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Henk Binnendijk | all galleries >> Places in Alaska , Yukon and BC >> Circle City and Circle Hot Springs > Circle City
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1996 Henk Binnendijk

Circle City


Sign where the Steese Highway ends at the Yukon River, painted by Carol Gelvin-Reymiller.

Circle City was once the largest gold mining town on the Yukon River, earning the nickname 'the biggest log cabin city in the world' after gold was discovered in 1893 in nearby Preacher Creek by two Russian miners outfitted by mining pioneer Jack McQuesten. The town was named Circle City because the early miners thought they were near the Arctic Circle, which in fact lies 50 miles north.

In 1896 Circle City was 'The Paris of Alaska' with a population of 1200 and a gold production that exceeded one million dollars. The town featured eight dance halls, an opera house, a well-stocked library, 28 saloons, a school and a hospital. But before the winter was out it was all over. News of the Klondike gold strike, upriver near Dawson, turned Circle City into a ghost town by the summer of 1897.

Today Circle is a quiet town with a population of around 80, an air strip, a store and a trading post. Visitors come in on the Steese Highway or by riverboat. The old cabins from the gold rush days, the wooden shacks on the channels of the Yukon and the old Pioneer Cemetery with its grave markers under the birch trees make it an interesting place to visit.

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Timothy Orr 12-Feb-2007 04:34
Greetings from Indiana
In August of 1968 when 19 your small town cought my intrest as I planned for a year or more to see the END of The Road..!!!! Something about ALASKA and the time in my life seemed to be just right for the Adventure North to see the great state. My transportation was a 100cc motorcycle loaded down with all the gear I thought I would need for the journey. It was August 21 when I arrived there at Circle as I spent a day resting up for the return journey back to Indiana. I have many stories to write about and the trip will always the Greatest Adventure in my Life. I was three months start to finish and wished it had been three years. I did journey again on motorcycle in 1996 to refresh in my mind the Greatest Beauty the Eye can behold. And again I went to the end of the road to Prudhoe bay and what a sight it was. ---Write when you can. Now 2007 and all I think about is Alaska and the pictures remind me what I am missing every day. Take care and see ya soon.....Tim Orr----Indianapolis 2/11/2007 --How can I get a sticker of the new End Of the Road sign...? I still have an old one.