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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/473

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459
A YEAR'S PROGRESS IN THE KLONDIKE.

absolutely reject delicacies of one kind or another. Cow's milk can now be had as a regular adjunct to coffee, since the milcher is no longer a stranger to the country. The price of rooms in the hotels still remains high—from four to six dollars per night, without meals—but the character of these rooms has materially improved, even though they would be considered with us decidedly third rate. In a few establishments of a more private character, lodging for a certain amount of permanency may be had for fifteen dollars the week, or, where the condition of the surroundings is not closely scanned, for even less. A new and capacious hotel, the Hotel Metropole, reared from the wealth of the "King of the Klondike"—Alexander MacDonald—has recently been added to those of less pretentious design which served the community last year. A heavy cut in rates is promised.

The conflagration of April 26th, through which perhaps one quarter of the business portion of Dawson was burned to the ground, has given opportunity for the introduction of improvements, and the most important of these is that which has resulted in the removal of houses and resorts of evil repute from the heart of the city and consigned them and their inmates to a localized area or "tenderloin" district. Women of refinement may now parade the streets without having their finer sensibilities offended through the public intrusion of the immorals of the lower world. The tone of the public places of amusement, the theaters and dance houses, has also been in a measure elevated, even if far from sufficiently so, and some real talent occasionally sparkles behind the footlights. A new "opera house," with a seating capacity of perhaps seven hundred or eight hundred, but advertised for two thousand, was thrown open to the public last August, after a construction, it is claimed, of only two weeks. Its season's répertoire included, among other plays, Michael Strogoff and Camille, both of which, even in their crudest type of presentation, felt well of the public pulse.

School education plays as yet little part in the morals of the Dawsonites. The greed of fortune has left scant time for the consideration of educational matters, and what little of school training is imparted to the youth of tender years comes largely in the shape of a beneficence from private hands. If the issuance of newspapers be properly classed as belonging to education, then Dawson has made material advances during the past year, for, in addition to the three weeklies which more than supplied all the information that was needed to the inhabitants of 1898, it has now a daily (the Dawson Daily News) and a Sunday paper (The Gleaner), while the pioneer Nugget has been converted into a semi-