The Canadian Bank of Commerce opened in Skagway, Alaska in December 1898. Skagway was at the foot of the trail to Dawson, the heart of the Klondike gold rush, and was the principal place to stop on trips to and from Dawson.
In 1902, the branch’s main business was with prospectors coming in or out of the gold country to the north. It was almost closing time when a man walked into the branch brandishing a revolver in one hand and a stick of dynamite in the other. The stranger demanded $20,000 and asked the ledger keeper if he knew what was in his hand, and the ledger keeper unable to think of anything else to say said, "Yes, dynamite."
The ledger keeper made a run for the door and the teller quickly took cover behind the door of the large safe. Shots were fired and the dynamite exploded. The force of the explosion threw the fleeing ledger keeper out the door and the noise brought spectators running to the branch.
Furniture was completely destroyed, the glass in the windows had been blown into the street, a four-foot square hole dominated the floor in front of the teller’s cage and the sky could be seen through several gaping holes in the ceiling.
The floors were carefully swept in a successful attempt to retrieve the scattered gold dust throughout the branch, two sentries were posted outside the branch to guard the premises overnight and a temporary counter was quickly installed. Despite the damage and the frayed nerves of employees, the staff opened the branch for business at 10 AM the next day.