Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike, was named for Dr. George Mercer Dawson, a Canadian government geologist. A trading post on a mud flat at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers, Dawson mushroomed in a single season to become a sprawling boom town, made up of log and frame buildings, and tents. Some 50,000 people from the four corners of the earth arrived at Dawson. In 1898-9, at the height of the rush, the itinerant population of Dawson was estimated between 20,000 and 30,000, making it the largest Canadian community west of Winnipeg.

Dawson City, Yukon

The excitement however quickly petered out after the turn of the century, with the formation of large corporations which bought up individual claims. The Klondike continued to produce gold in abundance for a number of years but by the 1940's Dawson was a village with a permanent population of under 1,000. In 1953 the territorial capital was transferred to Whitehorse. But the picturesque town nestled beneath the scarred and rounded hill known as the Moosehide Slide, located less than 200 miles (322 km) below the Arctic Circle, is still very much a part of our historical heritage.