Edward C. Adams photographs, 1902-1910  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Adams, Edward C
Edward C. Adams photographs
1902-1910 (inclusive)
1904-1906 (bulk)
1 photographic print
47 negatives (2 boxes) : glass
11 negatives (1 box) : nitrate
Collection Number
Photographs of Dawson, Yukon Territory, including birds-eye views, city streets, building exteriors and interiors, and people. Also included are photographs of Bennet Lake, Miles Canyon, modes of transportation, and various winter views.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Edward C. Adams worked as a photographer at C.W. Bart's studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1896 and later moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia, to become a partner in the Adams & Pierce Studio. Adams established Adams & Co. in Dawson, Yukon Territory, with Charles D. Rothwell around 1901. George W. Larkin joined as partner in 1903. The partnership with Larkin dissolved in 1905 and the company reverted to its previous name of Adams & Co., continuing on until 1915. Adams’s photographic equipment was later purchased by the Dawson photographer E.O. Ellingsen.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

In 1896 the Klondike Gold Rush started in the Yukon Territory, Canada, with the discovery of gold in Bonanza Creek on the Klondike River. The gold rush transformed Dawson, originally a native summer fishing camp, into the "Paris of the North." The town was staked out by Joe Ladue and named after George M. Dawson, director of the Geological Survey of Canada, who explored the region in 1887. Dawson was located near the Klondike River. The route the gold seekers took to reach Dawson was via the Yukon River, Miles Canyon, and Bennett Lake. Transportation to Dawson was limited to steamboat, dogsled, and horseback.

By 1898 Dawson, with 40,000 residents, was the largest Canadian city west of Winnipeg. Elaborate hotels, theaters, and dance halls were erected. It also included such amenities as telephone service, running water, and steam heat. The Bank of British North America opened offices in Dawson in a tent and business grew quickly. The Bank of Commerce opened its doors a month later, exchanging bank notes totaling over a million dollars for gold. The bank notes lasted only two weeks, with the bank shipping out over $750,000 in gold. By 1899 most the gold bearing creeks had been claimed by prospectors, with speculators claiming the rest. With the news of gold in Nome, Alaska, people started to leave Dawson in large numbers; 8,000 people left in the summer of 1899 alone. By 1902 the population was less than 5,000.

Major mining operations took over most of the Klondike gold beds in the years following the gold rush. The Klondike Mines Railway was finished in 1905 and helped mining companies transport resources in and out of the isolated goldfields. Gold production declined after an all-time high in 1911. In the early 1960s Dawson City was declared a National Historic Site.

During the height of its popularity, Dawson suffered four major fires, all between 1897 and 1900. While the fire in 1897 only burned down the opera house and two saloons, the 1898 fire destroyed 26 buildings. In the fires of 1899 and 1900, nearly the entire business district was wiped out. After 1900 the danger of fire diminished with improved fire protection and equipment, along with the shift toward building materials of galvanized iron and tin. However, due to continued fires, including one in September 1904, one section of Dawson became known as the "Burned District."

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection consists of photographs of people, activities, buildings, and street scenes in Dawson, Yukon Territory. Additional subjects covered are the Yukon, Miles Canyon, Bennet Lake, and the Yukon and Klondike Rivers. The photographs were made by Adams & Co. unless otherwise noted.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

58 contact prints made from the original negatives are available for public use in the Special Collections division, University of Washington Libraries.

Portions of this collection have also been issued electronically via the World Wide Web by the UW Libraries' Digital Initiatives Program under the title Alaska and Western Canada Collection .

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, for details.

Preferred Citation

Edward C. Adams Photograph Collection. Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Dawson, Yukon TerritoryReturn to Top

The Dawson photographs were made by Adams & Co. unless otherwise noted.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 1-4
 Four-part panoramic view of Dawson landing and hills
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
1/2 5-6 circa 1903
1/2 7
 Company warehouses on river with the city and a hill in the background
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
Possibly part of a larger panorama.
Visible buildings include those labeled, N.A.T. & T.Co., Northern Commercial Co., and White Pass & Yukon Railroad.
circa 1903
1/3 8 1904 June 10
1/3 9 1904 June 10
1/3 10 1904 June 10
1/3 11 1904 June 10
1/3 12 1904 June 10
1/3 13 1904 June 10
1/3 14 1904 June 16
1/3 15 1904 July 1
1/3 16 1904 July 1
1/3 17 1904 July 1
1/3 18 1904 July 1
1/3 19 1910
1/3 20
 Telephone pole and log cabin building at corner, with a view of the street, including the Telephone Office
Adams & Co (photographer)
On item: "N.C. Co's. block showing Y.G. Co's. offices."
1/3 21 1904 September 23
1/4 22
 Gymnasium Bathhouse
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
circa 1903
1/4 23
Staff and nuns on upper and lower porches at St. Mary's Hospital
Adams & Co (photographer)
1/4 24 1906 September 20
1/4 25
Men and horse-drawn wagons and buggy at Bonanza Market
1/4 26
 Governor's residence
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
circa 1903
1/4 27
 Building with two windows made out of Klondike bottles
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
circa 1903
1/4 28
 Shack with tin sheets on exterior
On item: "The tin age."
1/5 29 undated
1/5 30 undated
1/5 31
 Interior of D. Kearney's clothing store
Edward C. Adams (photographer)
1/5 32
Young girls seated around banquet table in Yukonia's Grill
Edward C. Adams (photographer)
1/5 33
 Customers and barbers inside Burlick's Barber Shop
Edward C. Adams (photographer)
1/5 34
Interior of M & N Billiard Room
1/5 35-36 undated
1/5 37
Interior of Arctic Brotherhood Hall
1/5 38
Lillian M. Hall Stock Company on stage practicing the play Camille
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
circa 1903
1/5 39-40 circa 1903
1/6 41
Man with bicycle and bear on a chain
1/6 42
Caledonia Scottish dance troop with Archie Black, conductor
1/6 42a
 Small group of indigenous people sitting on shrub-covered hillside
Adams & Co
Printed on photo: Leapyear on the Lower Yukon
ca. 1904-1908
1/6 43 1906 June 21
1/6 44
 People in horse-drawn wagon, Labor Day
Adams & Co (photographer)
Possibly Labor Day celebration activity.
1906 September 3
1/6 45 1905 or 1906
1/6 46
Trophies of the Dawson Curling Club
1905 or 1906
1/6 47 1907
1/6 48
Yukon Lawn Tennis Club group
circa 1901-1910 May 25
1/6 49
Six comic illustrations of the Yukon
Edward C. Adams (photographer)
On item: "Points of interest and the large commercial industries and resources of the northland."
1909 March

Bennett Lake, Yukon TerritoryReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/7 50
Bennett Lake from Caribou Crossing
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
circa 1903

Miles Canyon, Yukon TerritoryReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/8 51-52
Four men on boat in Miles Canyon
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
One picture is signed, but its similarity to the other image makes it likely that both views are by the same photographer.
circa 1903

Yukon TerritoryReturn to Top

The photographs were made by Adams & Co. except where noted.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/9 53 1901 Spring
1/9 54 1905 September 30
1/9 55
Cabins in snow-covered landscape with dog in foreground
1/9 56
Snow-covered landscape
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
circa 1903
1/9 57
 Steamer Yukoner on the upper Yukon River
Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)
On item: "One of the floating palaces."
circa 1903
1/9 58
Mammoth cakes of ice thrown up at the opening of the Yukon River at breakup
Adams & Co (photographer)
Ice is eight to ten feet thick.
1/9 59
 Ice flow on the Klondike River
Edward C. Adams (photographer)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Dwellings--Yukon Territory--Dawson--Photographs
  • Streets--Yukon Territory--Dawson--Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • Dawson (Yukon)--Buildings, structures, etc.--Photographs
  • Dawson (Yukon)--Photographs
  • Yukon Territory--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Glass negatives
  • Nitrate negatives
  • Photographic prints
  • Reproductions
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Larkin, George W (photographer)
    • Rothwell, Charles D (photographer)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Adams & Co (photographer)
    • Adams & Larkin Photo (photographer)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)