1967 Yukon Nuggets
There are a number of Yukon place-names which pay tribute to animals.
The Slim's River which flows into the south end of Lake Kluane can be raging torrent of water when the spring run-off from the glaciers begins to flow. Or it can be a shallow stream dotted with mud bars in mid-summer. When Slim enountered the river back in 1903, it was the former - a raging torrent. Slim was a horse belonging to a prospector who was going to stake in Kluane goldfields. While crossing the river, Slim drowned. His grieving owner named the river for his horse.
Joseph Keele was an expert in the bush. He had to be. He joined the Canadian Geological Survey in 1898 and spent the rest of his days mapping in the Pelly and Ross River regions. There's a little lake on the Upper Ross river called John Lake. It's named for Keele's faithful pack dog, John.
Charles Sheldon was a rich American sportsman and amateur naturalist who studied the Pelly and Lapie River systems in the early days of this century. Joseph Keele named the beautiful Sheldon Lake and Sheldon Mountain to honour Charles. Charles got in on the act, too. He named a small stream, which flows into the Pelly River, Danger Creek. Danger was Charles Sheldon's horse.
There's a little creek, which flows into the Little Salmon River, that you just might want to steer clear of in the summer. It's called Bearfeed Creek, and was named in 1925 by William Cockfield of the Geological Survey. The creek's banks are covered with berry bushes, and the berry bushes are filled with bears.
Finally another name for horses. In 1947, the noted Yukon surveyor and naturalist Hugh Bostock was conducting surveys in the Klondike River district. One day, half of his pack horses decided to take the day off and disappeared into the bush. When Bostock finally recovered the wayward pack animals, he named a creek, which flows into the Little Klondike River, Lost Horses Creek.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.