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Archival description
Yukon Territory Series
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Whitehorse mission records

Series consists of records related to the Sisters' short-lived school in Whitehorse.

When the Klondike gold rush and discovery of copper near Whitehorse brought an influx of prospectors and settlers to the region, Father Lefebvre, OMI called upon the Sisters of St. Ann to open a school. Two Sisters arrived in the summer of 1903 to open the school. From the start, attendance was low and conditions were tough. Lack of funds forced the Sisters to take on extra work such as French and sewing lessons as well as go on begging trips to support themselves. In early May 1904, the General Superior, Mother Mary Anastasia and Mother Mary Agatha visited Whitehorse and realized that the school was not viable and decided to close it.

The records include histories of the school, excerpts from the annals, articles, photographs and ephemera.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Bennett (B.C.) Detachment records

This series consists of photocopied records from Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Bennett Detachment. Records include police constables' daily journal (1899-1900); register of persons entering and leaving Yukon Territory via Bennett, B.C. (Dec. 1898-July 1900); register of persons passing through Dawson (Dec. 1898-May 1899); and steamer passenger lists and registration of boats passing through Tagish, Yukon Territory, (1898-1900).

Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Bennett (B.C.) Detachment

John L. Heron diary

The series consists of two photocopies of a diary made in 1978 of a 1958 transcript. The original handwritten diaries were created by John L. Heron as he traveled from Harvey, North Dakota to Dawson, Yukon Territory between 1898 and 1900, likely as part of the Klondike gold rush. He spent the winter of 1898-99 on the Liard River, the winter of 1899-1900 at Telegraph Creek, and then he traveled down the Stikine River and reached Dawson via Skagway. His diaries document his experiences of prospecting, mining, transportation, hunting, and the people he meets during his travels. As Heron wrote his entries he used language that was considered acceptable at the time. The transcript was created in 1958 by Lois Sanderson from the original diaries for Colonel J.M. Gibson in Toronto, a relative of John Heron. The photocopies include a copy of a map with dates and locations, and copies of photographs that were added in 1978 by Colonel Gibson.

John Douglas Leechman papers

John Douglas Leechman, anthropologist and author, was born in London, England on December 20, 1890. Educated in the United Kingdom, Egypt and Switzerland, Leechman emigrated to Canada in his youth, served with the Canadian Mounted Rifles in the First World War and, after demobilization in 1917, apprenticed at the Victoria Public Library. In 1918, Leechman enrolled at the University of Washington to pursue a degree in Library Science but left the university prior to completing his degree. In 1924, while residing in Victoria, he applied for and won a position with the Anthropology Division of the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa, where he remained until 1955. During his thirty one years in Ottawa, Leechman spent part of his free time teaching evening courses in journalism at Carleton University and acquiring his BSc., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. In 1955 Leechman left the National Museum to become the first Director of the Glenbow Foundation in Calgary. He retired from this position in 1957, moved to Victoria and was shortly thereafter engaged by the Federal Government to aid in the restoration of Fort Langley and Fort Prince of Wales. When asked of his recreational activities and favorite pastimes, Leechman replied "writing". His years teaching journalism at Carlton and his extensive bibliography of about five hundred titles, attest to his leisure time pursuits. Leechman's co-authorship of the Dictionary of Canadianisms (1967), his activities, since 1968, as a Canadian consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary and his compilation of an extensive glossary of fur trade terms, found within this body of papers, are further testimony to his recreational pursuits and lexicographical interests. Dr. Leechman, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, died in Victoria in 1980. The bulk of the records consist of Leechman's theses dealing with native peoples and literature, his personal correspondence files (1925-1978) and typescripts of material submitted for publication including articles, books, radio scripts, and reviews. The records also include an extensive unpublished glossary of fur trade terms, the "Dictionary of Canadian English" which never appeared in print as a unit but became part of the Dictionary of Canadianisms; glossary notes for the Oxford English Dictionary and journalism lecture notes. Historical subject files which include material relating to Fort Langley, domestic files, diplomas, certificates, and some of his wife Ruth's general correspondence and committee files have been preserved. The records also contain some archaeological field notes relating to Leechman's study of the Cape Dorset Inuit culture as well as his field notes of archaeological sites in B.C. and the Yukon. Artwork comprising 157 pieces was removed from the fonds in 1987 and moved to the PDP collection under the PDP number 06180. In 2023 they were intellectually moved back to the fonds and added to this description. The artworks consist of drawings of Indigenous tools, botanical subjects and Indigenous peoples; many of which were used for the books, 'Edible Wild Plants' and Native Tribes of Canada'. Some of the artworks were done by artist Ted Noram. The BC Archives library has catalogued some of Leechman's publications.

Colour photos of Western Canada and Alaska

The series consists of 261 colour photographs of Western Canada and Alaska taken from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The photos are predominantly personal holiday photos taken in Haida Gwaii, Yukon, Alaska, Alberta, the Okanagan, and Vancouver Island. All but 6 of the photographs consist of photographic slides. Most of the scenes are landscape photos, but there are also some of gatherings of family and friends. Most of the slides have handwritten titles on them which have been used to create the file list. There are also a few that were created professionally and likely purchased as souvenirs.

The slides were originally housed in two slide cases when found. One of the boxes contained a handwritten index as well as little cards that provides a title for about half of the collection of the slides. The cards makes reference to some photographs taken in England and Europe, but these were not found within the collection, and so it is assumed that they had been removed by the donor before being given to the BC Archives.

Highways projects records

  • GR-0709
  • Series
  • 1926-1971

This series consists of project records from the Department of Highways, 1926-1971. Boxes 1-3 contain publications, reports, survey notes, maps and photographs, statistics, correspondence, conference material and other background material assembled preliminary to the construction of the Alaska Highway (1926-1947). These records were organized by the Department of Highways library. Box 4 contains Department of Highways records regarding Federal-Provincial agreements on the Trans-Canada Highway, 1949-1971. Boxes 5 and 6 (a bound volume) are Department of Highways records regarding the following bridges: Alexandria Bridge at Spuzzum, First Narrows, Oak Street, Farwell Canyon and a proposed third crossing of Burrard Inlet (1933-1966). Box 5 also includes commendation and photographs of the Department of Highways Traffic Patrol (1959-1961).

British Columbia. Dept. of Highways

Magistrates' returns

  • GR-3710
  • Series
  • 1963-1971

The series consists of magistrates’ returns sent to, and subsequently filed by, the Prince Rupert County Court between 1963 and 1971. The returns were generated by magistrates operating in Prince Rupert as well as in locations on Haida Gwaii (then known as the Queen Charlotte Islands), in Cassiar, Hixon, Bella Coola, Port Edward, Clinton, Ocean Falls, Eddontenajon and Yukon Territory, among others. Records in this series list the name of person convicted, nature of offense, date of conviction, amount of fine, amount of costs, and total. The returns list individuals charged under both the federal and provincial legislation and provide evidence of judicial operations in remote BC and Yukon settlements.

The records appear to have originally been housed in shannon folders, but the records were removed and placed in folders prior to transferal to the Archives. The records are arranged both by receipt number, which was often handwritten under the Prince Rupert County Court stamp, or alphabetically by magistrate’s surname. The records are then arranged chronologically by year.

Records in this series were managed and selected for retention under ORCS 50000-01 of the Court Services Operational Records Classification System (schedule 100152).

British Columbia. County Court (Prince Rupert)

Joseph B. Clearihue family papers

Letters to J.B.C.'s mother, Annie (Bisset) Clearihue from Quebec and Aberdeen, Scotland, 1872-1890; correspondence and business papers of J.B.C.'s father, Joseph Clearihue re his business in Cassiar district and Dawson, 1868-1906; letters in to J.B.C., 1904-1922; correspondence of J.B.C. re Victoria College and the formation of the University of Victoria, 1954-1962; congratulatory letters, 1952-1967; application for Rhodes scholarship; "A century of Canadian pioneer life" by Judge Joseph B. Clearihue [autobiography]; business accounts of Thornton Fell and Clearihue and Gregory.

Briefs, reports and papers

  • GR-1718
  • Series
  • 1964

This series contains a brief submitted by the Atlin District Board of Trade on "Proposed Development for North-West British Columbia." The series also contains reports and position papers submitted by the provincial government to the Alaska-British Columbia-Yukon Conference at Whitehorse, 1964.

British Columbia. Executive Council

Correspondence and other material

George and Martha Louise Black material: correspondence received by Nordling from the Blacks, copies of telegrams (3) to the Blacks on their birthdays; essay by Martha Louise Black about running a sawmill in the Yukon; biographical notes and clippings. Facsimile copy, Yukon Midnight Sun, Vol. 1, No. 1, transferred to B.C. Archives Library.

Pattullo papers

Private and official correspondence, speeches, accounts, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, reports, memoranda and miscellaneous items. The papers consist of 84 document boxes [volumes 1-84] of private and official correspondence, inward and outward, speeches, accounts, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, reports, memoranda and miscellaneous items. Among the papers is correspondence inward and outward of John Oliver and John Duncan MacLean relating to Liberal party affairs. The Pattullo papers divide into two series. Series I [vol. 1-61] contain papers related to private and public activities of Pattullo from 1892-1956, but contains only five volumes [54-58] of papers related to the years 1933-1941 when Pattullo was Premier of British Columbia. Pattullo's filing system, based on subject categories, has been maintained. Papers within each file are arranged in chronological order. A few files contain papers for more than one year. For instance, a file relating to one insurance policy might cover the years 1929-1933. All such files have been placed in the volume for the earliest year. A list of the dates, form and subject of each file is given in the finding aid below. Series II [vol. 62-84] contains papers related to Pattullo's tenure as Premier. Material within files is in chronological order. Most of letter analysis is given unless the entire file relates to one subject. In Series II it is not possible, as it is with Series I, conveniently to begin and progress through the papers year by year because the whole body of papers 1933-1941 is filed exclusively on a subject basis, hence more: than one year's correspondence may be in any one file. The filing system is that devised by the Premier's Office. Files are: classified as C" - Confidential [vols. 62-65], "D" - departmental [vols. 66-67], "F" - federal [vols. 68-71] and "G" - general [vols. 72-73]. Volumes 74-76 contain alphabetical files. Volumes 77-84 contain newspaper clippings related to the years 1933-1941. Most of the pamphlets from the Pattullo papers have been removed and catalogued in the British Columbia Archives Library. Many of the remaining pamphlets are duplicates. Restriction: Researchers are requested to use the microfilm for conservation reasons. [reels A-01796-A01811, A01959-A01963]. Files containing oversize material were filmed at a later date and are on reels A01959-A01963. The text of a radio speech delivered on 19 Feb 1941 in Prince Rupert was presented by UBC Library in 2008 (box 65, file 14).

Pattullo, Thomas Dufferin, 1873-1956

Minutes, accounts and other material

Series consists of minutes, July 24, 1897 - January 4, 1900, accounts., 1897-1898, and subscription list (1 volume); list of signatures [of members attending a reunion? ca. 1932], and newspaper clipping from The Alaska Weekly, 1947.

Correspondence, clippings and reports

Files kept by J.C. Goodfellow, secretary of the British Columbia Conference Historical Committee ca. 1930 containing correspondence, newspaper clippings and reports relating to the history of the United Church in the Prince Rupert Presbytery of British Columbia.

John C. Goodfellow was a United Church minister and a historian. He wrote many articles on the history of the Similkameen area and on other topics.

This microfilm is a copy of the files Goodfellow kept which relate to the history of the United Church in the Prince Rupert Presbytery. The files contain correspondence, clippings and reports relating to the history of the communities and the churches in the communities. The files are in alphabetical order by place name.

Records relating to CANOL project and Alaska Highway

This series contains records relating to the CANOL Project and the Alaskan Highway. The CANOL (Canadian Oil) pipeline project, conceived in response to fears of a Japanese invasion of Alaska, 1942, consisted of the construction of a road and pipeline from the Norman Wells (NWT) oil field to a refinery at Whitehorse which served as a junction for pipelines to Alaska and Alberta to supply refined petroleum products necessary for the defense of Alaska and the Canadian North. This body of records, part of the National Archives and Records Service's Record Group 338 - Records of the United States Army Commands, consists of general orders. international agreements, organization manuals, reports, briefs, correspondence and administrative records relating to the CANOL Project and the Alaskan Highway.

United States. Army Service Forces. Northwest Command

International Fact Finding Committee (Canada-United States, 1931)

This series contains International Fact Finding Committee records to October 1931. In the early 1930s, separate Canadian and American committees (Canadian 1931, US 1930) were formed to study the proposed B.C.-Yukon-Alaska highway. The two committees met as a joint fact finding committee in Victoria in 1931. The Canadian committee did not publish a report but reported the results of its investigation to the U.S. Dept. of the Interior. The published report of the American commission contains information collected by the Canadian committee. This volume, which contains material relating to the study and the joint meeting, consists of notes on the joint meeting, route reconnaissance reports, preliminary construction estimates and individual reports on mineral, forest and water resources in the proposed route areas of British Columbia (2 copies).

International Fact Finding Committee (Canada-United States, 1931)

Pattullo family correspondence and other papers

George Robson Pattullo was born in Caledon Township, Peel County, Ontario in 1845. In 1870 he became editor of the Paris Transcript and then moved to the Woodstock Sentinel. He remained with the latter paper from 1870-1886. In 1896, he was appointed Registrar for Deeds for Oxford County. He was active in public affairs and politics, being at various times a member of the Woodstock Council and President of the School Board. For many years he was First Secretary and General Agent for the Ontario Liberal Party. In the federal election of 1879, he unsuccessfully contested the seat of North Oxford. Pattullo married Mary Rounds in 1868. She died in 1884 and in 1889, Pattullo married Frances Camilla Biggar, daughter of J.L. Biggar, M.P.

The collection consists mainly of letters inward to G.R. Pattullo from his three sons, Thomas Dufferin Pattullo, James Burleigh Pattullo, and George Robson Pattullo, Jr., and from men who were, for the most part, prominent in public affairs and politics in Ontario. The letters from T.D. Pattullo are almost all written from the Klondike, where he went as secretary to the Commissioner of the Yukon between 1897 and 1903. The letters of George Robson Pattullo, Jr. were written between 1902 and 1918 from the U.S., and from France during World War I. Letters from J.B. Pattullo are written between 1896 and 1918, from Dawson, and from France during World War I. As well as the correspondence, there are two groups of papers. The first relates to the affairs of the Pattullo family; the second consists of articles and clippings, most of which refer to the careers of T.D. Pattullo and G.R. Pattullo, Jr.

Diary and other material

"Diary of a trip down the Yukon River, 1905" by Evelyn Penrose, C.G. Cowan's partner (original and illustrated typescript); letter from Evelyn Penrose to his mother, dated Hazelton, British Columbia, June 17, 1906, describing his trip from Kamloops with Cowan and the murder of Max LeClair near Hazelton (typed transcript); offprints of two undated articles "from Rod and Gun in Canada" by C.G. Cowan - "Two thousand miles down the Yukon River in a small boat" and Caribou shooting in British Columbia"; photograph album with captions by C.G. Cowan entitled "Trip with the Honourable Maurice Egerton up McMillan River, Yukon Territory, 1907; "Early history of the Onward Ranch" by C.G. Cowan. Selected photos copied by Visual Records accession 198006-5.

Order of the American Boy. Dawson, Yukon Territory.

Organizational records from the establishment of the Order of the American Boy in Dawson, including minutes of meetings, lists of fines and dues, cash book, and a partial pamphlet from the American parent organization outlining its purpose. The O.A.B. was a young men's group and operated a library and clubhouse for the benefit of its members.

Order of the American Boy. Dawson, Yukon Territory Branch

United States. Dept. of State.

Diplomatic despatches. Despatches from the United States consuls in Dawson City, Canada. Reel B9727, Apr 1898 - Aug 1899; Reel B9728, Sept 1899 - Dec 1901; Reel B9729, Feb 1902 - Aug 1905; Reel B9730, Sept 1905 - Aug 1906. National Archives microcopy T-560.

United States. Department of State

Records relating to surveys and the administration of gold commissioners

  • GR-1091
  • Series
  • 1897-1898

Series consists of records relating to surveys and the administration of gold commissioners with Yukon territory. Includes copies of correspondence and memoranda, as well as original correspondence of E. Deville, Surveyor-General of Canada.

Canada. Department of the Interior

Diary and other material

The series consists of a typescript diaries of Tom Wilson's trip into the Yukon, March to May 1897 and September to November 1897 (detailing the terrors of a winter trip) as well as his diary for April - September, 1898. It also includes the autobiography of Wilson as dictated to his niece, with five postcards and clippings.

Cowan Family records

The series consists of Cowan family records including business records: ledger, 1887-1889, and daybooks, 1889-1892 and 1892-1894, Eagle and Paxton (Onward Ranch); reminiscences and scrapbook of C.G. Cowan re big game hunting, travel in the Yukon, Alaska, and British Columbia, and work as ranch manager and land agent, Kamloops and Cariboo; letters of his wife, Vivien Cowan to a friend, 1964-1970, describing life on the Onward Ranch, painting, artist friends, etc.


James Cran was an accountant and manager for the Bank of British North America. During his career he managed the bank in Barkerville (ca. 1875) and in Dawson (ca. 1898).

This collection consists of Cran's account of a journey to Barkerville ca. 1870s and his diary written during a trip from Vancouver to Dawson in 1898.

Cran, James, 1848-1920