Skagway Historic District and White Pass - Skagway, Alaska
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Tygress
N 59° 27.183 W 135° 19.161
8V E 481894 N 6590544
Quick Description: Skagway & White Pass, gateway to the Klondike, still retain that Gold Rush luster. Boardwalks, brightly painted wooden buildings, and a narrow-gauge mountain railroad all breathe life into a period of history peculiar to Alaska, the last frontier.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 1:30:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM8W2W
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Big B Bob
Views: 20

Long Description:
Go North! The Rush is on!
Like "Fire" in a theatre
Those words inspired stampede
Though in the nature of such things
Few struck it rich indeed.
But still we find that history
Colored so crayon bright
Wander the historical district
You'll find much that will delight
Then book yourself train passage
Up the White Pass Rail
Rock in vintage coach comfort
Along that famous trail.
Soak in thesse mythic places
And say a nice "thank you"
For the folks who find it important
To preserve this for posterity's view.

To my surprise, (grand)daughter of Oregon Gold Rush pioneers, I found Skagway a pilgrimage as much as a tourist stop. Old and new blend almost seamlessly -- indeed, one of the most vintage looking buildings on 2nd Avenue (the Skagway Mercantile) was built in 1996! Pick up a walking tour guide -- or come armed with the Historical District information -- and take a tour of Alaska History. Book a White Pass & Yukon Railroad trip up Historic White Pass. Eye Soapy Smith's bones. Spend a bit reading the "Ships' Registry" painted on the cliffs overlooking Railroad Dock. True, catering to tourists has put a bit of, um, sugar-frosting on this old town (how many jewelry stores does one town need? Diamonds International? That's Alaskan -- NOT!). But the cake under all that fluff is still rich with sourdough TANG -- the 'mother' started in 1897 is still going strong.

Note - coordinates take you to the Alaska Historical Plaque regarding the establishment of the Registered National Historic Landmark in 1964. This plaque is set in Skagway's Centennial Park, across the railroad track and 1st Avenue from town. A great place to start your journey.

Now, for links, quotes, and more background:
(visit link)
Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 13, 1962):
An Alaskan frontier mining town, situated on a prime route to the Upper Yukon Valley and Klondike gold-bearing regions. Almost 100 structures remain from the gold rush era. White Pass Trail, to Skagway's northeast, is about 19 miles long and reaches the maximum elevation of nearly 3,000 feet at the crest of the pass, where it crosses the international boundary into Canada.

The most extraordinary online reading can be found at (visit link) -- "KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH SKAGWAY, DISTRICT OF ALASKA — 1884-1912: Building the Gateway to the Klondike; Historical and Preservation Data" --which is essentially an online book by the National Park Service, rich with history, maps, vintage photos, descriptions of the contributing buildings, and more...

Further, the NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK NOMINATION is available in PDF form at (visit link)

Further Googling of National Register Number 66000943 may be useful.

The usual wikipedia entries are also readily available (you can google them), and I would point you to the White Pass & Yukon Railroad official site (visit link) as well as Skagway's official site (visit link)
And that’s just for starters -- the Klondike Gold Rush is a well documented event, in literature as well as research. Be sure to read a bit of Robert Service, just to set the mood!
Street address:
Skagway, AK USA

County / Borough / Parish: Skagway-Angoon-Yakutat

Year listed: 1966

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1875-1899

Historic function: Commerce/Trade

Current function: Landscape

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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