The Force in the North

Minto

A new detachment was established at Minto in 1901 on the Yukon River between Hootchiku and Selkirk. The distance between these two detachments was too long for the winter patrols. There was 2 constables, 1 special and a canoe at the post. (Report of the North-West Mounted Police, 1901. Sessional Papers, Volume 11. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer. 1902:9, 52.)

In 1903, the Minto detachment had 3 Constables, 1 Special Constable [cook or dog driver], plus 3 horses. A new detachment was required at Minto in 1903. The new one had to be on the east side of the river and north of the old site so as to be on the winter trail to White Horse. Quarters for the men, stables for six horses and storehouse, all frame buildings, were erected at a cost of $1,485 for material and labour. (North-West Mounted Police Annual Report. Sessional Paper No. 28. 1904:47, 58.)

In 1905 there were 2 Constables and 1 Special Constable [cook or dog driver], and 2 horses posted at Minto. There were only four detachments needed on the river in 1905 and the rest were closed. Minto, Selkirk, Stewart River [Stewart Island] and Forty Mile were kept open. The river detachments were established to look after the small boats in the early days of summer and traffic over the ice in the winter. Superintendent Cuthbert recommended that Mayo, McQuesten, Glacier and Minto detachments be closed in the spring of 1906 at the latest. Withdrawal was necessary as the police reduced their force in the Yukon. (Royal North-West Mounted Police Annual Report. Sessional Paper No. 28. 1906:30-1.)

In 1906, the RNWMP was further reduced in strength and the following posts were abandoned, at least temporarily: Mayo, Stewart Crossing, McQuesten, Minto, Grand Valley, Glacier, Wounded Moose and Gold Run in the 'B' Division and Dalton House and Braeburn in the 'H' Division. (Royal Northwest Mounted Police Annual Report. Sessional Paper No. 28. 1907:8, 34.)

Cst. Stuart Bates transferred to the Minto Detachment in June 1950 to relieve Hall. By this time, the highway was completed between Mayo and Minto and was almost to Carmacks, 47 miles to the south. The government had decided to carry on right through to Whitehorse. The project was one year to completion and the mining company continued to ship the ore to Whitehorse and never used Minto. The highway was completed to Whitehorse late in 1951 and all the ore shipped from Mayo went directly by truck. The Minto detachment buildings were loaded onto low-boys before the ice bridge went out at Carmacks in the spring of 1954. Only the old greenhouse was left in Minto and in 1991 only the gable ends could be seen, overgrown with aspen trees. (Stuart W. Bates. "Minto Detachment, Yukon Territory". RCMP Quarterly, Winter 1991:7-9)

The Minto detachment operated from 1901 to 1906 and from 1950 to 1954.