MacBride Museum of Yukon History

Your Yukon adventure starts here! From gold rush fever to the birth of Whitehorse, MacBride Museum offers a comprehensive view of the colourful characters and ground-breaking events that shaped Canada’s Yukon. Walk through the stories in our Gold to Government Gallery, which features exhibits on the natural, social, economic, and industrial history of the Yukon and the development of the territory’s capital city, Whitehorse. MacBride also offers daily programs during the summer, a first-class gift shop, and a chance to try your hand at one of Yukon’s oldest professions – gold panning.

MacBride Museum was named Canada’s #1 most under-rated attraction by MSN Travel Canada. It was also named Yukon’s favourite museum and attraction by a Yukon, North of Ordinary magazine readers’ poll.


1124 Front Street

Whitehorse, YT Y1A 1A4


Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30 am to 5 pm


(867) 667-2709


(867) 633-6607


Web site:


Ball & Chain

Locking metal manacle connected to a steel ball, eight inches in diameter by a chain fifteen links long

A restraint device consisting of a heavy metal ball, chain and cuff, which when fastened to the ankle of a prisoner, hampered mobility. Ball and chain restraints, leg irons, and other such devices were used by the North West Mounted Police to shackle the legs of prisoners arrested for serious crimes or those deemed as escape risks. The weight of the ball created a hindrance to the speed of a convict that it discouraged prisoners from fleeing.

Police presence in the Territory ensured there was little crime in the Yukon. In fact, most crime in the Klondike during Gold Rush dealt with petty theft or public drunkenness. The North West Mounted Police fully enforced the law and punishments were strictly enforced. The police routinely imposed two to seven years confinement for theft, or two to six months on the woodpile for vagrancy. There were only a few murders in the Yukon and all of these cases were solved. Most were caught because the Yukon had few ways in or out of the Territory and few men had the skills to survive off the harsh land.