Wires in the Wilderness

The Story of the Yukon Telegraph

By (author): Bill Miller
ISBN 9781894384582
Softcover | Publication Date: May 1, 2004
Book Dimensions: 6 in x 9 in
336 Pages
$9.95 CAD

About the Book

This is the tale of how Canada’s high northern wilderness was brought into civilization’s fold through a frail network of wires laboriously strung between poles and trees for hundreds of desolate miles. The Yukon Telegraph started in 1897, when gold was discovered in the Yukon and the government needed a faster way to communicate with its remote northern territory. The isolated residents, too, wanted a more reliable connection with the outside world.

Bill Miller takes readers from the line’s conception in 1899 to its abandonment in 1952 through to its status today and its potential for future generations, focusing on the colourful people who lived and worked in the area. His account, enhanced by extensive research and engaging storytelling, reveals a fascinating fragment of Canada’s rich history.

About the Author(s)

Bill Miller lives with his wife, Nancy Lee, in the old gold-rush town of Atlin in northern British Columbia. He became intrigued by the historic Yukon Telegraph when he learned that it passed through the area. He has worked as a civil engineer and a history teacher, most recently as a university archivist. Now retired, he welcomes the opportunity to explore his own historical studies.


“Miller is a good storyteller, and you really feel the cold of the frostbite, the rage of the torrents, the sting of the mosquitoes and the smell of food cooking. . . read and marvel at the persistence of men who brought words across the wilderness.” —Pamela Mar, Nanaimo Historical Society