Location: On Silver Trail Hwy 11, 30 miles from Stewart Crossing. Population: 248. Visitor Information: Village of Mayo/Binet House Museum Visitor Information Centre, PO Box 160, Mayo, YT Y0B 1M0; Phone: (867) 996-2317; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.yukonweb.com/community/mayo
Mayo is located in the traditional territory of the First Nation of Na Cho Nyak Dun, named for Alfred H. Mayo, a circus acrobat in his home state of Maine who later became captain of the small steamer “New Racket” in partnership with famous traders Jack McQuestern and Arthur Harper. The partners invested in or “grubstaked” many of the early prospectors. Known as Mayo Landing until 1958, the strategically located village on the Stewart River serviced the Silver Trail area’s extensive mining activities, centered in Elsa and Keno City.
Specifically designed sternwheelers such as the Keno (now located in Dawson City) navigated up the Stewart River to off-load supplies for the village and mining camps, and to receive the silver/lead ore which was stacked in bags along the river. By 1925, silver production in the area was booming. Ore was shipped from Mayo Landing on the paddle wheelers until 1955, when shipping via the new all weather road to Whitehorse proved more economical.
The Binet House Interpretive Centre/Museum houses a collection of historic photos, extensive geology display and regional 3-D relief map, local crafts and color brochures/maps of the area. Other services in Mayo include restaurants, grocery store, motels, cabins, B&Bs, RV and tent camping, auto repair, gas and propane sales, swimming pool, charter float plane base, fixed wing airport, summer helicopter service, post office, liquor store, nursing and RCMP stations. There are several fly-in fishing operators and wilderness outfitters/guides centered in Mayo.
On the way to Elsa and Keno, enjoy the recreation area at Five Mile Lake Campground, stop for a hike at Mt. Haldane or dine at the Silver Trail Inn. Travelers will also pass through an example of the Yukon’s “drunken forests.” This natural phenomenon reflects the glacial history of the area—stunted black spruce, extensive wetlands and sinkholes.