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Carcross is full of stories. It has been the epicenter for many of the historical events and home to colorful characters that make the Yukon so unique. Check out some of our favorites.

Trail Building

   

S2S Trail Coordinator Derek Crowe explains why trail building is so perfect on Montana Mountain and some of the tougher projects the crew has worked on.

Montana Mountain Mining History

   

Montana Mountain was the site of the great silver rush in the early 1900s. Conrad, a town located on the Windy Arm side of the mountain, was briefly home to almost 5,000 people and almost the capital of the territory. A tramline – thought to be the longest in the world – was built up the mountainside to connect Conrad to the Mountain Hero mine.

Skookum Jim

   

He helped find the route for the White Pass railway from the Alaska coast to the Yukon’s interior. But perhaps his most significant achievement was discovering gold in 1896 and starting the Klondike Gold Rush that forged the new territory. When he died in 1916, his fortune was put into a trust to be used to help improve health and education for Yukon First Nation people.

Land Claims

   

In 1973, a delegation of Yukon First Nations Chiefs presented Together Today for our Children Tomorrow: A Statement of Grievances and an Approach to Settlement by Yukon Indian People to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and started a modern treaty negotiation process in the territory.

Polly the Parrot

   

He was a scarlet macaw that came across the Chilkoot in 1899. His owner, Captain Alexander died when the S.S. Sophia sank in 1921. Rowdy and foul-mouthed, Polly became a permanent resident of the hotel and lived for many years in the bar. His fame increased in 1971 when Dennis Bell wrote an article about the bird for national news service and won the Canadian Press Story of the Year.

Sam McGee

   

Sam McGee was the name of the main character from Robert Service’s famous poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. But he was also a real person. He lived in the Yukon in the early 1900s and was a renowned road builder. He led the construction of the wagon road between Carcross and Conrad during the height of the Windy Arm silver rush. 

Game Mother Story

   

Game Mother is an important story for Carcross-Tagish First Nation. It explains how the animals were created and spread throughout the land. Montana Mountain is one of the four sacred mountains in the story where Game Mother gave birth to all the animals.  

Northern Lights

   

Everyone loves northern lights and Carcross is one of the best places to see them. We don’t know what it is – maybe it’s the town’s location or the wide open sky over the lake and surrounding mountains.

Caribou

   

Prior to the gold rush in 1898, hundreds of thousands of caribou ranged across the southern Yukon. Carcross was originally named “Caribou Crossing” because it was one of the places where the animals crossed the lakes system during their annual migration. 

Clans

   

Carcross/Tagish First Nation has a government structure based on a system of six clans organized into to groups or moieties. 

Carcross Community Education Centre

   

In 1979, the Anglican Church re-opened the Chooutla Residential School as an alternative high school. Students from across Canada came to Carcross to study. Program included everything from math to bread-making. 

Chooutla School

   

Anglican Bishop William Bompas constructed the first residential school in the Yukon in Carcross in 1903. At that time, Yukon First Nation people were considered wards of the state, and residential schools were established as a means to educate and assimilate First Nation children into Canadian society.