"Whitehorse - Skagway Highway Scenes" Top 5 Page for this destination Skagway Travelogue by jamiesno
Skagway Travel Guide: 158 reviews and 459 photos
Venus Mill was built in 1908 to serve Colonel J. H. Conrad's Venus no.1 and no.2 mines, located high on the mountain behind you. An aerial tramway transported silver ore to the mill, said to have a capacity of 100 tons per day. Gravity and water carried the ore down through several levels of crushers, trommels, screens and concentrators. At the bottom, the concentrated ore was bagged for shipment, first by water to Carcross and then by railroad to tidewater at Skagway, Alaska. Although it incorporated the latest technology and operated around the clock, Venus Mill proved uneconomical and was closed within two years.
It is a little hard to tell in the picture but near Venus Mill you will see lots of mine shafts in the sides of the mountains.
The Tagish and Tlingit Indian people have lived and travelled in this region for countless years. The area is home to woodland caribou as well as populations of bear, moose and sheep.
One of the first outsiders to explore the area was an American named Frederick Schwatka. He was a Lieutenant in the Third Cavalry, sent north in 1883 to carry out a reconnaissance of the Yukon River. Although the entire Yukon was then, as now, part of Canada, this first exploration of the area was carried out by the American government.
Schwatka travelled over the Chilkoot Pass to Lindeman and Bennett lakes. From there the route led by water down Bennett Lake, through the narrows where Carcross was later established, and past this point at the mouth of Windy Arm. From here travel continued down Tagish and Marsh lakes to the Yukon River. Fifteen years after Schwatka's travels, thousands of gold seekers followed this same route to reach Dawson City.
Schwatka was notorious for giving new names to any geographic features he saw. He made little or no attempt to record names already in use by the local miners or Indian people.
He named this island Bove, after a Lieutenant Bove of the Italian Navy. He also gave that name to Tagish Lake, although he acknowledged that there was an existing Tagish Indian name for the lake. The name Tagish Lake was reinstated in 1887 by Canadian explorer George Mercer Dawson, but the island kept the name Bove.
There is no written record of a Tagish or Tlingit Indian name for Bove Island, but the islands just east of Bove are called Keitladi X'aati (Seagull Islands) or Kaa Shakee X'aat'i (Overhead Islands) in the Tlingit language.
This area of deep valleys and narrow lakes is rich in gold and silver and has been the site of mining activity since the turn of the century. Old workings and tram towers can still be seen. In the early 1900's, steamers travelled from Carcross to the mining community of Conrad, which thrived for a short time on the shores of Windy Arm.
This is a great place to stop along the highway and get some great pictures as evident here!
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