The Town of the City of Dawson or Dawson City is a town in the Yukon Territory of Canada. The current population is approximately 2,020. The area draws some 60,000 visitors each year. The locals generally refer to it simply as 'Dawson', but the tourist industry generally refers to it as 'Dawson City' (partly to differentiate it from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, which is at mile 0 of the Alaska Highway).
The townsite was named in January 1897 after noted Canadian geologist George M. Dawson, who had explored and mapped the region in 1887. It served as the Yukon's capital from the territory's founding in 1898 until 1952, when the seat was moved to Whitehorse.
The Klondike Gold Rush started in 1896 and changed the native summer fish camp into a thriving city of 40,000 by 1898. By 1899, the gold rush had ended and the town's population plummeted as 8,000 people left. When Dawson was incorporated as a city in 1902, the population was under 5,000.
The population was fairly stable until the 1930s, dropped after World War II when the territorial capital was moved to Whitehorse and languished around the 600-900 mark through the 1960s and 1970s, but has risen and held stable since then. The high price of gold has made modern mining operations profitable, and the growth of the tourism industry has encouraged development of facilities. In the early 1950s, Dawson was linked by road to Alaska, and in fall 1955, with Whitehorse along a road that now forms part of the Klondike Highway.
Many of the major buildings in town are part of the Dawson National Historic Site. There are a number of displays in some of the old buildings, and parks employees dress up like characters from the Klondike Gold Rush. Also in the Dawson area is the Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site of Canada and the S.S. Keno National Historic Site of Canada. Located in the Downtown Hotel is the famous Sourtoe Cocktail; a pickled human toe plunged into the drink of your choice.
Today, Dawson City's main industries are tourism and gold mining.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia