Carmacks lies at the confluence of the Yukon and Nordenskiold rivers. The Northern Tutchone traditionally camped at the mouth of the Nordenskiold to fish for salmon and barter with visiting coastal Chilkat traders. George Carmack established a small trading post at the camp in 1893 and the spot became known as Carmack’s Landing.
A Stop on the Way
Seymour Rawlinson and Eugene Mack built the Carmacks Roadhouse on the original trail between Whitehorse and Dawson City in 1903. Soon after it was built, White Pass & Yukon Route moved the building a few miles down the Nordenskiold River to the new Overland Trail.
Over the next forty years, the roadhouse became the heart of the town. By 1914, the little community had a telegraph office, operated by Howard McMillan, and two trading posts. The Northern Tutchone travelled long distances from all directions to visit and trade for goods at Carmack’s Landing. The name change to Carmacks began as a spelling mistake on a trading post sign.
The Yukon River sternwheelers were a lifeline for the community until 1953 when the road to Mayo was constructed.