Whenever we think about Dawson City Yukon we naturally think "Klondike" and "gold". We envision prospectors with picks and shovels and pans, living in wall tents or rough hand hewn cabins. All the creeks around Dawson are gold producers so one would naturally think that gold is the metal or mineral of the area. But this is was not always the case as you will see with the mining town of Clinton Creek
Clinton Creek was a company owned mining town on the near the confluence of the Yukon and Fortymile Rivers about 100 KM or 60 miles northwest of Dawson City. The difference with this town and this mine is that it was not gold they were mining. It was asbestos that was mined. The mine and the town were owned by the Cassiar Asbestos Corp. which of couse owned another mine in Cassiar BC which was located south of Watson Lake Yukon.
Clinton Creek had about 500 people living there when the mine was in full operation. Clinton Creek was a boom to the town of Dawson City because it started up just as the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation was shutting operations down in 1966 and there were miners looking for work. Clinton Creek started producing asbestos in 1967. The mine ran until 1978. During that time the mill would see production as high as 3,300 tons of ore each day. There were three pits that oe was extracted from. In 1974 the Clinton waste rock pile slid down hill and blocked the Clinton Creek which created a lake that is called Hudgeon Lake.
The town had a post office and grocery store and a central type of hall for gatherings and such. It also had a larger than normal airstrip. The airstrip was
4,600 ft long and 150 ft wide and remains one of the largest in Yukon even till today. DC-3 aircraft would fly in four times a week bringing in vital supplies for the residents of the small remote mining town.
When the mine closed in 1978 the buildings were auctioned off and moved off. Many of the homes were moved to Dawson City where they are still used today. The poeple who lived there would move on to Cassiar or Faro or other mining town to seek employment.
Today nothing really is left. You can still see old streets but most if grown over with time. The are around Fortymile though is seeing a renewed interest in placer gold as prices are high and the miners are once again combing the hills for another big find.