Newsletter - March 2018


The Yellowknife Historical Society has spent the winter discussing and planning for the direction of grass-roots heritage preservation in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories! The organization has rebranded its website with new content and, most importantly, come up with a new logo designed by local graphic artist Alison McCreesh! It combines many elements of Yellowknife's history and natural character and is a colourful addition to our promotion efforts moving forward. The logo features the mine headframe, a log cabin shack, floatplane, midnight sun, and a stack of books to represent the stories we want to tell. And of course, the black raven is an iconic part of the ecological landscape. We hope the membership enjoys the new brand!

The rebranded Society will continue a campaign to solicit support from local businesses, government funding sources, and community members who have an interest in preserving and promoting Yellowknife’s rich history. 


Join the board of directors for the Yellowknife Historical Society's relaunch on Thursday March 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm, in the auditorium of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre! We will be introducing our Society to the public and soliciting more support. President Walt Humphries will provide an overview of the Society and its plans for a community museum at Giant Mine. This will be followed by a presentation on Yellowknife's history by Ryan Silke, and displays of archival images and artifacts from the collection of the Society. If you are interested in local history and want to learn more, this is your chance to participate! Email us for more information.


Electricity was provided to our building thanks to agreements with the local power utility company this winter. We are waiting for warmer weather before any switches are flipped. Having steady and reliable power at the project site will insure renovations can proceed with delay. Solar panels already installed will also form part of the future power grid to the building.

On January 1, 2018 the Society put out request for proposals for renovations to the Giant Mine recreation hall building. Proposed work includes the removal of hazardous material, repair of exterior walls, and installation of new windows, doors, and exterior siding. The proposal of Paul Brothers Nextreme Incorporated was accepted and a contract will be signed in time for work to proceed in April 2018. This is a major step forward as repair of the exterior has been a significant holdup in moving forward with the museum construction. Funding for the project is being provided in part by the Government of the Northwest Territories. 


The Society is hosting a fundraising "Heritage Photo Booth" at the Long John Jamboree winter festival, being held on March 23 to March 25, 2018 on Yellowknife Bay. Proceeds from the sale of photos will be shared 50/50 with the Jamboree organizers. So bring down your family and friends for a chance to dress up and pose in front of a historic Yellowknife backdrop - the 'Old Stope' hotel tavern, an Old Town landmark from the early gold-rush days of the community! Cost is $5 per person, or $20 for a group.


Yellowknife Hotel 1944We recently received a very interesting photo album from 1944 showcasing Yellowknife scenes during gold rush activities. The album was compiled by Carl Pielsticker, a mining promoter who held interest in gold claims here. Photos show the various gold mines, well-known Yellowknife personalities, Old Town businesses, and exploration camps. The album came to us from Kathleen Hull who inherited it from her step-grandfather Charles James McGonagle - possibly he was involved in gold exploration or investment in Yellowknife in the 1940s. Thank you to our photoshop wizard Helmut Epp for scanning the album into a digital format for preservation. 


The Yellowknife Historical Society envisions the museum site at Giant Mine as a place that celebrates all aspects of Yellowknife's interesting history, from its Indigenous stories, geological setting, prospecting, the industrial activities of the gold mines, and the pioneer entrepreneurs that began the town in the 1930s. Inside we will be displaying mining and Yellowknife history and that should broaden its appeal and increase the number of visitors.

MISSION: The Yellowknife Historical Society preserves and promotes awareness of local community history for residents and visitors.

VISION STATEMENT: There is a community-driven and thriving museum with a focus on Yellowknife's community history that engages residents and visitors by providing learning opportunities for all. The Yellowknife Historical Society is dynamic, influential and sustainable.