Before I talk about Skagway, I want to share an incident from the cruise ship which made my day, and almost made me miss the Klondike Highway tour (which left at 8:30 AM, gah). My “official” dining room (I think it was Botticelli) was way at the back of the boat, but Da Vinci dining room was much closer to my cabin, and I could eat breakfast there if I didn’t mind sharing a table with other lost souls. At the table that morning was Ed (not his name), 89 years old, a Korean War vet. He was recently widowed and was on the cruise looking for a “nurse with a purse!” He was so funny I couldn’t leave the table as early as I should have. Still, I made the tour.
We got back to the Skagway area around 11:20, and the tour stopped to look at the reconstruction (preservation?) of Liarsville. If you read the Wikipedia article I linked, you’ll find that Skagway was a major entry port for the Klondike Gold Rush. The first steamer full of prospectors docked in Skagway at the end of July 1897. Wikipedia doesn’t give the pre-gold rush population of the town (they may never have bothered to count), but Wikipedia says,
The population was estimated at 8,000 residents during the spring of 1898 with approximately 1,000 prospective miners passing through town each week.
In fact, according to Wikipedia, by June 1898 Skagway was the largest city in Alaska, with a population between 8,000 and 10,000.