The Hougen Group of Companies - A Yukon Tradition
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1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959

On May 3, 1955, Margaret Van Dyke and Rolf Hougen are married. After a week in New York, they sailed on the Queen Mary to Europe. A week in London was followed by a 3-month drive throughout Europe. After a visit with Margaret's relatives in Holland, a train and ferry took them to Kristiansand, Norway, where Rolf's father Berent greeted and introduced them to relatives.

Marg and Rolf's Wedding, 1955. Click for larger view.

The May to September honeymoon in Europe included London, Amsterdam, Munich, Saltzberg, Vienna, Zurich, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, Riviera, Barcelona, Les Palma Island, Madrid, Biarritz, Paris, Brussels, Kristiansand and Oslo and points in between.

Black Tie Formal, 1955
The Honeymoon Route, 1955. Click for larger view.

"Blondie" Hougen in Hougen's Photo Centre that he managed, talking to Harry Gordon-Cooper.

Hougen's Photo Centre, 1955
Hougen's Photo Centre, 1955, Click for larger view.

Both the Air Force and the Army had messes. If you were invited to become an associate member, the Commander would accept your attendance in suit and tie, once. Then they required you to wear black tie formal wear but encouraged to wear white tie tails.

In this picture is Erik Nielsen, Harry Boyle, Dr. Doug Yates, Dr. Des Morrow, Dr. Gordon Harris and Rolf Hougen.

L to R - Ruth Morrow, Gwen Boyle, Doris Yates, P.J. Nielsen, Bibsy Yates and Margaret Hougen.

Black Tie Formal, 1955
Black Tie Formal, 1955, Click for larger view.

While traveling in Europe, Bob Campbell, building contractor, built an 860 sq. ft home for Marg and Rolf. It was one of five "new" homes in Whitehorse built from the ground up. Central Mortgage and Housing had recently approved the Yukon for housing mortgages. The home cost $12,500 to build and CMHC offered a mortgage for $8,000.00. Prior to this, homes were built by 'adding to' as money became available, pay as you go.

New Home, 1955
New Home, 1955, Click for larger view.

The Big Inch Company

In the 1950s, millions of North American kids owned land in the Klondike. They dreamed about mining, farming, fencing, building cabins, raising sled dogs. They dreamed the dreams of early Klondikers, and like the majority of the gold seekers of 1898, the kids of the 50s had their dreams turn to dust.

It was one of the most successful public relations campaigns of its time. In 1955, the Quaker Oats company bought a parcel of worthless land six miles downstream from Dawson City. A deed to one square inch of the land was available in every box of Quaker Oats. The “Klondike Big Inch Company” took the children of the 50s by storm. The kids urged their parents to buy boxes of the cereal - and buy they did. The kids snapped up more than 21 million boxes of puffed cereal containing the deed to Klondike land.

The cereal and the deeds became outrageously popular because they were promoted on one of radio’s most successful kid’s shows. “The Challenge of the Yukon” starring Sergeant Preston and his dog, Yukon King, sledded across the airwaves from 1947 to 1957, loaded with Quaker Puffed Wheat. In 1955, Sergeant Preston offered the deeds during commercial breaks in the program.

The promotional scheme made the company number one in the very competitive breakfast cereal market. The kids wanted to know more about their land. They wrote the company in record numbers seeking details of the exact location of their one square inch. They wanted to know how to mine it, if they could fence it in, what they could build on it. The kids of the 50s were proud and possessive of their land in the Klondike. One deed-holder had amassed 10,800 deeds.

Alas, none of the land was ever developed. Years later, Quaker Oats let the land lapse for back taxes. It was listed for sale for 37 dollars in back taxes. I don’t know if anyone picked up the option.

Klondike Big Inch Land Co.
Klondike Big Inch Land Co., 1950 , Click for larger view.
Klondike Big Inch Land Co.
Klondike Big Inch Land Co., 1950, Click for larger view.


Maybe Erik Nielsen knows. You see, he was the lawyer retained by Quaker Oats to buy the land for the Klondike Big Inch Company. If you happen to have a deed to the land, it’s worth about $45 to a collector

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

 

Miss Canada From Whitehorse

'Put Whitehorse on the map' was the motto of the local Jaycees club back in the summer of 1955. They couldn’t find a better way of doing that than to sponsor a local woman in the Miss Canada pageant.

Dalyce Smith was the pride and joy of the Yukon in 1955. She was bright and beautiful. The Junior Chamber of Commerce had sponsored her entry into the Miss Canadian Rockies beauty pageant earlier in the year. She won and was dubbed Queen of the Rockies.

However, an even bigger prize awaited the Whitehorse resident. On July 1st, in London, Ontario, she was acclaimed Miss Canada and put Whitehorse on the map she did. Preparing for the event, she had brushed up on all aspects of the Yukon’s history and development potential, and she spent much of her time 'outside' correcting false impressions about the territory. She was quite the ambassador.

When she arrived back in Whitehorse on July 23, 1955, the Jaycees and the Junior Chamber held a gala welcoming ceremony at the airport, followed by a cocktail party and dance at the Whitehorse Inn Ball Room.

At the party, Maxine Dermondy read a poem on behalf of former and present members of Taylor and Drury’s, where Dalyce worked.

Our heartfelt wish has just come true
You went and did what we hoped you’d do.
We weren’t in doubt, not for a minute
We’d seen your stuff and knew that you’d win it.

Dalyce Smith, 1955

Dalyce Smith is honoured on her return from London, Ontario, where she was named Miss Canada.

L to R:
Archie Sinclair, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Fred H. Collins. Commissioner. Ernie Theed, President of Whitehorse Board of Trade, J. Aubrey Simmons, Member of Parliament, Gordon Armstrong, Mayor and Norm Chamberlist on microphone.
Click for larger view.


Well maybe not in a league with Robert Service, but a fitting tribute to Dalyce Smith, who dazzled Canada and put the Yukon on the map in that summer of 1955.

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

 

Ben-My-Chree

It was a kinder and gentler time, and everyone agreed there were no kinder nor gentler Yukoners than Otto and Kate Patridge. Their home at Ben-My-Chree was a garden oasis in a vast wilderness.

Otto Partridge was born on the Isle of Man, emigrated to the United States, and eventually made his way to Lake Bennett during the Klondike Gold Rush. There he formed the Bennett Lake and Klondike Navigation Company, and built the first three sternwheelers in the Yukon. When the White Pass Railway began operations in 1900, Otto and his wife Kate moved on to Milhaven Bay, on Lake Bennett near Carcross, where they lived on a houseboat.

At Milhaven, they set up a sawmill and supplied the White Pass with railroad ties. She was a gifted musician; playing a portable organ that she had carried on her back when she climbed the Chilkoot Pass.

Otto became interested in mining when a prospector named Stanley McLellan staked a promising gold find near the southern tip of the remote Taku Arm, in the isolated northerneastern corner of British Columbia.

Otto agreed to provide supplies in exchange for a stake in the mine. In the summer of 1911, the Partridges sailed their houseboat down Taku Arm and started a mining operation at the spot they named Ben-My-Chree, Manx for "girl of my heart".

Stanley and his wife Anne McLellan lived near the mine shaft in a small stone house, about a mile above lake level, while the Partridges lived in a log cabin near the lake shore. The Ben-My-Chree mine employed between 10 and 60 men. On October 5, 1911, tragedy struck. An avalanche roared down the mountain and buried the Ben-My-Chree mine. The McLellans were killed instantly.

That was the end of mining for Otto and Kate Partridge, but they were not about to leave Ben- My-Chree. They built a homestead, including a fine two-storey home, and planted flowers and vegetables. By 1912, lake sternwheelers were delivering mail. In 1916, the Partridges began hosting guests who were brought to Ben-My-Chree from Carcross by the British and Yukon Navigation Company, or BYN as it was known locally.

In June 1917, the company launched the steamer Tutshi, with accomodations for 110 passengers, and began twice weekly excursions from Carcross to Ben-My-Chree. The vessel offered cruise-ship-like luxury.

At Ben-My-Chree, a long gang plank extended out into Taku Arm. Kate, dressed in long formal gowns, welcomed visitors at the garden gate, and Otto would take them on a tour of the impressive grounds.

Ben MyChree
Click for larger view.

Ben MyChree
Click for larger view.

Kate entertained with organ music and Otto captivated tourists with stories from the gold-rush days. Ben-My-Chree was considered an essential place to visit by the social elite in the 1920s, including the Prince of Wales, U.S. President Roosevelt, and movie stars from the silent-film days. One year, the steamer carried more than 9,000 passengers.

Then, in the winter of 1930, Otto died suddenly in Whitehorse. His wife Katie survived him by just five months. Both are buried in Whitehorse. The White Pass bought the buildings from the B.C. government and the SS Tutshi continued its regular summer excursions until 1955.

Today the old homestead and several other buildings still stand, surrounded by fir trees planted by the Partridges as a wind break. The wishing well is still there and wild flowers (including arcticpoppies) grow, but Ben-My-Chree is no longer a public place. The long voyage down windy Taku Arm make the area very difficult to approach, but the pioneering spirit of Otto and Kate Partridge is still being felt.

 

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

 

The Diary of Otto Steiner

There were many remarkable stories to come out of the Klondike gold rush. Some of the most interesting were first-hand accounts kept as diaries.

Otto Steiner set sail from Seattle, bound for the Klondike, in April of 1898, along with four partners. He eventually made it to Dawson City late that summer, but as with so many other gold-seekers, he found that all the good ground was staked. Along the way he kept a diary. His simple, straight-forward account of the journey remains fascinating to this day. For example he writes:

The Noyo sailed for Skagway on April 3rd, 1898. She proved to be a small boat and no upper deck for passengers. Instead, cattle, hogs, chickens, goats and horses were penned on the upper deck.

Below deck there were bunks for 200 men. The bunks filled the lower deck. They were about two feet wide by six feet long and were stacked four high. After you were in your bunk you had about six inches between you and the fellow above.

Breakfast was called by the ringing of a bell. Pandemonium reigned as all tried to be first. Such a jam, kicking, cursing, punching - the mad crowd was a sight to remember. Fights and fisticuffs were frequent.

After the second or third day out, the floor of the lower deck was such a sight you could hardly imagine. Most of these passengers were sea sick much of the time. There was no way to clean up because there was no room. Some poor devil was in every square inch of space. Happily I was sea sick most of the time and wanted nothing to eat.

When the rickety tub of a boat landed in Skagway, Otto Steiner quickly discovered that if life could be worse on land than on that boat, it would. He wrote:

In Skagway there must have been 10 thousand people and not hotel rooms for half of them. What hotels there were, were crowded to the rail. The so called bedrooms consisted of rooms about 20 feet square. In this would be placed 15 to 20 bunks, just a frame of two by fours with canvas stretched over it. In the morning when I started to dress, I found my pants which contained what money I had - about one hundred dollars - 15 feet away from the bed. I had been robbed.

Later Steiner discovered that he had left his money in his shirt pocket. The thief had missed the money. The party then began preparations to head for the trail.

We finally got our gear to the foot of the Chilkoot Pass. It took some task to pack the nine or ten tons to the summit. Horses, mules, goats, sheep, dogs, men, women, all were packing or pulling sleds. There were fights, cursing, and swearing - it was each man for himself going and coming without hardly room to pass on the trail. Back sore, weary and unsociable, finally we got our stuff to the summit.

There were other aspects of the Klondike trail which were an eye openener for Otto Steiner. He wrote:

Some say that Negroes are a lazy and indolent lot. There were three on this trail who had the stuff in them out of which men were made. They pulled their own sled, loaded heavily, one man to a sled, some 400 pounds to the trip. Each of us had 250 pounds to the trip and thought we were above average. These Negroes camped near us many times. They were always jolly and had two banjos with them and most evenings would play and sing with always a crowd at their tent.

When Steiner's party finally packed their tons of gear over the Chilkoot Pass and down the other side to the first of many lakes on the route, he wrote about a sight which appalled him:

At Lake Lindeman a little water spaniel was pulling a two hundred pound man on a sled. Here the trail was cut up and the dog was stuck. The man had a buggy whip and commenced to use it on the dog. At this stage of the game, a man stepped out of the passing line of men and says Partner Stop Licking That Dog. Of course this meant fight and both men were strong and well muscled. The fight lasted three or four rounds and the man with the buggy whip finally got the worst of it. Blood spouting from this mouth and nose he lay quietly in the snow and gave up. The crowd cheered. The victor gave his parting warning "if I see you licking that dog again, I'll kill you". I saw the same man and the dog on the trail a number of times, but he was never riding on the sled.

The party reached Lake Bennett before the ice went out and began the tedious task of building not one, but three boats by whipsawing lumber cut from local trees. Here, Steiner proved he was a very detailed writer of the incredible scene which was unfolding. He wrote:

At Lake Bennett we had been advised not to fly the American flag unless the Union Jack was place above it. Many fellows would not buy a Union Jack and disregarded the advice, with the result they were fined. Some of the men got even with the Yellow Legs, an epithet for the Mounted Police. They would place a US Flag on their mast and above it a British flag about the size of a postage stamp. From a distance of 50 yards the Yellow Legs could not see the small flag so would hale the fellow to shore only to find out the law had been complied with.

When the ice finally went out on Lake Bennett, the hoards of men in their quickly crafted boats - perhaps then a thousand in total - began the journey down the waterways to the Klondike. He wrote:

At this camp at Lake Marsh, we got our first introduction to mosquitoes. It is impossible to describe how thick they were. There were clouds of them. You could grab handfuls. Sleep - none of us slept. We had mosquito nets but they were quite useless. These nets kept the swarms away, but hundreds got through. Yet after we left this camp we were not bothered much for a long time.

The only real obstacle on the rest of the voyage came at Miles Canyon and, just below the Canyon, the infamous Whitehorse rapids.

At the foot of the canyon, the water plunged 20 or 30 feet in height. This is called the White Horse Rapids. Two days before we arrived, a scow had capsized in the canyon. Aboard her were three men. Two of these men were lost and only one body found. While cooking our evening meal, someone spied what looked like a man's coat floating on the water. A boat was sent and sure enough it was the missing man. Quite a few met this fate.

From the rapids and onto Lake Laberge, journey was uneventful. Again, Steiner showed his eyes for detail. He wrote:

We entered Lake Laberge. Here again strung out at intervals of 50 to 100 yards were crafts of all dimensions. On some of these scows were fellows of a musical turn and while waiting for the wind to come up were playing on their favourite instruments. Across the water came the strains of violin, guitar, mandolin and banjo. Also there were human voices, solos, quartets etc. It sounded most beautiful and helped bring cheer, good will, nerve and grit.

Once across Lake Laberge, the journey again became exciting. With high water levels in spring, that part of the river then known as the Forty Mile, could be very challenging. Steiner wrote:

Steiner 1
Steamship "City of Seattle" docked alongside Moore's wharf in Skagway next to various freight sheds. Date: July 1899.
Yukon Archives. H.C. Barley fonds, #5091.
Click for larger view.

Steiner 2
Stampeders on wharf surrounded by supplies required for the trek to the gold fields.
Date: ca. 1899.
Yukon Archives. Anton Vogee fonds, #114.
Click for larger view.

Steiner 3
A group of stampeders posing with pickaxes, shovels, and axes rest in front of their campsite before moving on.
Date: August 1899.
Yukon Archives. H.C. Barley fonds, #5135.
Click for larger view.

We continued down the famous 40 mile, a swift, turbulent stream, many rapids, jagged rocks sticking up some six inches to three feet above the surface. It kept us constantly on the alert. By skillfully dodging around the rocks and then shooting our boat across the stream here and there, we managed to miss these obstructions. Many were the ones who failed to do so and the shores for the whole distance was lined with outfits drying out their wrecked craft, upside down on the beach, being repaired and others being dragged to shore while others were still on the rocks.

Steiner and his party reached the mouth of the Stewart River where a large camp of men living in tents had been set up. Many were prospecting the creeks which ran into the Stewart. The Steiner party decided to do the same and spent three months in the region before heading on to Dawson in September. He wrote:

We finally got our boats loaded and started for Dawson. Arriving there without mishap, we immediately met men with whom we had become acquainted on the trail. Bjork met one of his old Levanworth friends and said come on boys, let's have a drink. We followed him into a saloon. Every second door was a saloon. We all took a beer, a tiny glass which held about three or four swallows. Donahue paid the bill. $2.50 or 50 cents per drink. There were six bartenders. All busy.

Otto Steiner found out quickly that there was no ground worth staking in the creeks around Dawson. So he went to work that winter on a claim owned by two young men whose rich parents in San Francisco were backing them with money. But he soon found out that the money was an illusion.

The claim was a good one. The gold taken out was paid to the packers for supplies. All of us, 20 men, knew the money was being spent as fast as it was coming out. But these boys, having millionaire fathers, having good credit at the stores, we all thought our pay was sure. The bubble broke early in the fall. The old men of Frisco called a halt and we were left holding the bag. None of us had one cent for our summer's work. I had fully intended on going home in the fall, but now was without a cent. Three of us sued and got judgement against the boys. The judgement was for 45 hundred dollars being granted in my name. I had the judgement entered in the Frisco court. The earthquake and the fire destroyed the record and my claim went up in smoke.

Otto Steiner stayed in the Klondike until June of 1900, working odd jobs on the creeks, cutting wood 'til he finally accumulated nearly two thousand dollars. Then he caught a steamer heading down the Yukon river, bound for the gold fields at Nome, Alaska. He spent 40 years in Alaska as a miner and retired to the southern states in 1940. He died in 1955 at the age of 89.

 

A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin

 

 
THE WHITEHORSE STAR REPORTS IN 1955*
 
January
• January 7, 1955 The Kiwanis Club of Whitehorse elected the following officers at their annual meeting: C.J. “Bunny” Lelievre as President; D.W. Busby as Vice-President; J.B. Armor as Secretary; George Frizell as Treasurer.
• January 21, 1955 The Whitehorse Branch, B.C.-Yukon Chamber of Mines elects the following at their annual meeting: Re-elected President, Gordon Lee; First Vice-President, Alex Berry; Second Vice-President, Don Taylor; re-elected Secretary-Treasurer, Harry Weiland.
• January 21, 1955 With the leadership of Mayor Gordon Armstrong and Len Wooley, a Better Business Bureau has been formed under Board of Trade Sponsorship.
• January 21, 1955 The Yukon Order of Pioneers hold their annual meeting and elect the following officers: President, Bert Barber; Secretary, Hector Grant; Treasurer, Elmer Gaundroue. For the 16th consecutive year, Tom Hebert was unanimously re-elected to the office of Warder.
• January 28, 1955 Miss Dalyce Smith of Whitehorse is selected as one of nine candidates from Western Canada to compete at the Banff Winter Carnival for the title of “Miss Canadian Rockies.”
February
• February 17, 1955 On February 28, 1955, the Bank of Montreal opens new, modern premises that were formerly located at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue. A.C.P. Jones, Bank of Montreal manager, explained that the increased banking in Whitehorse in the past few years has made it necessary for the bank to build larger quarters to give more efficient service.
March
• March 3, 1955 Pan American World Airways occupies new centrally located premises. The new office is located in the Whitehorse Inn in the space vacated by the Bank of Montreal.
• March 3, 1955 Miss Amy Lepage is crowned Winter Carnival Queen. The carnival is the first to be hosted by the Young People’s Association.
• March 3, 1955 The Whitehorse Star formally introduces Mrs. James (Flo) Whyard as Women’s editor. She is a newcomer to Whitehorse, but a resident of the North for nearly ten years, Mrs. Whyard pointed out the lack of women’s news in the Star and found herself stuck with the job.
April
• April 28, 1955 The Yukon Historical Society, at their annual meeting, elect the following officers: Re-elected President, W.D. MacBride; Vice-President, W. Emery; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. J.D. Scott. The museum plans many improvements for the coming year, including enlarged facilities.
• April 28, 1955 Sarah Stringer, wife of Bishop I.O. Stringer, passes away in Vancouver on April 10, 1955.
May
• May 5, 1955 Board of Trade President, Ernie Theed announces at the Board’s annual meeting that the Whitehorse Museum would from now on bear the name of its greatest contributor, W.D. MacBride, who generously gave of his time, effort, patience, and knowledge in developing and maintaining this historic centre. Rolf Hougen moved the proposal.
• May 5, 1955 Ernie Theed is re-elected president of the Board of Trade on April 29, 1955.
• May 12, 1955 The Whitehorse Film Council is formed. The following are elected: President, Archie Sinclair; Vice-President, Harry Weiland; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. L.A. Cyr; Librarian, Harry Thompson. The Whitehorse Film Council hopes to provide a complete community film service and reach its ultimate aim, the establishment of a large permanent film library in the community.
• May 19, 1955 The Yukon Fish and Game Association elects the following officers for the coming year: President – Mike Nowlan; Vice-President, Stuart MacPherson; Secretary, A.D. (Red) Gawne; Treasurer, Bill Waterous.
• May 26, 1955 Miss Freda Collins is crowned May Queen at the May Day Carnival that the Whitehorse Young People’s Association sponsored. Other candidates were Betty-Lou Graham and Velma Berg
• May 26, 1955 The Whitehorse Junior Chamber of Commerce elects the following officers: President, Al Prince; Vice-President - Archie Sinclair; Secretary - Bob Grieves; Treasurer - Ernie Carriere.
• May 26, 1955 Rolf and Margaret (nee Van Dyke) Hougen's marriage is announced in the Whitehorse Star. The wedding took place in St. Joseph's Cathedral in Edmonton.
July
• July 7, 1955 Whitehorse's Dalyce Smith is named Miss Canada. She is also Pride of the Yukon, and Queen of the Canadian Rockies. She has now been recognized officially from one coast to the other as monarch of them all.
• July 14, 1955 Corporal L.A. Gibbs, who had been in charge of the Whitehorse detachment, left for Fort Smith, NWT and is to be replaced by Sergeant J.B. Fitzgerald.
August
• August 11, 1955 The Duke River Bridge on the Alaska Highway opens August 5, 1955. It replaces a 1,400 foot timber trestle bridge constructed by the United States Army in 1943.
• August 18, 1955 A party of nineteen members of the Imperial Defense College and their commanding officer visit Whitehorse. They were on the annual tour of Northern Canada made by members of the college. They were entertained at the NWHS Officers Mess and made a tour of the Alaska Highway.
• August 18, 1955 London's Lord Mayor pays a brief visit to Whitehorse, arriving from Vancouver by plane in time to board the S.S. Klondike on its last trip to Dawson that season.
• August 25, 1955 Three members of the five man royal commission set up to study Canada's economic potential complete the first leg of their year-long job. They arrived in Whitehorse on August 18th and were entertained by F.H. Collins, Commissioner of the Yukon, and Brigadier H.L. Meuser OBE. CD, Officer commanding the Northwest Highway System.
• August 25, 1955 The newly formed St. John's Ambulance Association elects the following officers for 1955-56: President - Stanley W. Huston; Secretary - Mrs. Beatrice Crow; Treasurer - Leonard Wooley. A class in first aid was given twice weekly for a month.
September
• September 22, 1955 The Christ the King Parent-Teacher Association holds its first meeting in the CYO Hall. Howard Firth is named President; Mrs. Corinne Cyr, First Vice-President, and Mrs. Alice Lelievre, Treasurer.
• September 22, 1955 The Whitehorse Lions Club holds their first meeting of the fall season and elect the following officers: President - Percy Bethune; First Vice-President - Dave Porter; Second Vice-President - Dick Carswell; Third Vice-President - Matt Nelson; Secretary - Harry Fatt; Treasurer - W.M. (Slim) Connolly.
• September 29, 1955 Streets heaped with dirt, ditches sunk into the mud, and the roar of equipment meant sewer and water for Whitehorse residents. But, not unless they applied formally at city office. Application forms were available there for those wishing to get the benefit of the million-dollar project on this side of the river.
• September 29, 1955 Going ahead rapidly is the work on the Yukon River's first full-fledged bridge. A 300 foot, three span was rising to reach the area set aside as the city's new housing subdivision, Riverdale and the new hospital.
October
• October 20, 1955 Yukon Teachers form an association on October 7/ 8, 1955, so they may promote the cause of education. The following officers are elected: President, Claude Campbell; Vice-President, Henry Bugara; Secretary, Miss Kay Stark; Treasurer, Noel Martin Koder; Executive Member, George Blair.
November
• November 24, 1955 An early morning fire destroys the garage at Marsh Lake Lodge. The origin of the fire was unknown.
December
• December 15, 1955 White Pass and Yukon Route announces that the Steamer Tutshi on the West Taku Arm Service and Steamer Klondike on the Whitehorse-Dawson run will not operate in 1956. With Canadian Pacific Railways announcement of their 1956 schedule for the SS Princess Louise, company officials decided that operating the west Taku Arm Service without the Louise passengers was not economically feasible. This marks the end of fifty-four years of sternwheel operation by the White Pass.
• December 15, 1955 The Whitehorse Canadian Legion elects the following for the next year: President - Jack Connelly; First Vice-President A.A. Ross; Second Vice-President - C.W. (Chuck) Badcock.
• December 22, 1955 The BPO Elks Lodge 306 install the following officers for the coming year: Exalted Ruler - Don MacPhail; Leading Knight, George Webber; Loyal Knight, T. Watson; Lecturing Knight, S. Husten; Treasurer, C.D. Boddulph; Secretary, J. Humme.
 
* The dates on the left indicate when the event was reported in the newspaper and might differ from the actual date of the event/ the date mentioned within the text on the right.

 

IN OTHER NEWS IN 1955

  • Rolf Hougen's plan to bring cable T.V. to Whitehorse is made public in December.
  • White Pass announces a plan to build and operate the world's first container ship.
  • CFWH broadcasts a live "Yukon Hayride" western show with local talent. CFWH is located in the Army Rec. Hall.
  • Arthur Petley-Jones, Manager of Bank of Montreal is transferred to Victoria. Jack Connelly is his successor.
  • An annual Yukon ski meet is held and is sponsored by the Yukon Ski Runners & Roundel (RCAF) Ski Club.
  • Whitehorse golfers plan the opening of a 9-hole golf course on the Annie Lake Road.
  • Brigadier Herb Love leaves as Commander of the Northwest Highway System and is replaced by Brigadier Gerry Meuser.
  • M.V. Clifford Rogers, White Pass and Yukon Route's new container ship, is launched in Montreal.
  • W.G. Brown, Commissioner of the Yukon, leaves and is replaced by F.H. (Fred) Collins.
  • A hearing is held in Atlin regarding the Frobisher plan to divert water from Atlin/Yukon lakes and rivers to power an aluminum smelter at Dyea.
  • The Alaska Music Trail sponsors an opera singer concert at the Whitehorse High School.
  • A plan for the town site of Riverdale is presented to the Whitehorse public. Lots are to be sold for from $1000 to $2000 including a sewer and water system.
  • In the spring of 1955, a group of Whitehorse teachers, led by Mary Gartside, forms the Whitehorse Teachers' Association with sixty members. Later that year the first Teachers' Institute was held in the Yukon in an attempt to organize a professional association for all Yukon teachers.
  • “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" coming this year to the silver screen. Canadian Mountie Sergeant Preston patrols the wilds of the Yukon with his horse Rex and his faithful dog Yukon King, battling both the elements and criminals.
  • In August 1955, the S.S. Klondike II steamed into Whitehorse for the last time. The S.S. Klondike II had been refurbished as a cruise ship in an attempt to save the career of the flag ship of the British Navigation Company. Though her trips were well booked, the increased cost of operation on the Yukon ended her brief sojourn as a passenger ship.