population 659 at mouth of Skagway River, near head of Taiya Inlet, 90 mi. NW of Juneau, Coast Mts.
Name derived from Skagway River. The town, called "The Gateway to the Golden Interior," was founded in 1897 by Captain William Moore, who had a cabin here, when gold was first discovered in 1896 near Dawson, on the Yukon River. The town served as a base of operations for thousands of prospectors during the Klondike gold rush of 1897-98, and became the largest town in Alaska at that time. Both Canada and the United States claimed possession, but Canada yielded to the United States until the boundary dispute was settled. Skagway post office was established in 1897, and the population grew to 3,117 in 1900. The town is the terminus of the White Pass and Yukon RR which was built to Whitehorse in Yukon, Canada during the gold rush period. A military post at Skagway was called "Skaguay" by the U.S. Army.