Skagway has been called the Garden City since very early days. The long summer days allowed gardens to grow large vegetables and beautiful flowers, hence the name. The first competition for those beautiful gardens was held in 1902.
Camp Skagway No. 1 was established as a brotherhood hall in 1899 when
many men arrived by steamers for the Klondike Gold Rush. There would eventually be a total of thirty
camps or brotherhood halls created with 10,000 members during that busy
historic time. What makes this building look so unusual, there are almost 9,000
small pieces of driftwood on the façade.
The many Gold Rush era buildings have been restored and preserved as
part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Tourism supports this borough and there are
several jewellery and gift shops to visit.
The cruise ships travel up the Inside Passage and bring about 900,000
visitors a year to see the sights of Alaska that includes making a stop in
Skagway. There were 4 cruise ships
docked during our walk downtown but I wasn’t able to get one photo with all of
them in it.
The convenient location of where the cruise ships dock makes it very easy for the
passengers to visit the shops. Although
the streets look fairly quiet, there were thousands of visitors there. Tourism attracts about a million visitors a
year, mainly during summer months, and the majority of these visitors come by
one of the eight different cruise ship lines that visit Skagway. Among those thousands of cruise ship
visitors, we did see a couple we recognized as teachers from our hometown of Kamloops,
B.C.; small world, isn’t it?
The population of this borough of approximately 1,000 people estimated
in 2015 explodes at the seams on any given summer day when the cruise ships
stop in. This number doubles with
seasonal workers when the tourist season happens but it would more than double
that if only one ship stopped. When
there are four of them…. can’t imagine how many tourists were in this town at the
time of our visit.
We did not take a tour with the Streetcar Tour on this 1927 bus but their tours sound
great and well worth taking if the time allows.
We didn’t plan for this and bookings are surely done far ahead of time
with the busy traffic they get in Skagway.
Our afternoon spent in Skagway included a walk around the town site to
see what there was to see. A stop for a
nice cold refreshing afternoon drink was at the Red Onion which included
waiting in line on this busy day. The
authentic looking saloon, just like it was in 1898, adds to the appeal which
can also include a tour of the bordello museum upstairs. We passed on that, also.
|Camp Skagway No. 1|
|Preserved buildings of Skagway, Alaska|
|Cruise ships visit Skagway|
|Downtown Skagway, Alaska|
|Old rail cars of White Pass|
|Skagway Alaska Street Car Tour|
|Red Onion Saloon|
|Station for White Pass-Yukon Route|
This site is where we will return to in the morning to go for a train ride through the great White Pass-Yukon Route. We had booked ahead of time and are hoping that our weather includes sunny skies once again.