May 05, 2010 | Tips from Travellers >
Dawson Creek, Museums
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I read the following Help Wanted Ad in an old recruitment notice for the building of the Alaska Highway.
"Men hired for this job will be required to work and live under the most extreme conditions imaginable
. Temperatures will range from 90 degrees above zero to 70 degrees below zero. Men will have to fight swamps, rivers, ice and cold. Mosquitoes, flies and gnats will not only be annoying but will cause bodily harm. If you are not prepared to work under these and similar conditions, do not apply."
I wonder how excited the men who considered the ad felt about the prospect of getting the job.
I went to the Alaska Highway House
in Dawson Creek and looked at the artifacts and original photos of daily life on the highway construction project. Some of the words that immediately came to mind were: brutal, harsh and unimaginable.
Even with today's equipment, the project would be considered monumental. But the crude equipment, the challenges of the untamed wilderness, and the harsh climate made the realities and scope of the project unbelievable.
The recruitment poster said a lot, but for more of the realities of what those men endured, make sure you check out the Alaska Highway House Interpretive Center when you come to Dawson Creek.
See for yourself what the day to day life was like for the builders of the highway.