Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
"Gateway to the Klondike"
Chamber of Commerce.
The first non-native residents were Capt. William Moore and his son, J. Bernard. They settled in 1887 on the east side of the Skagway River valley. Captain Moore foresaw a gold strike somewhere in the Yukon. When it hit it was big and it hit hard. In July 1897, the first boatloads of stampeders bound for the Klondike landed at Skagway and Dyea.
Historic Skagway saw tens of thousands of fortune-seeking prospectors during the Great Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Here, the stampeders piled off steamships, eager to head overland to the Yukon gold fields on the White Pass Trail from Skagway or the Chilkoot Trail from nearby Dyea. But before the lonely men could leave town, they faced the temptations of 80 saloons, the lure of painted ladies, and the quick fingers of gamblers and thieves such as Jefferson R. "Soapy" Smith and his ruthless gang. Foreseeing a lucrative future in the Yukon, a group of British financiers began construction of the narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Route railroad in July of 1898. Completed to Whitehorse in 1900, and connecting with a region-wide steamship navigation system, the White Pass Corporation began a transportation network in the north that remains to this day.
Skagway boomed during the Gold Rush of 1898, but languished as the rush moved on to Nome in 1899. After the turn of the century many of the businesses moved their buildings from the avenues to front on Broadway and the tracks of the White Pass railroad. The town settled into its ultimate, but less dramatic role as the shipping port for the Yukon. Fire, the scourge of many historic Alaskan towns, thankfully never ravaged downtown Skagway, leaving an authentic Gold Rush atmosphere.
The name Skagway means"Home of the NorthWind" in Tlingit (Indian), and it is appropriate. We have a wind that can be fierce at times, significantly lowering the temperatures with the wind-chill factor.
On 28 June 1900, Skagway became the first incorporated city in Alaska. On 5 June 2007, the residents voted to dissolve the city of Skagway and incorporate as the first first-class borough in the State of Alaska. They are now known as the Municipality of Skagway Borough. The official date of incorporation was 25 June 2007.
See our page on Skagway Attractions
For more information on Skagway Toll-free: 1-888-762-1898.
Skagway became the first first-class borough in the state of Alaska in 2007. A borough in Alaska is similar to a county in the continental United States.
Skagway Chamber Skagway Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 194
Skagway, Alaska 99840
Phone: (907) 983-1898
The Skagway Chamber of Commerce is a resource for Skagway facts and figures, a forum for information and ideas, and a voice for the Business Community.
Skagway Community Events Community Events in Skagway
The number of housing units was:
1990 - 404
2000 - 502
Median household income:
2000 - $ 49,375
2005 - $ 49,000
Median house value:
2000 - $ 150,900
2005 - $ 174,000
Skagway is located in the Alaska Time Zone and does participate in daylight savings time during a portion of the year.