ROBINSON FLAG STATION
When the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) railway was completed from Skagway to Whitehorse in 1900, a parallel track, or siding, was built in the rail line to allow trains to pass one another. The Robinson Siding, located 40 km south of Whitehorse, about halfway to Carcross, was built in the rail line here to allow trains to pass one another. Robinson Siding was a designated “flag station” where the train stopped on an as-need or request basis. During the 1906 Wheaton gold rush a railway box car was parked at Robinson to accommodate waiting passengers.
The Wheaton and Watson district miners came to Robinson siding to pick up freight and mail, and ship out their ore. It was a natural gathering place and, at the peak of the 1906 gold rush, William Grainger and Herman Vance claimed 160 acres on each side of the railway as a townsite. Well-known hotel and restaurant builder and owner Louis Markel constructed the Gold Hill roadhouse and saloon on Grainger’s land.
The Robinson Siding was named for William “Stikine Bill” Robinson who worked on many railway projects. Robinson was head of the grading crew during the WP&YR railway construction and then managed the Red Line Transportation Company that brought construction materials, supplies and commercial freight over the 1899 gap in rail service between the White Pass summit and Carcross.
Stikine Bill was a large man, known for his loud snores, amusing stories, creative profanity and accuracy in spitting Black Strap chewing tobacco.
Robinson remained a flag station until the railway shut down in 1983.
The Robinson Flag Station site, with its old buildings and spectacular scenery, is very photogenic and will be included as a stop on day 2 of our Yukon Gold 2020 photo tour, May 2nd to 10th. Time is running out to sign up for this tour! Won’t you join us?