city and borough, southeastern Alaska, U.S. Situated at the north end of the Lynn Canal, it is the northernmost point on the Inside Passage (Alaska Marine Highway), lying 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Juneau. The area was originally inhabited by Tlingit Indians, and its name derives from the Tlingit word Skagua, meaning "the Place Where the North Wind Blows." Skagway was founded in the 1890s as the gateway to the Yukon and Klondike goldfields. It owed its importance to its role as the Pacific coastal terminus of the White Pass (2,913 feet [888 metres]) through the Boundary Ranges and of the White Pass and Yukon Route (WP&YR) narrow-gauge railway (the first railway in Alaska) from Whitehorse, head of navigation on the Yukon River in Canada. The railway suspended service in 1982 when the Anvil Gold Mines that it served were closed, but a portion of the lower line was reopened in 1988 for tourist travel.
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