A baseball game at the North-West Mounted Police grounds in Dawson City on July 4, 1903. Yukon Archives, National Archives of Canada collection, #416

A baseball game at the North-West Mounted Police grounds in Dawson City on July 4, 1903.
Yukon Archives, National Archives of Canada collection, #416

1900s: Klondike Gold Rush Stampeders bring softball north

During the Klondike Gold Rush, thousands of gold-hungry stampeders left their
homes and travelled to Yukon’s gold fields to find their fortunes. About 30,000 people made the difficult journey to Dawson City. The rapid increase in population turned the small, remote town into the largest city north of Seattle and west of Winnipeg. Along with their dreams of finding fortune, the Stampeders — many of whom were American — brought their games, and baseball quickly
became a favoured pastime.

Baseball game on the North-West Mounted Police grounds in Dawson on July 4, 1903. Yukon Archives, E.J. Hammacher Fonds (Margaret and Rolf Hougen collection), 2002/118, #151

Baseball game on the North-West Mounted Police grounds in Dawson on July 4, 1903.
Yukon Archives, E.J. Hammacher Fonds (Margaret and Rolf Hougen collection), 2002/118, #151

In 1904, a three team league — the Colts, the Northern Commercial Co. and the Nonpariels — faced off for the Yukon championship. Although the Colts declared themselves the victors, it seems that there was some questions surrounding the championship games:

“The question of supremacy on the diamond for the season of 1904 has at last been decided, and from the N.C. office building floats the pennant emblematic of the championship. The N.C.’s are IT and the pretensions of the Colts have been relegated to the sub-basement of oblivion…”
-Yukon World newspaper, September 16, 1904

Group portrait of the Arcade Baseball Team. The man sitting in the centre is Harry Gleaves, proprietor of the Arcade Restaurant on Front Street. L-R Front Melish, Boutillier, Gillespie, Harry Gleaves, W. Troberg, R. Troberg, L-R Rear -, Jack Wynes, -, -, H. Samuelson. Dawson City Museum collection, 1984.217.10

Group portrait of the Arcade Baseball Team. The man sitting in the centre is Harry Gleaves, proprietor of the
Arcade Restaurant on Front Street. L-R Front Melish, Boutillier, Gillespie, Harry Gleaves, W. Troberg, R. Troberg, L-R Rear -, Jack Wynes, -, -, H. Samuelson.
Dawson City Museum collection, 1984.217.10

Colts Base Ball Team Champions Y.T. 1904. // Douse.C., James.1.B., McMullen.P., Kennedy.C.F., Krause.2.B., VanBraclen.3.B., Foichat.R.F., P.Forrest.S.S., R.J.Eilbeck. Pres., J.M. Eilbeck Manager., A. Forrest.L.F., Sullivan. R.F., Mascot, Smith. 3.B. Dawson City Museum collection, 1984.74.3

Colts Base Ball Team Champions Y.T. 1904. // Douse.C., James.1.B., McMullen.P., Kennedy.C.F., Krause.2.B., VanBraclen.3.B., Foichat.R.F.,
P.Forrest.S.S., R.J.Eilbeck. Pres., J.M. Eilbeck Manager., A. Forrest.L.F.,
Sullivan. R.F., Mascot, Smith. 3.B.
Dawson City Museum collection, 1984.74.3

Colts Baseball Team, Champions of the Yukon for 1907, taken at Dawson City. C.F. Rauoher, G. Livingstone, H.F. Tyler, W.W. Smith, C.S. Cameron, G.B. Black, B.B. Smith. J. M. Eilbeck (manager), F. Reichert (first captain), R.J. Eilbeck (president), D. Lowry, L.F. Cooke or Cocke (secretary-treasurer). T. Luscombe, H. Macdonald (mascot) and W. Ware. Dawson City Museum and Historical Society collection, 1993.5.15

Colts Baseball Team, Champions of the Yukon for 1907, taken at Dawson City. C.F. Rauoher, G. Livingstone, H.F. Tyler, W.W. Smith, C.S. Cameron, G.B. Black, B.B. Smith. J. M. Eilbeck (manager), F. Reichert (first captain), R.J. Eilbeck (president), D. Lowry, L.F. Cooke or Cocke (secretary-treasurer).
T. Luscombe, H. Macdonald (mascot) and W. Ware.
Dawson City Museum and Historical Society collection, 1993.5.15

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