Hougen Group

1966b

L to R: Erik, Karen, Kelly, Greta, Maureen, and Craig Hougen. Photo taken along Front Street in July 1966.

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In the photo is Eric Weinecki, founder of Yukon Travel, and the 'moving force' behind the effort to save the Klondike and to have it moved to a new location (as required by White Pass). He lobbied the Minister of Northern Affairs, Arthur Laing and eventua

klondike3

The Klondike in it's new location in Whiskey Flats showing one of the Caterpillar tractors used for towing the Paddle Wheeler.

Moving the SS Klondike

There are strange things done in the midnight sun, perhaps none stranger or more spectacular than, back in the June of 1966, when the old sternwheeler SS Klondike made her final voyage.

Back in the the summer of 1966, the Klondike sat in the shipyards alongside the Whitehorse and the Casca, aging, rusting hulks of the once proud fleet of boats which plied the Yukon River. The Klondike, however, would begin a new life on June 10th of that year.

Kunze and Olsen Construction had been contracted by the federal government to move the boat through the streets of Whitehorse to its present site at the south end of Second Avenue. But how to move a 1300 ton, 210-foot-long sternwheeler? No problem. Chuck Morgan had the answer. Chuck was in charge of the project. He designed a cradle of steel beams to be fitted underneath the flat bottom boat. Then he placed large wooden planks in front, attached heavy steel cables to the ship, and pulled it along with three TD 24 Caterpillars.

The boat wasn’t about to get any speeding tickets. It moved at a snails pace, but move it did - down First Avenue to Taylor and Drury’s car dealership, across their parking lot to Second Avenue and along Second to the final resting site. It arrived safe and sound on July 16th, 1966.

There were many oddities in this project. To ensure the boat and its cradle would move smoothly, Palmolive soap was spread over the wooden pads. The workers used so much soap that the whole town prayed that it wouldn’t rain or Whitehorse would have been the cleanest capital in the world. The steel girders, used as the cradle, came from the Peace River bridge which had collapsed in 1958. Hydro lines had to be taken down so the ship’s smoke stack could move safely through the streets.


A classic picture shows the Klondike parked at the corner of First and Main beside the old Taylor and Drury department store… a stop sign in clear view. The movers obviously obeyed the law. An informal ceremony was held on the deck of the Klondike on July 16th. Mayor Howard Firth presented Captain Chuck Morgan with a gold miniature of the sternwheeler and, thanks to the work of Ed Jacobs, the old riverboat whistle blew once again.

The Klondike has become a major tourist attraction over the years as millions of dollars have been spent to ensure the boat looks like it did back in the 50s when it plied the river from Whitehorse to Dawson.

So next time you pass by or visit the Klondike, think back to that warm July day in 1966, with the boat parked on First Avenue and the townsfolk praying for clear skies.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.

 

See also: Klondike sold
Klondike One and Two
Sinking of the first SS Klondike

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Five miners and a woman pose by one of the gravel dumps on No. 17 Below, Bear Creek. Date: ca. 1901. Yukon Archives. Adams & Larkin fonds, #9074.

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Miners pose with shovels near a sluice box on No. 13, Bear Creek. Date: ca. 1901. Yukon Archives. Adams & Larkin fonds, #9054.

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Gold dredge at Bear Creek. Date: ca. 1920. Yukon Archives. Claude & Mary Tidd fonds, #7074.

Bear Creek

It was the largest industrial complex the Yukon had ever seen. This operation, near the mouth of a little Klondike Valley Creek, was home base for one of the world's richest gold mining companies.

When the townsite was built in 1905, Bear Creek, just six miles from Dawson City, was a community like no other. It had everything a modern industrial town could want. The huge machine shop was state of the art, able to build the complex parts and equipment needed to keep the big gold dredges running, as they turned the Klondike Valley upside down in search of gold. The garage had enough gear to repair the myriad of machines which supplied the dredges.

Joe Boyle's VIP house was used to house only the most important visitors - usually people with money to invest in the Canadian Klondike Mining Company, and later, Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation's many holdings. Most of the seasonal workers lived in Dawson, but many full-time employees lived in Bear Creek and considered their community far superior to that of Dawson City.

And the dredges around Bear Creek employed a lot of people. As many as three hundred would work the dredges from April to November, and at times there were as many as eight dredges digging the ground around the community.

When Big Joe Boyle's enterprise collapsed in 1917, Bear Creek entered what would be called today a recession, which would last until 1932. When YCGC was refinanced and reorganized, it became one of the largest gold mining companies in the world. Bear Creek was an island unto itself in those halcyon days when gold by the ton was taken from the creeks which ran into the Klondike river. The largest wooden-hulled dredge in the world was part of the Bear Creek operation. It was built on Bonanza Creek in 1899.

So rich was the ground it worked that in a single day, while dredging on claim 67 below discovery on Hunker Creek, its huge buckets dug up 800 ounces in gold nuggets.

In November of 1966, the last of the great Klondike dredges ceased operations. Bear Creek's days as a thriving community were over. Today, this entire little town is a museum filled with memories of those days when Bear Creek was the real heart of the Klondike.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

The Klondike Defense Force

It wasn't the first time the Yukon had established a defense force, but it was the first time such a force would be used against another Canadian city.

In 1966, the Yukon formed a defense force. Its goal was to do battle with the city of Edmonton. In trying to counteract the tremendous tourist attraction of the Calgary Stampede, Edmonton would stage its own summer festival. They called it Klondike Days. Yukoners called it outright theft of the territory's birthright.

The first volley fired in the battle came in the form of a gala Yukon folk festival ro raise funds for the defense force. Songs and poems were written about Yukon heritage and of the war with Edmonton. Victory bonds were sold at two dollars a piece. On that warm June evening back in '66, the Elks hall was so full the fire marshall had to turn a blind eye to the proceedings. Nearly 300 people gathered outside the hall to listen to the songs and speeches over loudspeakers.

Speakers like Yukon Bud Fisher, Erik Nielsen, Roy Minter, and Jim Light spoke in glowing terms about the Yukon's heritage and the damage Edmonton was doing to its history. Entertainers included Hank Karr, Al Oster, Judy Parkin, the Hackney family, and many others.

There was little in Yukon history that united Yukoners more than the battle with Edmonton back in 1966. And the outcome. Well Edmonton still stages Klondike Days, but the Yukon had realized the value of the Klondike theme and began to promote it with renewed vigour. The many folk festivals now held in the Yukon had their beginnings in the Elks Hall in Whitehorse back in the summer of '66. Oh yes, if you still have a victory bond, a dealer would surely be interested.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

klondike1966

The Klondike paddlewheeler resting on the bank of the Yukon River at the sight of the former 'Whiskey Flats'.

klondike1966_2

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The Klondike pulls up to the dock in Whitehorse ready for loading. Date: ca. 1940. Yukon Archives. Claude & Mary Tidd fonds, #8280.

The Klondike’s One and Two

When you visit the SS Klondike at her final resting place on the banks of the Yukon near Second Avenue, consider that this marvel of a riverboat was not the first to bear the name. But it was the last to be built for service on the river.

There were two riverboats named Klondike. The first was built in the Whitehorse shipyards in 1929, and represented a new era in riverboat design. She could carry almost twice as much cargo as any other ship. Yet she still had a shallow draft - about four feet - and was able to navigate the most treacherous portion of the Yukon river.

That is, until June of 1936, when something went wrong with the steering system just below the Teslin river. Loaded with over 250 tonnes of freight and many passengers, the helpless boat cruised merrily down the river until she came to a shuddering stop on a large gravel bar. Though no-one was injured, the boat was a complete wreck except for the engine which was salvaged.

The White Pass needed the Klondike for its growing freight and passenger business to Dawson. The company immediately set about to build a replacement, the Klondike 2, which now sits high and dry on the riverbank near Second Avenue. The Klondike 2 went into service in June of 1937.

She could make the downstream run in 36 hours, stopping only twice to take on wood. The upstream trip back to Whitehorse took five to six days and required six wood stops. She would also stop at the mouth of the Stewart River to pick up ore from the Mayo mining district.

By the late '40s, the boats could not keep up with ore production. A road was built from Mayo to Whitehorse in 1950, so that trucks could haul ore year round. The riverboat era - and the work of the Klondike - was coming to an end. In 1955, the road was connected to Dawson, and the years of hauling freight and passengers ceased.

In 1954, the White Pass formed a partnership with Canadian Airlines and attempted to operate the Klondike as a tourist attraction bringing passengers from all over North America to travel the famed Yukon River. But by the end of August of that year, the Klondike steamed into Whitehorse for the last time.

The restored Klondike #2, which was moved from the shipyards to her present site in 1966, is a glowing reminder of those fabulous days when riverboats ran the fabled Yukon.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

See also: Moving the SS Klondike
Klondike sold
The sinking of the first SS Klondike

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A 2008 photo of former Commissioner James Smith with Yukon artist Ted Harrison.

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Commissioner Smith with Gov Gen Leger on the Schwatka June 1976.

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Commissioner James Smith and Dorothy at Dawson City June 1976.

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Photo taken at the Commissioners Ball, Dawson City, June 1976.

James Smith

When Gordon Cameron resigned as the Yukon's very popular commissioner in May 1966, the hunt was on for a successor.

Unlike today, the office carried with it a lot of power back then. The elected Territorial Council had little clout and most often merely rubber-stamped decisions already made by the department of Indian Affairs in Ottawa.

The Liberals under Lester Pearson were the government of the day. Arthur Laing was the Minister responsible for everthing so far as the Yukon was concerned.

Though it would be more than a decade before any substantial political redirection would occur, change was in the wind.

Meanwhile, the guessing about who would assume the number one political position in the Yukon was on everyone's mind. Guessing, betting, arguing, pleading - the job was important and Yukoners really cared who would get it.

The Whitehorse Star ran pictures of likely candidates under the heading "Guess Who?". One of those pictures was of Jimmy Smith, the well-liked manager of prosperous Tourist Services. He was born in New Westminister, educated in Burnaby, and moved to Atlin in 1940. In 1947, he and his wife, Dorothy Matson of Atlin, moved to Whitehorse.

Tourist Services was an all-in-one shopping and service stop which thrived under Jimmy Smith. He was a hands-on boss in the modern operation which included a supermarket, motel, restaurant, gas station, cocktail lounge and a wholesale grocery business.

Sort of a Walmart Plus of its day. Smith had attended the Banff School of advanced business in the late fifties and knew the details of running a complex business organization. On October 17, 1966, the all-powerful Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, Arthur Laing arrived in Whitehorse carrying, in his briefcase, the name of the new commissioner.

The only surprise when he announced the name 'James Smith', was that the popular businessman would take the job. Many thought he was doing just fine where he was, but the appointment was a popular choice.

It had to be, because outgoing Commissioner Gordie Cameron had - to many - been the most popular leader the Yukon ever had.

In his introduction, Laing told Smith that "We all want the same things, to bring the Yukon into some degree of self-government as soon as possible."

Smith, who was President of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, had served two years as city alderman and three years as a Territorial Councilman. He knew the frustrations that elected Yukoners felt in dealing with an appointed head of state - the Commissioner - dictated to by a federal government three thousand miles away.

During his term as Commissioner, from 1966 until 1976, the elected council was most often in a belligerent mood. Members of the Yukon legislature vigorously lobbied the Minister of Indian Affairs to form an executive council that would include elected members in the policy-making process. The Minister, Jean Chretien, eventually accepted the appointment of a five-member executive committee, a kind of cabinet, consisting of the commissioner, two deputy commissioners, and two elected members. Not good enough for council.

In the early 70s, they flew en masse to Ottawa to demand constitutional change. Though they were generally on friendly terms with Commissioner Smith, they wanted his position and powers abolished. Nothing personal, they often said to Smith. The council just doesn't agree that an appointed commissioner should have the power to dictate policy, power that is rightly held by elected representatives.

Chretien went some distance to appease the disgruntled council in a letter which required the commissioner to give "the advice of elected members fullest possible consideration in determining the course of action to be followed in any given situation."

Thus, the commissioner was to be guided by the advice of the committee, but was not required to follow it.

Commissioner Jimmy Smith was expected to be a leader, a mediator, and a messenger, in an increasingly complex and hostile environment of party politics and land claim negotiations.

When his term ended in 1976, the winds of change continued to roll across the Yukon, but the office of Commissioner was still a power to be reckoned with.

 

 

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

First Day of Spring

It’s spring. New life begins popping up everywhere. Goodbye darkness – hello sunshine. And welcome back to the feathered harbingers of spring - the robin.

In the Yukon, these birds usually begin to arrive in early April, and leave in September. But in the fall, there are always stragglers. Back in 1966, a Yukon robin made international headlines as a straggler and what a story the bird had to tell.

On November 10th 1966, Bill Drury was looking out his living room window and spotted a robin munching berries from a mountain ash bush. Now Bill had lived in the Yukon long enough to know that this guy had better get mobile and head south in a hurry.

As the days dwindled down, the robin Bill was now calling Rupert, was still flitting around the yard. Within a week, the temperature had dipped to -17°F with a bitter wind chill.

Rupert’s days were numbered. But not if Bill Drury had anything to say about it. First he snared Rupert in his hat, brought him inside to thaw out, fed him melted snow in a tablespoon and cranberries impaled on broom straws. But now what?

Bill phoned the local wildlife office. No way Rupert would survive the winter, he was told.

So Bill phoned the local agent for Canadian Pacific Airlines. Highly unusual he was told, but maybe something could be arranged. By now, Rupert was comfortably living in a budgie bird cage. Next day he was booked on CPA flight 22 to Vancouver.

Bill Drury delivered Rupert in his cage to stewardesses Virginia Marshall and Autumn Bell, who would take him on this unusual migration. Bill also brought along a handful of cranberries to tide Rupert over during the seven-hour flight.

In Vancouver, Rupert the Robin was met at the airport by Bill Bell, chief inspector for the SPCA. He spent the night at Bell’s home, where he dined on some mountain ash berries picked from a bush on the nearby street.

On November 20, 1966, Rupert the wayward Yukon robin was released into Stanley Park. Zoo curator Alan Best said he should do very well because the mountain ash bushes in Vancouver were filled with his favourite berry.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

Watch this story on video

A Yukon video by Les McLaughlin

1966b

Minister of Northern Development

After lobbying vigorously to convince the Minister of Northern Development to not only save the Klondike Paddlewheeler but to move it to the Whiskey Flats location it finally is on the move. Eric Wienecke was the leader of the campaign.

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House Under Construction, 1966.

Margaret and Rolf - Rogers Street

In 1966, Margaret and Rolf built a house on the corner of Rogers St. and Third Avenue. This property was acquired from Ed Jacobs who used it as 'junk' storage. His machine shop is across the alley at 3rd and Hawkins.
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Greta and Erik on stage, 1966.

Riki Turofsky

In the Basement of our new home at 210 Rogers, we built a small theatre. Riki Turofsky, produced a Christmas play. Riki went on to star in operas across Canada from her home in Toronto.
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The Natural Stone Fireplace and U.S. Army Heater, 1966.

Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson, who is a prospector and outdoorsman, fell in love with Quiet Lake. He leased a beautiful Sandy Point near the south end of the Lake and built a log fishing lodge with four bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge and dining area. This was in the early 60'. He failed to attract cutomers. In 1966, this property was acquired by Rolf and Margaret Hougen, who tried to sell it, but after a short stay, decided to keep it.
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Dorothea and the Turtle, 1966.

Graham Inlet and Ben My Chree.

A favourite summer outing would be a cruise from Carcross to Graham Inlet and Ben My Chree. Seen here is the Army Club owned "Turtle" and the Yukon Electrical Boat "Dorothea".

Among those in the picture is Lloyd Ryder, Bob Cousins, Howie Brunless, Gordon Cameron , Bob Choate, Ken Baker.
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Yamaha Music, 1966.

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Yamaha Music, 1966.

Japan and Yamaha Factories

In April of 1966 the Yamaha music division invited dealers from across Canada to visit Japan and Yamaha factories. Marg & Rolf are seen in the centre of both photos to the right.
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The group at the Vancouver Airport prior to take off, one stop at Anchorage prior to arriving at the Tokyo Airport after a 10 hour flight.

Japan-China

In 1955, while attending the Banff School of Advanced Management, Rolf Hougen along with John Powell, President of P. Lawson travel, also a student, developed a plan to organize an overseas business, educational charter flight to visit fellow students in Japan. Later, Hong Kong and China were added to the itinerary. The project was endorsed enthusiastically by Senator Cameron, Banff School Founder. He became the tour leader.

In April 1966, 132 delegates boarded a Canadian Pacific Air Charter for Tokyo.

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Rolf Hougen, Dr. Aubrey Tanner, James Smith, Bob Campbell, Marg Hougen, Peg Tanner.

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Rolf Hougen, Peg Tanner, Marg Hougen, Aubrey Tanner, dressed for dinner in Hakone Park.

Yukoners to the Orient

From the Whitehorse Star, April 7, 1966

Yukoners to the Orient

Six Whitehorse residents take off April 12th from Vancouver with 126 other Western Canadians on a charter flight which will take them to the Orient.

Mr. and Mrs. Rolf Hougen, Dr. and Mrs. Aubrey Tanner, Jim Smith and Robert Campbell are the Yukoners who will board the special GPA EC 8 flight arranged following last year's Advance Management Course at Banff School of Fine Arts.

First stops is Tokyo where the businessmen will attend a special seminar arranged by the Canadian Trade Commissioner there. That evening a reception will be held at the Canadian Embassy for the visitors.

Visits to manufacturing plants and other points of interest have been arranged for the business executives, while the ladies do some sight-seeing on their own.

"The group will travel to Osaka to attend the Trade Fair in that city, returning later to Tokyo.

On April 22nd the group travels to Hong Kong then takes a train from Sumchun to Canton for four days in Communist China. They will be visiting the People's Commune and other points of interest there before flying back to Vancouver May third.

M.P. Alvin Hamilton, former Minister of Northern Affairs commended Mr. Hougen during his most recent visit to Whitehorse, for his initiative in organizing the tour for the Canadian group, and stressed the importance of the Pacific markets for Canadian products.

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The walk of about 40 yards across the bridge to mainland China that was heavily guarded by Tommygun toting soldiers (P.L.A.).

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One of many scenes of China where we were free to take movies and pictures.

Factories of Nikon, Sony and Yamaha Piano.

In Japan visits were made to the factories of Nikon, Sony and Yamaha Piano. Osaka International Trade Fair was attended after journeying there by the Express Train after 6 days of touring Japan.

The group flew the 1950 miles to Hong Kong. In all of our stops there were briefings by the High Commissioners or Ambassadors. Entertainment was organized by our hosts, every hour of every day was scheduled.

When leaving Hong Kong for Canton, China, it was necessary to walk across the bridge from the Hong Kong train to the Chinese train that took the group the 90 miles to Canton. Bilboards proclaimed "Down With The American Imperialists" and other anti west slogans.

The Whitehorse Star Reports in 1966

 
January
January 6, 1966
 → January 27, 1966
 → November 24, 1966
A territorial plebiscite on daylight saving time is carried out throughout the Yukon. As a result of the plebiscite the Yukon has two time zones as of February 26, 1966. All area east of the 136th Meridian and south of the 62nd parallel in the Yukon Territory go on one hour fast time. The remainder stays on Yukon Standard Time all year round. At the end of the year, residents of Haines Junction request to be placed on Yukon Southern Standard time, the same as Whitehorse, rather than northern standard time. (see also May 11, 1967)
January 10, 1966 CN Telecommunications announces to install telephone lines between Dawson City and the Clinton Creek asbestos mine mill in June.
January 13, 1966 Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing turns down a request from territorial council asking for the construction of a bridge over the Yukon River at Dawson City. A $3,000,000 bridge cannot be justified under existing conditions and rate of industrial development. (see also November 25, 1965)
January 17, 1966 Steve Henke is the new president of the Whitehorse Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion as of January 14, 1967.
January 27, 1966 The Yukon Regional Library in Whitehorse is officially opened January 28, 1966.
February
February 14, 1966 Patsy Henderson, the last surviving member of the group which sparked the goldrush to the Klondike in 1896, passes away February 11, 1966, at age 84. As a boy he was camped on the banks of the Klondike River when his relatives discovered gold on Rabbit Creek near Dawson City.
February 17, 1966 Members of the Yukon Historical Society oppose the move of the S.S. Klondike to a new park-site near the Robert Campbell Bridge, stating the boat should be left in its original position in shipyard park. (see also September 2, 1965)
March
March 17, 1966 A bridge is built over the the Forty Mile River.
March 17, 1966 The operations of United Keno Hill Mines was North America's largest primary production of silver in 1965.
March 21, 1966 Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing announces $112,000,000 housing aid for Indians.
March 21, 1966 Former Northern Affairs Minister Alvin Hamilton proposes a deal according to which the United States gives Canada access by rail, road, pipeline and air to the Pacific and Canada paves the Alaska Highway.
March 28, 1966 The Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. commences to supply power to the community of Ross River on March 8, 1966.
March 31, 1966
 → April 4, 1966
 → April 11, 1966
 → April 14, 1966
 → April 28, 1966
 → April 28, 1966
In view of the Expo'67 in Montreal, Yukon Territorial Council discusses ways and means of halting Edmonton's theft of the Klondike theme. April 4, 1966, Yukoners are urged to write letters of support to outside papers, local papers, their Territorial Councillors and former northerners, to register at Klondike Defence Headquarters, and to add names to the mailing list for campaign letters. A week later, the communities of Skagway, Haines and Haines Junction agree to back up the Yukon in its determination to fight "Edmonton's usurpation of the Klondike". The campaign even hits national TV as three CBC television newsmen arrive in Whitehorse April 12, 1966. Dr. Maurice Haycock donates his oil painting of Third Avenue to help raise funds for the Yukon's Klondike Defence Force (April 28, 1966). Edmonton retreats eventually and states not to use the Klondike theme at the Expo '67 in Montreal (April 28, 1966).
April
April 7, 1966 A group of six Yukoners, among them Marg and Rolf Hougen, and 126 other Canadians take of April 12th on a charter flight which takes them to the Orient.
April 11, 1966 The old government liquor store at Steele and Second Avenue disappears as the site is readied for the new City Hall Complex. The new centennial structure displaces the liquore store, former city hall, Signal corps building, Fire Hall, Indian Co-op at the corner of Second Avenue and Steele Street.
April 25, 1966 The territorial government approves April 22, 1966 the purchase of a parcel of land from lot 19 in order to build a new Junior High School.
April 25, 1966 The Whitehorse Vocational School changes its name into "Yukon Vocational and Technical Centre".
May
May 9, 1966 The territorial council takes the first big step May 6, 1966 toward attaining provincial autonomy for the Yukon. A proposal is outlined by which the territory could start its move toward provincial status over the next 12 years.
May 30, 1966 Gordon Cameron steps out of his job as Commissioner of the Yukon.
June
June 2, 1966 Whitehorse agrees in a plebiscite held on June 1, 1966 to the construction of a new City Hall Complex, but is opposed to the integration of the Takhini area.
June 6, 1966 Following a vote in the House of Commons, the Yukon is denied a hearing regarding its provincial status.
June 16, 1966 Al Kulan, co-founder of the Anvil Mines, donates $25,000 to plant trees in Whitehorse as a Centennial project.
June 16, 1966
 → June 23, 1966
 → July 18, 1966
The sternwheeler, "Klondike" is moved to new location in Whiskey Flats. Eight tons of Palmolive Princess Snow Flakes (soap), slightly dampened, are used to grease the wooden pads for the moving of the S.S. Klondike. On June 23, 1966, The S.S. Klondike is moved from Shipyard parks to its new location near the Robert Campbell bridge. Chuck Morgan is in charge of the six week project in which the historic riverboat is towed on pads down First Avenue from the shipyard area to itsnew location. On July 18, 1966, mayor Howard Firth presents Chuck Morgan with a gold miniature of the S.S. Klondike to mark the completion of the move.
June 23, 1966
 → June 27, 1966
A fire traps miners June 23, 1966 at the No Cash between Elsa and Calumet. 7 miners are rescued June 23, 1966. Four other men died as a result of the fire.
June 23, 1966 The federal government declares the paving of the Alaska Highway unfeasible due to high costs.
July
July 11, 1966 Mary Johnson of Burwash is chosen July 8, 1966 as the Yukon Indian candidate for title of Canada's Princess.
August
August 1, 1966 Huge forest fires threaten Dawson.
August 1, 1966 White Pass & Yukon Route donate $25,000 for a film about the Yukon as part of the Centennial project.
August 29, 1966 After twenty years operation, RCAF station Whitehorse announces its closure for the end of 1967.
September
September 6, 1966 Evelyn M. MacBride, wife of William David MacBride, passes away in Vancouver on August 31, 1966.
September 2, 1966 A fire damages the post office in Whitehorse September 1, 1966.
October
October 3, 1966 Former magistrate A.C.L. Adams passes away in Vancouver October 1, 1966.
October 3, 1966 A meeting of the Whitehorse Board of Health asks to amend and enforce Bylaw 16A: all boys and girls 16 and under are required to observe the 9:30 curfew from September 1 to June 30, with an extra half-hour during summer holidays. At all other times they must be accompanied bt a parent or guardian.
October 11, 1966 Fire prevention week starts with a fire at Whitehorse Elementary School on October 8, 1966. All 600 Whitehorse Elementary students need to be accomodated at Takhini, Selkirk and the Yukon Hall.
October 14, 1966 The Whitehorse Star issues a special edition at the announcement of the Keno Hill Mines closure in the next months. A "continued critical shortage of underground miners has resulted in substantial reductions of output, to the point where it is not possible to maintain a profitable rate of production".
October 14, 1966 Jimmy Smith is named Commissioner of the Yukon by Arthur Laing. He succeeds Gordon Cameron on November 7, 1966. Mr. Smith was President of the Whitehorse Board of Trade, Alderman for the City of Whitehorse, and a Yukon Territorial Councillor.
October 31, 1996 Erik Nielsen announces the proposal of Satellite TV for the north to the Board of Broadcast Governors. According to his announcment, the third network of NTV and the all-Canadian satellite CANSAT will make possible for the first time, live television service to the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
November
November 10, 1966 Former Commissioner of the Yukon, the Hon. George Black, is remembered through name after him a new motor vessel now under construction. (see also June 5, 1967)
November 17, 1966 Territorial Council votes in favor of a motion that plaques to be erected on Yukon centennial projects be worded in English only.
November 17, 1966 With the closing down of Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation, three gold dredges cease operation permanently. The last dredge to operate in the Klondike shuts down. It is now a National Historic site on Bonanza Creek.
November 24, 1966 Territorial Council agrees November 23, 1966 that installation of television in territorial taverns should be allowed.
November 24, 1966 The federal government awards a contract for a feasibility study on transportation routes between the Yukon and tidewater ports on the Alaskan Panhandle (Skagway road).
November 28, 1966 Clara Tizya is selected by the National Indian Advisory Board to represent the Indian women of Canada at the official opening of the Indians of Canada Pavillion Expo '67.
November 28, 1966 A number of new programming arrangments are announced by WHTV. Among others a daily film newscast is introduced. "Arrival of these up-to-date newscast will depend on good flying weather and may be delayed from time to time."
December
December 12, 1966 Dawson City and Mayo record new low temperature record: in Dawson the temperature dipped down to -61 degrees F on December 11, 1966 and -62 in Mayo.

Other News From 1966

  • Commissioner and Mrs. Gordon Cameron received about three hundred guests at their Riverdale residence. Colourful Uniforms mingled with pretty holiday gowns.
  • The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous , which begins on Febraury 24th, features dog mushers Stephen Frost, RCMP Constable Lyn Julyan and Paul Ben Kassi, all from Old Crow; Fred Stretch and Wilfred Charlie from Carmacks, and Andy Smith and Sam Johnson from Teslin.
  • The second Northern Development Conference is held on the March 25th weekend. Tickets for the banquet are $3.50. Bob Campbell is conference chairman.
  • Harry Nixon has been promoted to Inspector of the RCMP. He served in Whitehorse from 1951 to 1957, again from 1963 to the present.
  • Major Hank Colyer has been appointed Commanding Officer of the Yukon Regiment.
  • "Yukoners arise". The Yukon Territorial Council endorses Roy Minter's presentation: "The persistent and massive exploitation of the Yukon's Klondike history by Edmonton can only result in the depletion and elimination of the Yukon's Klondike history."
  • Edmonton confirms it will not give up its Klondike theme in spite of massive national opposition. Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Queen, Linda Kunze and Nora Corbett are on tour to campaign against Edmonton's "theft" of the Klondike.
  • Dr. Lew Green, The Yuon's resident geologist, is transferred to the Vancouver office.
  • Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing announces that Japanese industrialists are "highly interested" in purchasing iron ore from the Snake River deposit north of Mayo.
  • Piper Jim Koropatnick leads the grand march at the annual RCMP ball. Inspector and Mrs. Harry Nixon, Justice John and Mrs. Parker, Commissioner Gordon and Mrs. Cameron, Inspector and Mrs. Lou Pantry are in attendance.
  • H.M.C.S. Yukon docks in Skagway and the crew visits Whitehorse.
  • The Economic Council of Canada is escorted to the Yukon by Northern Affairs Minister Arthur Laing. Presentations are made to the group by Commissioner Jim Smith, Rolf Hougen and mining officials.
  • After twenty years in the Yukon, the RCAF announced the closing of their Whitehorse base. S/L Laurin makes the announcement. The federal Department of Transport will manage Yukon airports. The radio listening function will close. Two hundred and twenty-five RCAF members along with seventy civilians and their families will be affected.
  • The Travelodge announces a plan to build a motel at Second Avenue and Wood Street.
  • WHTV installs new Sony video equipment. Programs are recorded in Vancouver and trucked to Whitehorse for re-broadcast one week later.
  • Gordon Cameron, General Manager or Canadian Coachways in Edmonton returns to the Yukon in September to inspect its Whitehorse facilities.
  • The experimental farm at Mile 1019, near Haines Junction, has reduced staff to five people. It has operated since 1945.
  • Rev. James Mulvihill has been named Bishop of the Roman Catholic Vicariate succeeding Bishop Coudert.
  • Edge King, who was general manager of Yukon Electrical from 1958 to 1961, and then executive Vice-president of Northland Utilities in Edmonton, has been appointed General Manager of Canadian Utilities, Edmonton.
  • Walter Hickel defeats William Egan, Alaska's first Governor, who had sought a third term.
  • Duke Collins and Bob Cousins are elected as Alderman for the City of Whitehorse.