Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doorway To The Gold Rush

It's So Much More Than Just A General Store

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I spent two days in Dawson City in the northern Yukon in late August last year and to my good fortune the weather was brilliant. Of the many things that captivated me about the historic frontier town was the brightly coloured facades of each timber building and home.

This was one of a sequence of about 150 images shot in the first hour I spent in Dawson, soaking up the unique atmosphere late on an autumn evening.

The main street has so many interesting sights that I reckon I could have spent a couple more days just walking into each store and talking to the owner about their niche in the history of the gold-rush town.

The general store looks like something out of the Wild West, but like most other structures on the main street, it has been immaculately maintained. The outwards-opening double doorway, seen in the centre of this frame, is obviously not used any longer.

But it's a literal and metaphorical doorway to a unique chapter in the region's heritage.

For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.

27 comments:

Daryl said...

I love how much mileage you've gotten out of those 2 sunny days in Dawson ... love those doors .. I love General Stores and all the wonderful junk they sell that I didnt know I needed til I saw it!

Anna said...

Very interesting story David. I like what you said: 'But it's a literal and metaphorical doorway to a unique chapter in the region's heritage.'. Thanks for sharing. Anna :)

vicki archer said...

It looks as if you were part of a movie set David, xv.

imac said...

Its the high noon man, ready for his shoot-out.
Great shot David.

jinksy said...

Looks like it came straight off a film set!

Sarah said...

I just love old buildings like this. Great shot!

LadyFi said...

At first I thought I had entered a movie set. That first picture is a classic.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Absolutely enchanting! That's a page in history that would be fun to step into for a few days!!! I wish I could pop like Mary Poppins into your picture...always a joy to view your latest creation! ~Janine

Jewels said...

We have many of these gold rush towns all over Canada. I grew up in one which is now featured on a "ghost town" website. Hmmm. I smell a post coming on.. Thanks David!

Janie said...

Interesting to see photos of Dawson. I'll bet they go for bright colors up there to cheer them up in winter.

Mojo said...

Only 150? I'm surprised! But one could make the case for quality over quantity. I find myself shooting on continuous drive any time I visit a place like this, leaving me with a lot of nearly identical shots that I then must choose from.

But it's a problem I don't mind having. It means I get ones like this:
The Doors #13: "Deliveries in Rear"

Jon Clarke said...

Great work David.

Gaston Studio said...

Interesting but I would never have thought 'movie set' as it's all way too clean!

Indrani said...

Your doors are unique, David.

Inspired by you I made my first post on Doors today. :)

~Just me again~ said...

Good job! I love those old buildings.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Great photo! The use of your word, "shot" seems appropriate here - did you see any gun slingers?

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I may have mentioned this before, but back in the early '50's just after the war my parents lived near Dawson Creek, in a little mining town. (Before I came on the scene.) And my dad became a miner and then head of the union. I seem to remember them saying that some of the buildings in Dawson Creek were in a state of disrepair, it's good to know that they are taking good care of them now. And it's fun to see your pics of the old buildings.

Sarah Laurence said...

What a fun facade!

Thumbelina said...

It looks like it belongs in the wild west alright! You got so much packed into that trip to the Yukon. It's like you were there for months!

Maggie May said...

Enjoyed going back to the Yukon!
Does look like a movie set! great photo!

Eddie Bluelights said...

How's the horse riding training going? Hope you're fully fit! You are a very busy bee in it!~ Eddie

simon said...

great shots mate!

Oz Girl said...

I love old buildings that are rich with history - your photos take us back to that time. Dawson looks like a fun place to visit!

Thanks for stopping by my photo blog! :)

Shadow said...

that storefront looks so inviting...

cheshire wife said...

It looks like it has come from the wild west and is just missing a cowboy!

Deborah Godin said...

I came here today via Indrini's blog, and found a favorite thing: western building fronts. And they certainly do look pristine, too - no tobacco spit and bullet holes...

Maureen said...

Wow, it's so incredible that they have kept it just like back in the day; I could just imagine strolling down the street, expecting horses to clip clop on by...

Beautiful photos David!