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Polly the Parrot was one of Carcross’s more colorful residents.

“The world famous Carcross parrot is probably the oldest, meanest, ugliest, dirtiest bird north of the 60th parallel” 

Dennis Bell 1971

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.

“The world famous Carcross parrot is probably the oldest, meanest, ugliest, dirtiest bird north of the 60th parallel,” wrote Bell in his award-winning article Parrot Reformed but Hates Everyone.
“He hates everybody. Which is understandable, because the damned old buzzard has resided within spitting distance of a beer parlour since 1919 and has had to endure 64 years of beer fumes, drunks who mash soggy crackers through the bars of his cage, and phantom, feather pluckers.”

When Polly died at the age of 125, there was a funeral procession on the White Pass train from Whitehorse and many people attended his wake at the Caribou Hotel bar. His grave can be found just inside the gate of the Carcross Cemetary.


Points of Interest

Caribou Hotel

The original Caribou Hotel was owned by Dawson Charlie, one of the Carcross-Tagish members who discovered gold in the Klondike...

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S.S. Tutshi

The British Navigation Company was established in 1900 and used steam-powered paddle wheelers to provide transportation between communities on the Yukon river system. Carcross was the entry point for most travellers and the hub for the Southern Lakes area. In 1917, the company launched The S.S. Tutshi – a luxury tourist boat for the region.

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White Pass Railway

The White Pass Railway started construction in 1898 in the wake of the great Klondike Gold Rush. The last spike was driven in Carcross in 1900, and the railway became the primary route...

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