The Force in the North

Miles Canyon

Miles Canyon and the White Horse Rapids presented yet another challenge for the stampeders heading to the Klondike. The rapids were fierce and extremely hazardous. A detachment was established here, but still there were wrecks and deaths on the rapids. Superintendent Sam Steele enforced the edict: Only experienced pilots were allowed to travel through Miles Canyon and the White Horse rapids. This rule saved countless lives, and its enforcement made this detachment one of the busiest of the Klondike Gold Rush.

The detachment is two good buildings close to Macaulay’s stopping place at Canyon City. One is a detachment and the other is a storeroom. The three men stationed there turn their rations over to Macaulay and take their meals at his hotel. (Report of the North-West Mounted Police, 1898. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer. 1899:36.)

The police were requested to detail a constable to assist the customs officer at Miles Canyon in 1899 and Sergeant Watson was ordered to provide what assistance he could. (Report of the North-West Mounted Police, 1899. Sessional Paper No.15. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer. 1900:28.)

In 1901, the detachments at Tagish and McClintock were withdrawn and the Miles Canyon detachment increased as the liquor smuggling could be better controlled there. The buildings at Tagish and McClintock were left in case there were needed again. (Report of the North-West Mounted Police, 1901. Sessional Papers, Volume 11. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer. 1902:9.)

The Miles Canyon detachment closed in 1900.