northern-lights
winter-storm

Winter wind storm (photo: Thomas Kitchin)

The Canadian north has captivated storytellers for hundreds of years with its mystery and beauty. Man was first evident in the Yukon over 15,000 years ago when migration began over the Beringia land-bridge after the last ice age. Over thousands of years, the First Nations people settled in the Yukon and developed their own unique languages and cultures.

How Fox Point Got Its Name

The North’s oral storytelling tradition has passed on amazing and spooky legends. The Fox Point tale tells of a group of people moving from place to place to find food. The group was low on supplies and decided to go back to the Nisutlin Bay to find salmon. An old woman among them dreamt that something awful would happen if they returned to that spot. No one listened to her, and they continued on their journey. She warned them: “There will be signs, the first will be a lynx, the second a wolverine and then finally a fox. When we have seen all three signs, we will perish.”

red-fox-close-upNo one took heed to her warnings, and they continued on their journey. When they arrived at Deadman’s Creek they saw a lynx… and then a wolverine… but still they kept walking. When they arrived at what is now known as Fox Point, they saw a fox running. They camped out at the bay and the smart old woman warned her grandchild that something bad was going to happen. She told her grandchild to grab on to her belt so that she could get them to safety.

In the morning, a war party attacked the group and killed everyone… all except the old woman and her grandchild, who ran off into the bushes and lived to tell the story. The moral: listen to your elders, kids. It could save your life.

Phantom Cities

In the late 19th century, the Klondike Gold Rush brought a variety of travellers and prospectors to the Klondike region of the Yukon. The discovery of gold at Bonanza Creek in 1896 ignited the hopes of both prospectors and regular folk. Between 1897 and 1898, 30,000 to 40,000 people arrived at the Klondike gold fields, permanently changing the territory’s landscape.

A short time before this, a group of travellers were seeing strange sights in the Canadian north – not ghosts, but something altogether strange… phantom cities. One prospector noted in his diary in the summer of 1888:

“I am positive that the mirage [of Muir Glacier, another phantom city] is the reflection of the frozen city found by me. In accounting for the presence of this wonderful reflected city I’ll have to leave to abler heads. You might ask me how the ruins of big cities came in the interior of Central America. They are there, but who built them, nobody knows. Perhaps at one time it was not so cold as it is now.”

Similar sights were reportedly seen in Alaska. These cities are described as being the work of an “advanced civilization”, leaving the viewer in awe. Did the ice and snow play tricks on their eyes? Alas, if only Agent Fox Mulder were real and up for the case in the late 1800s!

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. It’s nice to see the Yukon represented. We have the Yuokon ghost ship, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/photogalleries/091124-ghost-ship-yukon-shipwreck-pictures/ and the mystery of the northern lights. These are good too.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Lauren Oostveen

About Lauren Oostveen

Lauren Oostveen graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a degree in public relations. She works for the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management in Halifax where she puts old stuff on the internet and helps people connect with the province’s past. Lauren writes a movie column for the Chronicle Herald called SMASH CUT where she celebrates all things horror. Lauren also blogs for Spacing Atlantic and NovaScotia.com. She lives in Halifax with her cat Mia and may or may not have a Netflix addiction. Follow Lauren on Twitter at @laurenoostveen.

Category

History

Tags

, , , , , ,