Saturday, July 11, 2020
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A Dawson City / Yukon Tradition

Dawson City, Yukon


September 23, 2016

** 1st Draw – 5 oz gold wafer (ticket sold by Dominion Shell)

Ticket #2411:  Bob Erb, Terrace, B.C.

** 2nd Draw – 2 oz gold wafer (ticket sold by MacKenzie Petroleum)

Ticket #5706:  Alison Durr, Salmon Arm, B.C. and Dawson City

** 3rd Draw – 1 oz gold wafer (ticket sold by Garry Gammie/Jim Close)

Ticket #0295:  Karen Farr, Dawson City, Y.T.

A HUGE thank you to our sponsor and gold supplier:


Dawson City, Yukon

Thank you!!

Thanks also to all the businesses and individuals who sold our Gold Poke tickets this summer,

and, of course, to everyone who bought tickets!!

Thank you all for your continuing support.

Lottery license 2016-053

The Ice Guessing contest, aka The Ice Pool has been happening in Dawson City since 1896 when the garbage that had been thrown on the frozen Yukon River over the winter months was seen to start moving in the spring and that was the sign that the ice was going out.

Things have changed since then. For the past several decades there has been a Tripod erected on the frozen river. A wire is connected to the Tripod and is run to a clock secure in a box and firmly mounted on a wall on the shore. The clock stops when the ice moves the Tripod and trips the wire. Someone sees that the ice is moving and immediately phones the Volunteer Fire Department and they in turn ring the fire siren. Then the people flock to the river bank. 

IODE has been running this contest for about 60 years. At one time people got paid for at lease some of their efforts but these days it's a strictly volunteer affair. Our good friends The Yukon Order of Pioneers use their skills to put up the Tripod, built with donated lumber and donated wire that leads to the clock - also donated!! People all over town, along the Klondike Highway and in Whitehorse sell Ice Guessing Tickets for us until April 25th and then volunteers help sort the tickets.

IODE is a women's charitable organization that has been active in Dawson since 1914. The proceeds after expenses are split 50 - 50 with the winning guesser and IODE (which puts the money to good works improving the quality of life for children, youth and those in need).

Commissioner On the Task of Pioneers

Governor Black Praises the Men Who Opened the Northland,
Gives Credit for Good Work,
Says That All Should Learn to Honour the Early Comers

Dawson Daily News, 19th August 1912

In his address at Minto past Saturday, in connection with Pioneer day celebration, Commissioner George Black said:

"The Yukon council, the local government of the territory, had done well to make the anniversary of the discovery of gold on Bonanza creek sixteen years ago a public holiday. The action of the government in the matter had been largely due to the influence of the Yukon Order of Pioneers.

"In these days when modern civilization has taken such a firm hold in the Yukon, people were likely to forget the great work of the pioneer. The people who came in ' 97 and 98 got some idea of the hardships and dangers that the early pioneers had to encounter, but even they were likely to forget in these days, when, instead of toiling up the dangerous mountain pass, carrying on their backs the necessities of life, people could travel in a modern railway coach from tidewater, viewing with comfort and safety the magnificence of that mountain trail which, instead of as now, being one of the attractions of a visit to the country, was to the pioneer such an obstacle and danger.

"As early as seventy-five years ago white men had found their way into the Yukon watershed by way of the Pelly River. Forty years ago prospectors from British Columbia had scaled the pass and floated down the Yukon River from its head to the mouth. Small bands of brave and adventurous gold hunters had continued to come into this wilderness, populated then only by hostile Indians and the wild beasts of the forest until in 1896 their efforts were crowned with success when, on August 17 of that year, the great gold discovery was made on Bonanza creek, a strike that startled the world.

"All that came to pass in this country since then was directly due to the work of the pioneer, to commemorate whose achievements a holiday has been set apart.

"The millions of dollars in gold that had been mined and distributed among the people of the world, the great volume of commerce that was created throughout the West growing out of the trade with the gold fields, the beginning of the wonderful prosperity and growth of the cities of the Pacific coast were directly due to the work of the pioneer.

"The thousands of men that came in here and took away with them enough gold to make them independent for life and to establish happy homes in many parts of the world owed it all to the pioneer.

"I would ask every one in the great crowd assembled to go back in memory to this day sixteen years ago. It will take them to all parts of the civilized world. Who among them at that time realized that what was being done then by that little band of brave men in the far distant North was fraught with such importance for them, that it would change the whole tenure (sic) of their lives?

"The children who have assembled to make merry and to compete for prizes in friendly athletic sports should be taught to respect the memory of the pioneers but for whose efforts none of them would have lived the happy, healthy lives of native Yukoners, nor have enjoyed the sunshine of the summers of perpetual day.

"All Yukoners should see to it that men in their midst possessing the spirit and courage of the pioneers of early days were respected and assisted in every possible way that they might go out into the great stretches of u- prospected land in this territory and seek new fields where placer mining might again flourish as in former days, when men made fortunes for themselves instead of having to work for wages for a living.

"Most of the early pioneers have crossed the Great Divide and have gone to their reward. To those who remain with us and are here today it must indeed be satisfactory to observe the encouraging outlook and to know that to their efforts and to those of their fellows is due all that has been done here and is being done, including the great development now being made in the southern Yukon.

"The ideals of the pioneers are those that might be followed and to advantage lived up to by all. They stand for the principles of true brotherhood, honesty and fair play."