Archival Documents


Ed and Star Jones Klondike collection [textual record, graphic material]

Creation Date(s): 1897-1998

Physical Description:
3.6 m of textual records and photographs

Bio Sketch / Admin History:
Edward Morris Jones (b. June 14, 1934 in Utica, New York) and Star Wanda Romer Jones (b. June 10, 1936 in Liberty, New York) are heritage advocates, researchers and authors, who have dedicated significant time and energy toward the preservation and promotion of Dawson City’s history and heritage.

Ed grew up in New York State, completing a BA in Psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey in 1957. He later obtained a MA in Education from New York University in 1963, and a Phd in Education Administration in 2000. Star completed an Executive Secretary Diploma at Albany Business College in Albany, New York, and studied English at A.A. Michigan State University, graduating in 1957. The couple was married in Suffern, New York, in 1959.

The Joneses first arrived in Dawson City, Yukon, in October 1962, following a road trip across North America in their Volkswagen van. Compelled by the town and its history, the Joneses returned to Dawson as heritage volunteers the following summer. At the end of the summer they purchased Sisters’ Island from the Sisters of St. Ann for three hundred dollars.

Under the mentorship of Alan Innes-Taylor, the Joneses’ enthusiasm and knowledge of Yukon history flourished. In 1964 they established Yukon Queen River Tours, running heritage tours between Dawson City and Sisters’ Island, with stops at the sternwheeler graveyard and Moosehide Village. The couple established a museum in the barn on Sisters’ Island, interpreting the history of the Yukon and selling local handicrafts.

The Joneses lived on Sisters' Island almost every summer for twenty-six years. During the off-season Ed worked as a public school educator in Dawson City (1965-1966) and Whitehorse (1966-1967), oversaw alternative education projects in various states (1967-1972), and worked on education initiatives for the New Mexico State Department (1972 to 1992). Star pursued work as legal secretary.

Over the years, the Joneses spearheaded numerous heritage projects in Dawson City, including: founding the Dawson Junior Historical Society (1965), establishing a summer visitor centre in the Commissioner’s Residence (1965-1966), creating a Dawson City Deaths and Burials database, as well as a Missing in the Klondike database, preparing histories for each of Dawson City’s eight cemeteries, arranging for the erection of commemorative plaques for Joseph Ladue, Jack McQuesten and Fred Caley, and advocating for, interpreting, and performing ongoing maintenance on Dawson's eight cemeteries.

In 1998 Ed and Star offered their substantial collection of Klondike books, documents, research material and ephemera to the Dawson City Museum under the condition that the Museum establish a Klondike history resource centre. The offer was accepted and the Klondike History Library was dedicated on July 11, 1998, in memory of Alan Innes-Taylor.

In 2005 the couple published their first book, All That Glitters: The Life and Times of Joe Ladue, Founder of Dawson City. They currently reside in Santa Fe, New Mexico, returning to Dawson City most summers to continue their work on Dawson's cemeteries. Ed is a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers. Star belongs to the Pioneer Women of the Yukon.

Scope and Content:
This collection consists of documents created and collected by heritage advocates, Ed and Star Jones, over the course of their long association with Dawson City. The collection is comprised of both primary and secondary source material relating to the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as to the social, economic and cultural history of Dawson City and the Yukon Territory.

Primary documents include: correspondence; newspaper and magazine articles; hour books; agreements; menus; ledgers; receipts; invoices; programmes; booklets; pamphlets; menus; speeches; a journal; postcards; photographs, and ephemera.

Secondary documents include: published and unpublished essays and articles; research notes; biographical and genealogical sketches; booklets, and books.

The archival collection has been divided into the following nine series: biographical data and Klondike history dedication; correspondence 1963-1998; biography; first nations; mining and prospecting; Klondike business; Klondike organizations; river systems and steamboats; Yukon & Alaska general history, facts and promotional materials.

Accession Number(s): 1998.22, 2000.195


Dawson City Museum is located in the Old Territorial Administration Building at 595 Fifth Avenue.
Phone: 867-993-5291 • Fax: 867-993-5839 • E-Mail: info@dawsonmuseum.ca