proved the curse was real.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.



See also: The Sinking of the Sophia

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Robert Kennedy. Seen here with two RCMP at the Whitehorse Airport.

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Robert Kennedy. Seen here in front of Sam McGee's cabin.

Climbing Mt. Kennedy

It was the highest unclimbed peak in the St. Elias. Standing at an impressive 13,900 feet, the unnamed mountain was a beauty to be behold. For the untrained mountaineer, however, it was a formidable foe.

When Mount Kennedy was named for the late American president John F. Kennedy, the National Geographic Society and the Boston Museum of Science decided to set up a team to conduct a joint survey which would result in a detailed map of the mountain.

When the late president's brother joined the team at the last minute, the story became world-wide news. Senator Bobby Kennedy had never climbed a mountain before. The world's press descended on Whitehorse and scrambled for transportation to the base camp at the 9000-foot level.

From here, Bobby Kennedy, led by veteran Everest climbers Jim Whitaker and Barry Prather, ascended the last ridge. When they got to within 50 yards of the peak, they unroped and let Senator Kennedy make the final ascent. Here he planted the Kennedy family crest, the National Geographic emblem and the Canadian flag.

When he descended to base camp, Kennedy was hailed by press, climbers and scientists alike. There were many pictures, but the one I remember best is that of Bobby Kennedy and my friend, the late Terry Delaney, arms wrapped around each other smiling ever so cheerfully for the camera.

When he got back to Whitehorse, Senator Kennedy dropped into the Capital Hotel to get cleaned up and have a drink. He bought a round and paid for it by cheque. Hotel owner Cal Miller said that was one cheque he'd never cash. He was keeping it, he said, as a souvenir from the future president of the United States.

It was not to be. Senator Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in California in 1968.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

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George and Martha Louise Black in their home of Front Street in Whitehorse next to the Regina Hotel.

George Black

I could find no record of his prowess as a hunter in the Yukon, but George Black was no slouch when it came to shooting rabbits on Parliament Hill.

George Black was born in 1873, in Woodstock, New Brunswick, where he eventually graduated from University with a law degree. But in 1898, the appeal of gold in the Klondike outweighed the thought of a life in front of the bar. So the budding lawyer doffed his robes and headed, with a party of four men, for the Yukon. At Lake Bennett, Black and his men built a steam-powered river boat and made their way down the Yukon River, bound for Dawson.

Before they reached their goal, however, the party split up. George took a detour to the Livingstone Creek region where he staked a discovery claim and worked it for three years.

The claim didn't pay and in 1901, Black, now nearly broke, hitched a ride on a riverboat heading for the Klondike.

In Dawson, he set up a law practice and made a name for himself in a hurry. In 1904, he married another Klondiker, Martha Louise Munger, a naturalist by profession. The pair quickly became leading lights in the Dawson social circuit.

By 1905, the young lawyer had made such a name that he was easily elected to the Yukon Territorial Council. In 1908, he took a run at federal politics and lost. But he was now a name to be reckoned with and, in 1912, George Black was appointed the Yukon Commissioner. The appointment should have been a stepping stone to greater things, but World War I intervened and, by 1916, every able-bodied man in Dawson was itching to go overseas to fight for Great Britain.

The 43-year-old lawyer began a recruitment campaign and enlisted an astounding 275 men into his own personal Yukon Infantry Company, which later became known as the 17th Canadian Machine Gun Company.

By the time George and his small army left Dawson for England, his high-spirited wife, Martha, had talked the Canadian government into allowing her to go along on the troop ship that carried more than three thousand men.

George was severely wounded in 1918 at the Battle of Amien in France. Following the war, the Blacks settled in British Columbia. In 1919, George ran for a seat in the provincial legislature and lost. Then they returned to the Yukon. In 1921, he won his first seat in Parliament as a Conservative.

Black soon became an important part of Ottawa society. In 1930, Prime Minister R.B. Bennett nominated Black to become Speaker of the House of Commons.

 

George and Martha had reached the pinnacle of Canadian society, but George had not forgotten his Yukon roots. He kept, in the venerable speaker's chambers, a .22 caliber pistol, which he used to shoot rabbits behind the centre block on Parliament Hill.

 

In 1935, George Black suffered a nervous breakdown, the result of his war wound, and was committed to a psychiatric hospital in England.

He was unfit to run in the 1935 federal election, so Martha Louise Black, at age seventy, ran as an Independent Conservative. She won and became the second woman to serve in the House of Commons. Meanwhile, George slowly recovered and, in 1936, they moved to Vancouver.

By 1940, George was again ready for political combat. Martha stepped aside and allowed Black to contest the Yukon seat. He won, and he remained the Yukon Member of Parliament until the 1949 election, which he did not contest. He attempted to recapture his seat in the 1953 election, but lost to Liberal Audrey Simmons.

The couple lived on First Avenue in Whitehorse where Martha continued as the matriarch of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire.

A treasured family photo shows the ladies of the IODE celebrating Martha's ninetieth birthday, as my mother looks on at her patriotic friend.

On October 31, 1957, Martha Louise Black died in Whitehorse. George moved to Vancouver, where he died on September 23, 1965, at the age of 94.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

See also: George Black 1916

Wally Byam

Have you ever driven behind a caravan of trailers on the Alaska Highway and wondered how you were ever going to pass them all? It’s a reality. Trailers bunch up on the highway. So imagine a week back in the summer of 1965, when a caravan of more than 100 Airstream trailers pulled into Whitehorse. Imagine trying to pass that crew on the very dusty highway. Impossible.

It was called the Wally Byam Caravan and was one of the largest ever assembled to travel the Alaska Highway. I interviewed the travellers for local radio and recall that they were a fun bunch - on the trip of a lifetime in their Airstream trailers.

So who, I got to wondering, was Wally Byam? Here’s the story. Wally Byam was a pioneer, a legendary figure in the mobile home business.

He was born in Oregon in 1896, and spent his childhood tending the family's large flock of sheep in the mountains. He lived in a small, two-wheeled cloth-covered wagon which was pulled by a donkey. Wally once told his friends that the shepherd boy’s wagon had something to do with his later interest in trailers.

Wally Byam received a college law degree. However, he was interested in writing, advertizing and carpentry. He began publishing a how-to-do-it magazine for home carpenters and builders.

One day, Wally came across an article about how to build a trailer and bought it for publication. He printed the story and letters of complaint started to roll in. So he decided to follow the instructions himself. He quickly found them impossible. So he tried to design a trailer himself. Soon, in his backyard, he was building made-to-order trailers for sale.

In 1934, he came up with the name "Airstream". That’s what he would call his trailers. He continued to build trailers until 1942, when the war stopped production.

In 1946, he rented a small building near Van Nuys, California , and was back in the trailer business. Thus was formed Airstream Trailers Incorporated. During the next ten years, his company grew to become a major American business enterprise.

He would often leave the factory to take personal charge of caravan tours. They were, he said, the best way to show what could be done in a travel trailer. Airstream owners became a loyal bunch. In 1955 a group of his followers founded a club that is now one of the largest trailering clubs in the world. It's called the Wally Byam Caravan Club.

I can’t recall if Wally Byam was with the big group who slowed traffic to a crawl in the summer of 1965, but they still travel the Alaska Highway. With pavement, however, it’s easier nowadays to pass them.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

Dick North

Dick North has always quietly gone about his business of research and writing. And now, quietly, he has joined elite company, including Wayne Gretzky’s dad and a former Supreme Court judge, as the newest members of the Order of Canada.

Dick made the exclusive list "for his ongoing commitment to the preservation and promotion of the history of the Yukon Territory as an author, journalist and historian," reads the citation.

Through the years, the 78-year-old Dawson resident has written four books on important historical subjects. They are "Arctic Exodus", "The Mad Trapper of Rat River", "Trackdown" and "The Lost Patrol".

During his work, Dick became an expert on Jack London, the author who spent a winter in the Yukon during the Gold Rush, and who gathered enough information to become one of North America ’s most treasured writers.

In the early sixties, Dick re-discovered the cabin where London spent the winter. London had arrived in the Yukon in September of 1897 as a 21-year-old prospector. The discovery of the cabin is quite a saga. It was built just before the Gold Rush, on the North Fork of Henderson Creek, in the Stewart River area.

The cabin was abandoned after the Gold Rush and discovered by trappers in 1936 who noted Jack London’s signature on the back wall. That was conclusive proof that London had lived in the cabin, but little attention was paid back then.

In 1965, North organized a new search for the cabin. Since the dwelling was of historical interest to both Canada and the United States, two identical cabins were reconstructed. One is now in Dawson City, while the other was assembled at Jack London Square in Oakland, California, London’s hometown.

Each cabin has half the original logs. Dick also worked hard to establish the Jack London interpretive centre in Dawson. The site contains photos, documents, newspaper articles and other artifacts.

Today, life is a little less adventurous for North, who is cataloguing his life’s work which, Dick says, is enough to keep him very busy.

Dick North is the 27th Yukoner to be awarded the Order of Canada.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

Babe Southwick Trophy

The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous celebrations of the Sixties had a magical feel about them. The Yukon hadn’t seen winter carnival celebrations since the late forties, so it was like a breath of fresh spring air when Rendezvous rolled around.

In a time before the Yukon Quest and other world-famous dog races that are now held in the Yukon, the Sourdough Rendezvous dog races were home spun affairs that saw the arrival in Whitehorse of old friends from the communities that we had not seen for a year.

In 1965, 40-year-old Babe Southwick of Destruction Bay brought her team to the Sourdough Rendezvous dog races. Babe was a member of the pioneer Dickson family from Kluane Lake. She added spark and color to an already lively event. Her father, Tom, came to the Yukon as a Mountie during the Klondike Gold Rush, married her mother Louise, then left the force to go trapping and raise a family. He was one of the Yukon 's first big-game outfitters. At the first musher’s meeting in 1965, Babe drew the #8 starting position. Then on Friday morning, the first of three days of racing, her well trained team disappeared down the Yukon River in a cloud of whirling snow, and made good time around the fifteen-mile trail.

After finishing the first day's race in the top five, she took care of her dogs and then retired to her hotel for a night of rest before day two of racing. Two hours later she was rushed to the Whitehorse General Hospital where she was pronounced dead of a heart attack. It was Friday, February 26, 1965. The news spread rapidly through Whitehorse and a pall hung over the Rendezvous festivities. The mushers met and decided to carry on with the races.

On day two, ten mushers lined up at the starting gate, each wearing a black arm band. Babe's racing number, eight, was withdrawn. Then her brother–in–law, Alex Van Bibber, took her Destruction Bay team around the course for the final two days of racing.

It would make a Hollywood ending to say that Alex led Babe's team to victory that year, but that honor went to a then-unknown musher from Carmacks, Wilfred Charlie. In the crowd watching the races that year was Andrew Snaddon, the editor of The Edmonton Journal.

Profoundly moved by Babe's death, Snaddon convinced the Journal to donate the BABE SOUTHWICK MEMORIAL TROPHY which is awarded to the team with the fastest lap of the three heats. And the number "8" remains retired from Sourdough Rendezvous dog sled races.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

See also: Sourdough Rendezvous

Hank Karr

When I first met Hank Karr back in 1965, he was the hottest property to hit the Yukon since sourdough pancakes and fresh oranges. He was a ball of musical energy. This Saskatchewan-born son of the soil could deliver any song with ease. Ballads, pop, country, story songs – Hank handled them all.

He had a stage presence so natural, it belied his shyness underneath. Hank Karr did not blow his own horn. He didn’t have to. Whenever he performed, fans and friends would be there to sing along and dance.

Our friendship began when we were recording this first pan-Northern CBC Radio series called Northern Jamboree in the sixties — first in the ballroom of the old Whitehorse Inn, and later in the CBC studios on Third Avenue. From then, and during Canada’s centennial year (1967) when he represented the Yukon at Expo in Montreal, until today, Hank Karr has been a great ambassador for the Territory.

And through the years, he has never forgotten those fans who gave him undying loyalty. To this day, Hank Karr represents a good song well sung. Hank’s voice remains true to the country music sound he enjoys. He is an ambassador of Yukon and its music world-wide.

His CDs and DVD are testaments to the fact that a performer doesn’t have to leave the Yukon to succeed in the music world. He was once asked why he didn’t go to Nashville to make it. His reply was true to his philosophy.

"The Yukon," said Hank "is my Nashville."

And so, as the famous Yukon balladeer celebrates his 70th birthday, his friends know there will be many more songs and stories to come before, during and “After Yukon”.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

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Banff School of Advanced Management, 1965.

Banff School of Advanced Management

Rolf Hougen joined about 75 others at the Banff School of Advanced Management for a 6 week course. It was a live-in campus and used the Harvard University style of instruction and debate. Recreational activities such as skiing was mandatory. Several "offshore" students attended.
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Flashback: riverboats in winter quarters, 1965.

British Yukon Navigation Co.

This Hamacher photo in early 1900 shows four of the British Yukon Navigation Co. (B.Y.N.) in winter quarters.  The boats are: L to R: Yukoner, Canadian, Columbian and the Selkirk.  B.Y.N. was the river division of White Pass and Yukon Route.
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Photo1: Martha Louise Black O.B.E. on her 85th birthday Photo by Rolf Hougen 1951.

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Photo2: The Hon. George Black, P.C., M.P. Photo by Rolf Hougen 1949.

Martha Louise Black O.B.E.   1866 – 1957

The Hon. George Black, P.C., M.P.
1873 – 1965

Daughter of a wealthy and socially prominent family in Chicago, Martha Louise Black emerged from an approved private school to become engaged to suitor Will Purdy, the son of a railroad owner and embarked on an approved marriage.  With servants to care for her two little boys, she soon wearied of the social round and in 1898 talked her brother and his partners into including her in their plans to join the rush to the Klondike in 1898.

When her husband backed out because it was too dangerous and moved to Honolulu, Martha insisted on going north, and trekked up over the Trail, determined to keep up with the men.  She never saw Will Purdy again.  From Dyea they struggled over the Chilkoot Pass, into Lindeman, on to Bennett and built their boat for the river trip to Dawson City.  Martha named an unknown creek “Excelsior” and staked claims there with her brother, which later yielded enough gold to lure her back to the Yukon.

In a log cabin across the Klondyke River above Lousetown, Martha Purdy gave birth to her third son, Lyman, a final gift from her husband, and was taken home by her father the following spring.  This time river steamers and the new White Pass train from Bennett to Skagway provided easy traveling.  Bored with her comfortable life at the family ranch, she wanted not comfort and safety, but liberty and opportunity, and she talked her father into returning to Dawson where the family set up two mills leaving Martha as manager when they returned to the States.

Consulting a lawyer on mill business, she was impressed by young George Black, from an old United Empire Loyalist family in New Brunswick.  He had obtained his admittance to the Bar at the age of 24, reading law in the family’s office, while conducting two small businesses on his own.  He organized the trip west to the Klondike by selling space to friends in a colonist railway car from Fredericton to Vancouver and made their way up over the White Pass then down river to Dawson.  En route, he had staked the Discovery Claim at Livingston Creek in 1898, and an impressive mountain nearby has been named for him.

An outdoor man and a sportsman, George Black won her boys over on hunting expeditions and they were married in August, 1904.  The country was in the throes of a bitter election campaign in which George Black was actively engaged, supported in his political career by his hostess/wife.  He served three terms on Yukon Council before their move to Vancouver in 1909 where he carried on his law profession.  Meanwhile Martha spent her summers collecting wild flowers for display in CPR hotel, a hobby which later earned her Fellowship in the Royal Geographic Society in Britain.

George worked from Vancouver in support of Conservative candidates in the federal election of 1911 when the federal Laurier government went down to defeat on the Reciprocity issue.  The following year the Conservatives appointed him Commissioner of the Yukon Territory and they took up residence in the impressive Government House in Dawson, where Martha began four years of being the charming chatelaine.  That ended August 4, 1914 with the declaration of war.  George sent in his resignation and organized the Yukon Infantry Company of volunteers, which he headed with rank of Captain.

With 275 members, they left Dawson on the S.S. CASCA in October 1916 for training at Victoria, B.C. and Martha went along with “her boys” managing to talk the authorities at Halifax later into permitting her to make the dangerous trip across the Atlantic – the only woman on board for the eight day voyage on the S.S. CANADA through stormy waters.  After more training, George and Lyman went off to France and into battle, leaving Martha to look after Dawson boys on leave in London.  It was a proud mother who attended the investiture of her 19-year-old son at Buckingham Palace when he received the Military Cross from King George Fifth.

Martha kept busy administering the Yukon Comfort Fund and visiting boys in hospital, as well as giving 400 illustrated lectures about the Yukon, traveling on trains in blackouts, lugging boxes of heavy lantern slides.  In August 1918 George was wounded at the Battle of Amiens and hospitalized in London….shrapnel in the left leg and machine gun bullet in the right.

After the Armistic he was ordered to the Rhine with the Army of Occupation;  Lyman was in command of the armoured cars for the official entry into Mons.  In the spring of 1919 Martha was sent to France by the Overseas Club to visit soldiers’ cemeteries and war-stricken villages with a view to observe rehabilitation schemes.  Later she represented Yukon at a garden party at Buckingham Palace given by King George and Queen Mary.

Captain Black’s work was finished with the Army of Occupation and they returned to Canada, with no home, no job, no money, in their 50s.  The Commissioner’s position had been abolished and Government House at Dawson was closed.  George opened a law office in Vancouver and Martha recuperated with her gardening at their small cottage on the north shore of Burrard Inlet.  When the federal election was called in 1921 George was offered the Yukon nomination for the Conservative Party, went north alone and fought the hardest political battle of his life.  Retrieving the seat for the Conservatives, the Blacks returned to Ottawa, returning to Dawson during parliamentary recess.




George Black won 4 successive federal elections, carrying through amendments to the Yukon Act giving Yukoners rights to jury trial and civil actions; drafted and sponsored the Yukon Quartz Mining Act and advised the Liberal government of the day on Yukon affairs.  In 1930 he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons, which made Martha official hostess for the House at functions of national importance.  She enjoyed those special events and was acknowledged as the perfect hostess.

But in January, 1953, George resigned as Speaker of the House of Commons and was hospitalized for treatment.  It was a critical time for the Conservative Government.  George was not well enough to face a Yukon election campaign and it was decided that Martha should run in his place, as an Independent Conservative – political pinch-hitter for George.

The Conservative Party was defeated nationally but Martha won the Yukon seat by 134 votes.  At the age of 70, she took her place in the House alone, February 6th, 1936, saddened by the death of King George 5th.

George recovered after treatment for his illness and recuperated at home in Dawson, returning to his seat in the House of Commons once again.  When Whitehorse replaced Dawson as the Yukon’s legislative capitol, the Blacks moved south into a home on the bank of the Yukon River in 1944.  Martha became part of the city’s social life and a valued member of such groups as the I.O.D.E.  She was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1948 and George made the New Year’s Honours List as a Member of the Privy Council.

Martha Louise died at the age of 91, in Whitehorse, October 31, 1957 and was buried from the Old Log Church in the Masonic plot of the Whitehorse cemetery downtown.  A national news story began “All Canada looked to the Yukon with a bow when Martha Black died.”

The Hon. George Black remarried at 84 years of age, his old friend Sadie King, who disposed of the Black residence and contents, and moved him to her Vancouver home.  He died at 92 in August, 1965, when a Vancouver daily paper headed the news: “Brave Heart of the Yukon finally lets go.”  He was buried in the large military cemetery there.

Story by Flo Whyard, C.M. 2005

The Whitehorse Star Reports in 1965

 
January
January 11, 1965 Scurvey Shorty is elected Chief of the Whitehorse Indian Band. It is the first Council election held since 1957.
January 18, 1965 A well for supplying water to the residents of Porter Creek is put into service on January 13, 1965, replacing the water delivery truck.
January 28, 1965 City of Whitehorse officials complete a re-assessment of all lands within the city limits. The re-assessment was ordered by Judge John Parker following the appeal by White Pass and Yukon Route.
January 28, 1965 Whitehorse becomes one of three satellite tracking station.
February
February 1, 1965 The B.C. government is been requested to do on site surveys of Tarr Inlet during summer 1965. Tarr Inlet could become a Canadian port, thus giving Yukon access to tidewater.
February 11, 1965
 → May 27, 1965
Connelly Dawson Airways Ltd. buys Yukon Flying Service. "Great Northern Airways" is the new name chosen following the merger.
February 18, 1965 Superintendent of Education Harry Thompson announces that Friday 26, 1965 will be a school holiday for all students to enable them to enjoy the Sourdough Rendezvous.
March
March 8, 1965 Cassiar Asbestos announces its plans to bring the Clinton Creek mine northwest of Dawson into production by 1968.
March 8, 1965 Snowplows keep the Canol Road open throughtout the winter from Johnson's Crossing to Ross River. The road had been closed every winter since the Second World War.
March 15, 1965 Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing announces oil has been discovered 60 miles north of Dawson City.
March 18, 1965 Whitehorse City Council discusses the take-over of Camp Takhini March 17, 1965.
March 22, 1965 Senator Robert Kennedy arrives in Whitehorse to climb Mt. Kennedy. He becomes the first man to reach the top.
March 29, 1965 The territorial council approves March 26, 1965 the introduction of daylight saving time in the Yukon, for a year's trial. The first daylight saving time starts April 26, 1965.
April
April 1, 1965 Dr. Maurice Haycock visits Whitehorse.
April 5, 1965 Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing announces oil has been discovered 60 miles north of Dawson City.
April 5, 1965 The Whitehorse Star reports about a huge North American water diversion project that would divert waters from Alaska, the Yukon and B.C. through a complex of dams, reservoirs, canals, seaways and pumping stations to Canadian plains, United States and Mexico.
April 8, 1965 New Imperial Mines diamon drilling proves an immense ore body at McCrae.
April 19, 1965 Canada's Indian Princess Irene Seeseequasis from Saskatchewan gets married in Whitehorse April 19, 1964.
April 22, 1965 Whitehorse City Council approves the installation of an artificial ice plant.
April 26, 1965 Canada's newest gold mine, a 60-ton mill, goes into production in June near Carmacks.
April 29, 1965 Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing announces a budget of $3.8 Million for the 3-year construction of the 140 mile road from Ross River to Carmacks, opening up one of the richest mineral areas of the Yukon. Works start in 1965.
May
May 17, 1965 The world's highest rescue is staged in Yukon by the RCAF when Don Campbell and crew airlifted stranded Klondike 'copter from Mt. Kennedy.
May 20, 1965 After strong opposition from the Yukon, Edmonton's application to copyright the words "Klondike Days" and "Klondike Kate" has been withdrawn. No reason is given for the withdrawal. (see also July 1964)
May 31, 1965 Hougen's have purchased the ladies wear department formerly operated by Murdoch's.
June
June 3, 1965 The community hall in Watson Lake burns down.
June 3, 1965 A bill to set up an Alaska-Yukon highway authority, charged with modernizing the Alaska Highway project is introduced in the House of Commons June 1, 1965.
June 10, 1965 Commissioner G.R. Cameron presents June 9, 1965 the highest award in the Canadian Girl Guide Movement to 16-year-old Esta Sparks.
June 14, 1965 Whitehorse Star writer June Franklin receives the national award for best feature column in the Canadian Women's Press Club annual competition.
June 30, 1965 D.R. Delaporte is appointed the general manager at United Keno Hill Mines as of July 1, 1965.
June 30, 1965
 → December 2, 1965
At corner of Elliott and Third, where MacPherson and Phelps home used to stand, the new Casca building is being constructed which will house among others the new government liquor store, and CBC studio, Jack Humme Insurance, Jim Hanna Optometrist and the T.Eaton Mail Order. The building opens for business in the beginning of December.
July
July 12, 1965 Canadian Pacific Airlines Flight 21 on its way from Vancouver to Whitehorse explodes and crashes on July 8, 1965 near 100 Mile House. All 52 people aboard, including five Yukoners, are killed. Commissioner G.R. Cameron orders all flags on Territorial buildings to be flown at half mast for three days. A bomb on board the flight is suspected but never proven.
July 26, 1965 Students from Toronto and Montreal visit Whitehorse as part of the centennial project.
July 29, 1965 A caravan of 150 trailers driving up the Alaska Highway arrive in Whitehorse July 26, 1965.
August
August 9, 1965 White Pass and Yukon Route sell their bus business to Canadian Coachway August 5, 1965.
August 26, 1965 Captain George Black passes away at the age of 92. He is buried in the Field of Honour at Vancouver's Forest Lawn Cemetery. In the Yukon flags are at half mast.
September
September 2, 1965 The Department of Northern Affairs announces the S.S. Klondike will be preserverd as a national historic site. A museum will be established inside the vessel. The S.S. Klondike will be moved to the South Whiskey Flats. The S.S. Keno will be preserved at Dawson. (see also February 17, 1966)
September 27, 1965 On September 25, 1965, Erik Nielsen is chosen by the Yukon Progressive Conservatives as candidate in the federal election.
September 27, 1965 On September 23, 1965, the Yukon Liberal Association nominates Ray McKamey as their official candidate for the federal elections.
September 30, 1965 The Canadian government disapproves a U.S. proposal to build a dam on the Yukon River in central Alaska.
October
October 4, 1965 Old No.1 Railroad Engine that ran on the Klondike Mines Railroad in the Dawson Area is sold by Yukon Consolidated Gold Corp. to Roger Burnell of Vancouver. It is shipped from Whitehorse to Vancouver.
October 14, 1965 Northern Affairs Minister Laing announces October 13, 1965 a 10-year road building program for the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
November
November 1, 1965 At 12:01 on November 1, 1965 the City of Skagway officially changes from Yukon Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time.
November 9, 1965 Erik Nielsen is re-elected MP of the Yukon on November 8, 1965, defeating Ray McKamey, Liberal, by a large margin. Lester Pearson remains Prime Minister of a minority government
November 25, 1965 Territorial council has decided to appeal to the Northern Affairs Department to start construction of a bridge over the Yukon River at Dawson and dispense with the existing ferry system. (see also January 13, 1966)
December
December 2, 1965 Ira van Bibber of Pelly passes away.
December 6, 1965 The Whitehorse Civic Centre is officially opened December 5, 1965.
December 6, 1965
 → December 30, 1965
Rolf Hougen announces that he has purchased a controlling interest in Northern Television Systems, which operates WHTV at Whitehorse. Rolf Hougen is also investigating the possibility of immediate installation of videotapes to bring current programs, sports, and current events to local viewers. At the end of december, the Whitehorse Star reports that videotape programming WHTV is scheduled to begin January 1966.
December 13, 1965 A motion by the territorial council requests on December 7, 1965 the federal government to institute in 1967 a 10 to 20-year phased program implementing provincial status for the Yukon.
December 14, 1965 New Imperial Mine announces its decision to open a thousand tonne copper mine nine miles out of city limits after signing a contract with sumitomo. Ross Kenway, Mine Manager, said the mill will be near McCrae.
December 20, 1965 Howard Firth is the new mayor of Whitehorse in December 16, 1965 election, defeating Duke Collins, Ed Jacobs, and Paul Lucier. Jim Light and Steve Henke are elected Alderman.
December 20, 1965 A Yukon group headed by Rolf Hougen plans a tour to China. (see also April 7, 1966)
December 30, 1965 Commissioner G.R. Cameron announces his resignation to take effect June 1, 1966.

Other News From 1965

  • On February 25th, the annual Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous is underway. Stephen Frost and Constable Royce Bates from Old Crow are among the dog team competitors. Whitehorse Mayor, Ed Jacobs, presented Wilfred Charlie of Carmacks with this year's trophy. Donna Bigham of Skagway is crowned Queen.
  • Andrew Snaddon, editor of the Edmonton journal has donated a trophy, "The Babe Southwick Memorial" in honour of Babe "for her great spirit and high reputation." Peter Hudson, chairman of the Rendezvous, made the announcement. Popular local dog musher, Babe had died of a heart attack after completing a race during the Rendezvous.
  • Hougen's Limited with the slogan "Built on Service" offers a Yukon wide shopping service. Yukoners could phone the personal shopper for anything whether sold by Hougen's or not. Springbox Aluminum Boats, Honda Motorcycles, Mercury Outboard and Ski-doo's are sold in Hougen's sporting goods department. Hougens sells Bernini Sewing Machines and Electrohome Organs at their furniture location on Main Street next to Yukon Rexall Drug Store.
  • The trial of Bill Grant, former Yukon Indian Superintendant, on charges of misdirecting funds from one category to housing for First Nation citizens, continues before Magistrate Williams Trainor.
  • A banquet celebrating fifty years since the founding of Kiwanis was chaired by President Bob Choate, who succeeded Frank Graham. Jim Gentleman is district governor. Charlie Taylor, a director since 1946, attended.
  • Dr. Jack Hibbard, President of the Yukon Progressive Conservative Association, will fly to Ottawa to join Rolf Hougen, who will fly from Banff where he is attending a six-week advanced management course. He is a national director of the Progressive Conservative Party. Margaret, President of the Young Conservatives, will meet him in Ottawa. The Yukon delegates are attending in support of John Diefenbaker.
  • Brigadier Herb Love, former commander of the Northwest Highway System, has been appointed Director of the Arctic Institute of North America.
  • Steve Henke's Auto Body Shop is destroyed by fire. He plans to rebuild.
  • Ron Connelly of Connelly Dawson Airways buys Yukon Flying Services from Lloyd Romfo. Fourteen aircraft will be available in the Yukon.
  • Inspector Joe Vachon, RCMP, is transferred to Calgary. He is succeeded by Lou Pantry.
  • Commissioner Gordon Cameron presided at the opening of the 21st Territorial Council session. Speaker George Shaw, of Dawson City, Ken Thompson, Bert Boyd, Bob McKinnon, Fred Southam, Don Taylor and John Watt in attendance.
  • Royal Canadian Legion's second charter flight from Whitehorse to Gatwick sees 88 Yukoners holidaying in Europe via a Wardair aircraft.
  • Leo Proctor auctions off his construction equipment worth one million dollars.
  • Tenders have been called for a new medium security jail on Range Road.
  • Ron Connelly announces consolidation of Connelly-Dawson Airways, Whitehorse Flying Services and Range Airways of Calgary into a new company "Great Northern Airways." Norm Keglovic, Gordon Bartsch are part of the management team.
  • Al Pike, General Manager of United Keno Mines, Elsa, retires to Salt Springs Island after eleven years in the Yukon. He is succeeded by D.R. Delaport.
  • Grant McConachie, who built Canadian Pacific Airlines into an International Carrier, died suddenly at age 56.
  • Wally Byam Caravan, consisting of one hundred airstream trailers, travel the Alaska Highway.
  • White Pass sells their bus line to Canadian Coachways.
  • Bishop Coudert, age 70, dies in Rome while attending an ecumenical council.
  • The Hougen Santa train once again carries hundreds of youngsters to meet Santa at McRae and ride back to Whitehorse with him.
  • Dr. Jack Hibberd leaves the Yukon after six years of practice.
  • The Yukon Research and Development Institute announces a Yukon survey of Government Revenues and Expenditures.
  • Marg and Rolf Hougen’s sixth child Maureen is born. She is their third daughter.
  • Sam McClimon, forty-year’s a Yukoner, sells his theatres to Lawrence Seely and retires to Victoria.
  • Ryders Fuel Service, established in 1900 by Roland Ryder as a wood lot and run by his son George for many years, has been sold to Les Murdoch. Howard Ryder operates the Stratford Hotel and Gordon Ryder operates Builders Supplyland.
  • Jack Hibberd of the Basketball Team "The Capitals" is presented the Hougen Trophy by Rolf Hougen.
  • The Co-op Grocery Store at Second and Lowe, in a building owned by Phil Storer, was damaged by fire.
  • Pilot Lloyd Ryder flew Dr. Rennie Helm to Aishihik to attend to the birth of a son of Elizabeth Albrech, wife of the D.O.T. radio operator stationed there.