First person to settle here was Captain William Moore. He settled just near the Skagway river. Expecting the road that will go to the new mines will be passing through here, he bought the land. Just as he expects, shortly after he buys the land they start building a railway. The construction of the road occurs around 1889. The train starts from the port and goes to the inlands of Canada through Yukon.
The name they gave this train road is the White Pass & Yukon Route. We get on the train, and the first thing that got my attention was the fact that they had a heater in every wagon. Thus the journey begins, about 20 km’s later we will have risen to 873 meters. The view is incredible, as we go up the twirling mountains. At the end of the path is the Klondike Gold Mine. After reaching the Canadian border the journey back begins. It took us about 1,5 hours to get to the top. The return trip is about the same, but I strongly recommend everyone to take the journey it was great.
Along with the railroad, they also built the Cilkoot trail to transport the gold, on the coastline mountains. Although this road has too many curves and narrow, so it lead to many deaths.
In the gold rush era, 1898’s to be more precise, the population of Skagway rose over 20.000. Since the incomers from the surrounding areas flooded the place, the bars and the restaurants couldn’t handle the population. They the original locals of the Skagway had to leave Skagway and migrate to the Dyea village to live in tents. They remember this era as “Hell on Earth”.
The most famous gold merchant Soapy Smith, was shot and killed due to some conflicts between gangs. His tomb is in the Gold Rush cemetery a few km’s away from the Skagway.
When the gold started to run out at the beginning of 1900’s, the people here moved upward to Nome mines, thus the population decreased again.
They closed down the railway in 1982, but then opened it again solely for tourism industry in 1988, keep in mind though that it is only open in summer months.