Nestled along the banks of the Yukon River Dawson City stands as if frozen in time, preserving for the world the colorful legacy of the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th-century.
This history is chronicled in the Dawson City Museum, a testament to life in Dawson and the rush to strike it big in the adjacent goldfields. The museum also doubles as the local courthouse, and signage inside politely asks all those awaiting trial to not stray into the museum galleries.
Inside are various dioramas and displays of life in the north during this period. While perusing displays on card dealers, miners, and the legendary dogsled mail carrier Percy DeWolfe, the realistic design and uniqueness of the hands of the mannequins stands out. Expertly crafted, the lifelike realism of the mannequin hands are not just a creative addition, they are modeled from the actual hands of Dawson City residents—from nurses to retired teachers.
While only a small part of the larger Dawson City Museum experience, the level of detail and associated stories of the local hand models adds an extra layer of texture and warmth to the overall experience.
Know Before You Go
The Dawson City Museum is open seasonally from May-September, though it's also possible to arrange a visit during other months of the year with the museum curator.
Washrooms are available in the museum and there is onsite parking. Dawson is busiest during May-August, while other parts of the year it's comparatively quiet. During non-summer months, be sure to check in advance on what is open.
Dawson City is also home to the most northern Carnegie library and holds an annual community raffle to guess the date on which the Yukon river ice will break up.