Klondike gold stampeders rested here after their tiring 50 km lake crossing. The North-west Mounted Police post was built in 1897-98, followed by the telegraph office and roadhouse. After the gold rush, Lower Laberge survived as a wood camp where sternwheelers refuelled until 1953, when the Klondike Highway to Dawson opened. Nearby is the hull of the first steamer Casca, dismantled in 1911.
In 1899, J. B. Charleson supervised construction of a 930 km telegraph line from Bennett B.C. to Dawson City, following the Yukon River. The same year a branch line was built from Tagish to Atlin. This was linked with the B.C. portion by 1901, providing immediate outside communication. Telegraph offices were spaced at regular intervals to maintain the line and service local settlements.
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