Dawson was founded in 1897 and named for the Canadian geologist who surveyed the region. It was the focus of the Great Gold Rush of 1898, by which time it had a population 40,000. After the rush, the population dropped precipitously, and by the time the St. Paul’s Anglican Church was built in 1902, it was only 5,000. It served as the capital of the Yukon Territory until 1952, when the capital was moved to Whitehorse. The town has eight structures that are on the Canadian register of Historic Places. Both Dawson and the nearby ghost town of Forty Mile figure heavily in the novels of Jack London.