Up the wrong creek

Net-surfing teens mix up their Dawsons

It has apparently come to the attention of numerous teenagers surfing the Internet that the WB hit “Dawson’s Creek” isn’t merely a hyperventilating nighttime soap opera. Several Web geeks have, in recent weeks, happened upon the Web site for the real town of Dawson (no apostrophe “s”) Creek.

But the reality of the place may disappoint them. Rather than breeding a Freudian utopia of boiling adolescent libidos and roaring psychobabble in picturesque New England, this Dawson Creek is a retirement community in the far northern reaches of British Columbia, some 758 miles above Vancouver, that considers anyone under 55 to be a young buck.

The town was named for one George Dawson, a geologist who led survey parties through the area in the 1870s. A mere 4-foot-6, his growth was stunted by bone tuberculosis. Were he alive today, he probably wouldn’t much care for “Dawson’s Creek,” given its penchant for studying biology over geology.

“I don’t think too many of our people watch the show, to be honest,” says Marilyn Croutch, city tourism coordinator for the town. “Most of our visitors are interested in seeing the Alaskan Highway, and they’re between 60 and 80.

“We’re a farm community. We grow grain and raise cattle and buffalo,” she says.

So, not much rampant sexual experimentation going on, then?

“Oh, I would think not,” Croutch replies. “But you never know. With this show, that may start changing now. I hear some teenagers who found us online will be visiting us over the summer. They might be a little surprised at what they find.”