Skagway, Alaska, Historical Information

Skagway, Alaska, Historical Information
If an Alaskan travel adventure is on your agenda, take a few days to visit the tiny historical gold rush community of Skagway. Whether you travel along the Klondike Highway, or have a cruise stop in Skagway, the community of under 1,000 offers a step back in time with haunted walking tours, mining museums and the breathtaking Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Native Americans

Before 1887, the Tlingit called the area Skagua, or "windy place." The Tlingit people favored the area for fishing and hunting.


The "Daily Alaskan" newspaper appeared in the community of 8,000 to 10,000 people in 1898. A year later, the "Alaska Traveler's Guide" newspaper made its debut to promote the friendly community.

Early Tourism

In the 1920s and 1930s, Skagway capitalized on tourism possibilities. Ships were encouraged to dock at Skagway for 36 hours so visitors could ride the new passenger trains or make a side trip on the Yukon River.


In 1974, Central Construction of Seattle began building the $10.9 million stretch of the famous Klondike Highway. The highway opened in the spring of 1979, connecting travelers to the Alaska Highway.

Gold Rush

Skagway's mining past is visible in the 100 gold rush-era buildings in the town's historical district. In the 1890s, nearly 1,000 gold prospectors passed through Skagway each week looking for gold.

Article Written By Angela Tague

Angela Tague writes SEO web marketing content for major brands including Bounty, The Nest, Lowe's Home Improvement and Hidden Valley. She also provides feature content to newspapers and writes health and beauty blogs for Daily Glow, Everyday Health and Walgreens. Tague graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications in 1999.

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