The Force in the North


When the winter route from Whitehorse to Dawson was cleared, it did not run along the Yukon River and so many of the riverside detachments were useless for much of the year. The NWMP had to build new posts along the winter route.

In 1903, the Kynocks NWMP detachment had 1 sergeant, 3 constables and there were 2 horses. The horses remained at the site only during the winter. Kynocks was part of H Division out of Whitehorse. A barracks, storehouses, stable and forage shed were erected at Kynocks during the winter of 1902/03. A new bridge was built over the Nordenskiold River near Kynocks. It was built by the police who were stationed there in the winter of 1902/03 at the request of Mr. S.A.D. Bertrand, Director of Public Works for the Yukon. The original bridge, built in the fall before was unapproachable as a glacier formed nearby and covered it completely. (North-West Mounted Police Annual Report. Sessional Paper No. 28. 1904:17, 22, 32.)

In 1903, the Montague NWMP detachment had 4 constables and there were 3 horses reported. In the same Sessional Paper, there were three horses reported at Montague for the winter only and none for the summer. Montague was part of H Division out of Whitehorse. The detachment was erected in the fall of 1901. The building was built of logs, hewed on the inside, with matched lumber partitions and a dirt roof. In 1903, Montague was in a sub-district under the Tantalus detachment. The Montague detachment was re-established on October 11, 1903 by the members of the Big Salmon detachment now closed. Montague is being repaired and put in shape for the coming winter; new flooring being laid over the old, the roof taken off and re-mossed between the poles, the outside cleaned up, the remainder of the brush between the old roadhouse and the detachment cleaned up and burned. (North-West Mounted Police Annual Report. Sessional Paper No. 28. 1904:17, 28, 36, 37.)

In 1904, the detachments at Montague and Kynocks were, as usual, withdrawn on the abandonment of the winter trail in the spring ad moved to Big Salmon and Lower Laberge respectively. On the closing of navigation, Montague and Kynocks will again be occupied. (North-West Mounted Police Annual Report. Sessional Paper No. 28. 1905:16.)

There was a reduction of the numbers of RNWMP in the Yukon in 1905. Ogilvie, Halfway and Selwyn were withdrawn and Kynocks, Montague and Yukon Crossing were closed. Although the personnel were withdrawn from the last three places, the buildings themselves continue to be used for the patrols. Kynocks, Montague and Yukon Crossing were closed in the spring, with cessation of traffic over the winter trail, and not reopened in the fall although the buildings will be used for patrol purposes during travel over the trail. (Royal North-West Mounted Police Annual Report. Sessional Paper No. 28. 1906:8.)

The Montague detachment closed permanently in 1905. The Kynocks detachment was in operation from 1902 until 1905.