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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Monday, August 20, 1951 - Page 1

First bus to Dawson over the new Taylor Highway - an Alaska Coachways bus, in August 1951

FIRST BUS TO DAWSON - Pictured above is the Alaska Coachways bus and passengers that journeyed to Dawson for the Discovery Day celebration. Since the road linking Dawson with the Alaska highway was just completed, this was the first bus ever seen in that historic city. The bus caused more than a small amount of commotion when it appeared on the main street of Dawson, after the trip from Fairbanks. Passengers who made the trip from Fairbanks to Dawson on the bus were, left to right: Martin J. Marx; John Crook; Charles Bebout; Clarence Powless; Joseph Ulmer; Andrew Wicken; Roy Morin; H. E. Wallace; Mrs. Andrew Wicken; Gwen Noskoff; Louise J. Boucher; Mrs. Claire Fejes; Mrs. Elizabeth Dalhaus and Paul Grieman. Front row, holding the banner: Mark Fejes and Jonothan Coger. (Photo by Jim Douthit.)

Dawson goes all out to mark 54th birhday of Gold Rush, 1951
By Phoebe Clark

    Dawson has outdone itself again! It did it once before, in gold rush days. It did it last Friday when 250 guests in 66 automobiles, two seaplanes and the first bus over the Taylor highway descended on this tiny hamlet of 750 people.

    The celebration this time commemorated the discovery of gold back on Aug. 17, 1897 and the opening of the highway, 54 years later, that links Dawson to Fairbanks and the Territory of Alaska.

    Pioneers came in from the surrounding creeks and from Fairbanks, from Anchorage, Juneau, Illinois, Iowa, southern Alberta, Washington State and Washington, D.C. Four newspaper women arrived from Edmonton.

    The visitors started descending on Dawson's homes and old hotels early in the week. They kept on coming 'til every hotel was full.

Wonderful Time

    And everyone had a wonderful time right up to yesterday!

    Yukon Territory Pioneers had charge of the festivities with help from the Fairbanks Order of Pioneers. An installation of pioneers started off the festivities Thursday night.

    On Friday there was a parade, a horticultural and industrial exhibit, a ball game, track and field events and, of course, tours of Dawson's historical and marks. An Eastern Star party and a big dance wound up the festivities Friday night.

Take Tours

    The visitors were taken on tours of the big gold dredges operating on the Klondike. They saw the Auditorium Theater where Alexander Pantages, Tex Rickard and other celebrities in the theater and sports worlds started. Robert Service's cabin was visited by almost everyone and a few theater lovers saw the house where Marjorie Rambeau lived when she was a performer in Gold Rush days.

    The warehouse of Fairbanks' Martin Pinska still stads (he had a store in Dawson before coming to Fairbanks).

Parade Highspot

    For many the parade was the highspot. It started off with four small, high-stepping majorettes in bright red, swinging skirts. They were led by Ina Franklin, with Glenna Franklin and Mimi and Elizabeth Dee Schmidt stepping just as smartly even if their legs weren't as long.

    First prize for floats went to Tim and Mike Cole, miners at Dominion Creek, for a log cabin and mining scene. Second prize was taken by the Yukon Gold Dredging Company for their gold nugget float.

    Winding up the parade were more children, this time on brightly decorated bicycles.

Many Fairbanksans

    A list of Fairbanksans present sounds like a local who's who.

    Mr. and Mrs. James Cassidy and their son and daughter camped right on the beach. Mr. and Mrs. Edby Davis had their trailer with them as did Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hadley (Fairbanksans of this summer). Mrs. Adrianna Cole was still in Dawson visiting on Sunday morning.

    Dr. Terris Moore arrived in his float plane on Friday and tied up right along side of Bill and Mrs. Lavery. The Laverys had Mr. and Mrs. John Brennan with them.

    With Alaska Link were Mr. and Mrs. James Stewart and Jimmy Moody.

    With Mrs. N. Palenski were Mrs. Mable Prestage Miller of San Pedro, Calif., Miriam Laud and Edward Levin. Dr. Russell Criner went from Ladd field and O. H. Tweedy from College. Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Davis, Eva McGown and Laura Carr were together.

    Mr. and Mrs. Harry Gelatt joined the fun, as did Mr. and Mrs. M. B. Ward, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Jorgenson, Mrs. Jeff Studdert and Miss Jean Studdert and Mr. and Mrs. Percy Hubbard, Mayor and Mrs. Robert Hoopes, R. W. Ferguson, Frank Young, Art Lutro, Mrs. Murdo McRae, Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Collins (Mr. Collins and General James B. Steese, who came from Washington, D.C., spent most of Friday night reminiscing). Guests from Anchorage included Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Edmonds and Mr. and Mrs. E. J. White.

Greimann Drives

    Paul Greimann took the wheel himself, to pilot the first bus ever seen in Dawson, over the new highway. A party of eighteen left Fairbanks Wednesday morning, spent Wednesday night as guests of Bob and Mrs. McCombe at the historic Chicken Creek Roadhouse, had luncheon the next day at King's Boundary Roadhouse, and were present at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

    It was the first run for Alaska Coachways and the initial trip of what will be regular bus service connecting with the Yukon river boat from Dawson to Whitehorse.

Many Passengers

    Paul's guests were Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Wicken, Joe Ulmer, H. E. Wallace, John Crook, Mrs. Elizabeth Dalhaus, Louise J. Boucher, Mrs. Claire Fejes and Mark, Gwen Noskoff, Martin J. Marx, Roy Morin, Charles Bebout, Clarence Powless and Roland Schiller, writer for Readers' Digest and the Saturday Evening Post. Coming back to Fairbanks on Sunday, Capt. James Wilkinson, captain of the Yukon riverboat Casca joined the bus party.

    The road to Dawson traverses rugged mountains and beautiful valleys and affords Fairbanksans and their tourist-guests a trip of historic and scenic interests.

    Improved and widened, it will open up wonderful camping and fishing country. Everyone who made the Discovery Day trip voted "they wouldn't have missed it for the world."




Masonic Plane Is Unable to Land

    A party of Masons that left Fairbanks last Friday for the Discovery Day celebration at Dawson was turned back at Boundary because of smoke from many forest fires burning in the mountains. Rain over the area was lessening the danger from the fires but didn't add to the visibility.

    Miss Kathryn Winslow, author of "The Big Pan-Out," was aboard the Wien plane hoping to get Dawson "color" for her next book.




A Guide to the Taylor Highway

An Explorer's Guide to Dawson City, Yukon

Bus & Motorcoach History: Yukon & Northern British Columbia