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By John David Hamilton

This pathbreaking publication bargains a few nononsense truths approximately northern improvement.

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Example text

When wives and children arrived, the need for a school became evident, and when there were twelve children, one was built. The first tourist was - who else? - a female schoolteacher from California. It was no wonder that the Toronto Star's globe-trotting reporter, Gordon Sinclair, said the gold fields were a cross between a three-ring circus and a Sunday school picnic. Old-timers couldn't decide which offended them most. By the summer of 1939, boosters were predicting 3,000 permanent residents.

An embarrassed federal government supplied enough money to build a four-hole wooden toilet in the centre of Old Town. Unfortunately, as The Prospector complained, no money was supplied for a custodian. * In the struggle for self-government, NWT natives had no part. Except for a few Metis who lived like whites, Yellowknife was a totally white town. The only time The Prospector mentioned Indians was when the village of Detah celebrated Treaty Day and miners canoed over to watch the native drumming.

They were not youngsters but experienced prospectors and promoters who had caught the gold bug from their Uncle Jim, a crony of Benny Hollinger and Noah Timmins in the Porcupine gold strike of 1909. In the early 1920s, the LaBine brothers developed the Eldorado gold mine in Manitoba, and when it petered out they became Toronto stock salesmen. Their dreams took them to Haileybury to study the findings of earlier prospectors. There they found Macintosh Bell's dusty report of a trip he took through the Great Bear Lake country in 1900.

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