Located in the Northwestern corner of British Columbia, on the shore of Atlin Lake, lies the town of Atlin.
As of 2004, the town was home to only 450 permanent residents. However, despite having a small population, this town has some interesting historical facts so, without further ado, here are ten of them:
- The name Atlin comes from the Tlingit word Áa Tlein which means ‘big body of water’.
- The surrounding area has been used by inland Tlingit peoples for thousands of years and the town in currently home to the Taku River Tlingit First Nations.
- In 1898 the Atlin Gold Rush came to the Atlin Lake country and would prove to be one of the richest offshoots of the Klondike Gold Rush.
- As with many areas of British Columbia, the town was created as a direct result of this mining activity.
- During the 1920’s Atlin became a popular tourist destination for those who were seeking a more exotic, off the beaten track, vacation destination.
- At this time there was no road to the settlement and so tourists were required to….travel up the Inside Passage along the B.C. Coast and the Alaska Panhandle then through a series of passes in Alaska finally followed by transportation through a series of lakes in Yukon and British Columbia….basically there would be a lot of ‘are we there yet’s’ happening.
- For the span of these ‘good years’ when mining activity and tourism were high, the town reached a peak population of roughly 10,000 people.
- During the time of the Great Depression, tourism levels fell into a steep decline and the White Pass and Yukon Route was shut down; effectively isolating the town from the rest of the province.
- Up until 1950, when the Atlin Road was built by the Canadian Army, the town was reached overland by way of two separate lake steamers with a two mile rail line connecting them.
- Today the town still sees most of its economic input from a combination of mining activities and tourism.