Chilkoot Trail Bridge Out
A bridge, south of Canyon City (6 1/2 miles fromtrail head) has collapsed under heavy snow load and is out until further notice. Hikers should be prepared to wade through a boggy section, and water may be knee or waist deep during high water conditions. More »
Chilkoot Travel Advisory-Increased Avalanche Risk
Park Canada Travel Advisory: Due to a cold, late spring persistent winter conditions exist on the Chilkoot Trail. Visitors will encounter late-winter snowpack conditions with increased avalanche risk and more snow covered trail sections. More »
A Brief History of Preservation in Skagway and Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
The preservation of Skagway's history including its structures, (artifacts of the Klondike Gold Rush 1897-1898), began with the early residents of Skagway. The pioneering cabin of Captain William Moore, founder of Skagway, was saved by his son Ben in 1900 because of its historic value. Today, visitors to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park can tour the cabin (built in 1887) on their own or through a Park Ranger led interpretive tour.
The first few decades of Skagway's history witnessed the removal of what were thought at the time as "unsightly shacks" and the beginning of a town "beautification" project which included the relocation of many buildings to the central core of town on Broadway Street.
Skagway's first effort to create a National Park by petitioning the Department of the Interior in 1934 was not successful.
So where are we today?
Currently the Klondike Gold Rush NHP Preservation maintenance team has four major historic structure restorations under way. These are multiple phased projects which typically have a five to six year goal for completion. These projects are the "Jeff Smiths Parlor Museum," the first YMCA Gymnasium in Alaska, the Arctic Meat Company building, and the last existing refrigerated warehouse in Skagway; the "Frye-Bruhn Cold Storage Building." Progress and updates for these projects can be found in our monthly blog on Preservation.
What guides us in our decision making process of how these Historic structures are treated?
We are guided by a series of laws beginning with the Antiquities Act passed by Congress in 1906. These laws, however, did not give us specifics as to what materials should be used and the methods for using those materials. It wasn't until 1979 when the NPS and all those interested in preservation received a guidebook for materials and methods.The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties defines four specific treatments with guidelines and standards to follow for each treatment. Those treatments are Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction. To learn more about these treatments and for technical guidance go to: http://www.nps.gov/tps/ and look for the tabs on "Standards" and "How to preserve." Here you will find the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, Preservation Briefs and Preservation Tech Notes that will guide you through the process. At this site you can also find information on tax incentives to preserve historic structures, sustainability, education and training. For a list of available publications on preservation go to: http://www.nps.gov/history/publications.htm. Explore and learn!
L.S.Spude, R. (1983). Building the Gateway to the Klondike. Anchorage : Alaska Regional Office of the National Park Service.
Written By Klondike Gold Rush NHP Preservationist Lisa Cassidy
Did You Know?
Over 100,000 people started off for the Klondike gold fields, but less than 30,000 actually made it to the gold fields in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. The difficulties of the Chilkoot and White Pass trails forced many to turn back.