A Guide to Atlin, British Columbia
The brief information that follows is so far merely an accumulation of data from various sources. There is much more to be added as
time allows. If you have any information, stories or photos about the hotel, I'd love to hear from you - just pop me an email.
In 1915, the White Pass & Yukon Route brought 125 tourists to Atlin, putting them up in various hotels around town. They determined that for the Atlin tourist trade to grow, a new, much more luxurious hotel was needed for their clients, and on June 10, 1916, construction began.
A large piece of property right on the lakeshore, with dramatic views, was chosen. Low water on the lakes hampered the delivery of building materials, which were
brought to Skagway, Alaska, by ship, then by WP&YR train to Carcross, boat to the short rail portage at Taku, then by boat again to the construction site. While the hotel was under construction, the town was wiped out by fire again, but the crew managed to save the building from damage.
On July 15, 1916, the hotel opened, under the management of the WP&YRs steamboat division, the British Yukon Navigation Company (BYN). That season, the hotel had 422 guests. After the hotel closed that fall, 7 more rooms were added, the toilet system was improved, and a steam heating plant was installed.
In 1917, the 78-foot steamer Tarahne was built by the BYN to service the hotel, connecting with the Tutshi which sailed from Carcross. Tarahne was designed and built by the British Yukon Navigation Company's construction foreman A. E. Henderson, with materials hauled over the ice from Carcross.
In 1921, a new wing with 35 rooms was added to the hotel, which served approximately 700 guests that season.
In 1922, a 14x24-foot lean-to was added, to serve as an employee dining room.
In 1926, an addition to the south wing was built, with 18 guest and 5 staff rooms; 5 baths and toilets were also installed. To provide for additional power needs, the boiler from the steamer Norcom, which was laid up at Hootalinqua, was installed.
In 1929, hot and cold running water were installed on the ground floor and the first two floors.
In 1930, the roof was leaking, so "patent shingles" were installed; "these shingles are fireproof and are coloured. In addition to giving us a good tight roof it considerably improves the appearance of the building."
In 1932, "arrangements were made to secure a supply of spring water for drinking purposes by piping water from a spring belonging to Mr. Turnquist. This does away with the using of lake water in the Hotel."
The Depression killed the Atlin tourist trade, and in 1936 the hotel was closed, the furnishings sold off, and the buildings boarded up.
Over the winter of 1940-1941, the empty hotel was used by a crew of mechanics to assemble a large crane and shovel to be used in the gold fields.
August 8, 1941: "SOUTH WING OF ATLIN INN BEING TORN DOWN AND LUMBER USED FOR BUILDING NEW HOSPITAL. We highly commend and offer our congratutations to the St. Andrew's Hospital Board of Atlin in purchasing from the White Pass and Yukon Route the whole south wing of the Atlin Inn. The board is having same dismantled, after which this high-grade outside lumber will be used to build a new hospital, the location of which will be over by the Brewery Point. The very handsome money grant recently received from Victoria was arranged for after the Hon. Dr. George Weir, Provincial Secretary and Minister of Health and Education, and our member, the Hon. W. J. Asselstine, Minister of Mines and of Industries and Commerce, paid us a visit last year. We also thank the management of the White Pass Railway for the kind consideration extended to our Hospital Board regarding the purchase price of the lumber." (Whitehorse Star)
During World War II, the south wing of the hotel was moved north and opened as a Red Cross hospital, and the rest of the buildings were dismantled.
The current Atlin Mountain Inn has no relationship to the original - it seems to date to the late 1950s.
To the right is a menu (which could be folded up and used as a postcard) which was used at the Atlin Inn in the 1920s.
Click on it to greatly enlarge it and see both sides.
A Guide to Atlin
The White Pass & Yukon Route
Roster of Yukon/Alaska Sternwheelers & Riverboats