21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush

21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush

Jacob Miller - June 28, 2017

The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration by prospectors to the Yukon Territory in north-western Canada. Gold was first discovered in Bonanza Creek by the local miners on August 16, 1896. When the news of the discovery reached Seattle and San Francisco roughly 100,000 men traveled up north in search of fortune.

Most of the prospectors traveled through the Dyea and Skagway Ports in South East Alaska and would then travel up the Chilkoot or White Pass Trail to the Yukon River and sail down to Klondike. The White Pass Trail was a treacherous path over mountains, which, at parts, was only two feet wide. These dangerous conditions lead to the deaths of many horses and the White Pass Trail became colloquially known as ‘Dead Horse Trail’. The Chilkoot Trail rose to a higher elevation than the White Pass, but was more commonly used. A businessman carved stairs into the ice and charged prospectors per day to use the ‘Golden Steps’.

Each prospector was ordered by the Canadian Authority to bring a year’s supply of food to prevent mass starvation. All the food, tools, camping equipment, and other essentials that the men would take often weighed as much as a ton. Horses, to help carry the burden, were often sold for $700 ($19,000 currently).

Dawson City was founded where the Klondike and Yukon Rivers met. In 1896 to 1898 the population exploded from 500 to 30,000 people. Of all these Dawson City inhabitants, only 4,000 struck gold and only a few hundred became rich. The extant hydraulic mining technology was too heavy to bring to the Klondike, so miners would make large fires to thaw the permafrost. The dirt could then be removed. Miners along the river beds would use rocker boxes to separate the dirt and rocks from gold flakes.

The gold was sold at a rate of $16 ($430) per ounce.

In 1899, gold was found in Nome, Alaska and in one week alone, 8,000 prospectors left Klondike. The Klondike Gold Rush had ended.

21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Klondike mining camp ca. 1898. Wikimedia
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Packers ascending summit of Chilkoot Pass, 1897-98, en route to the Klondike Gold Rush. Library and Archives Canada
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Settlers bound for the Klondike, 1897. Encyclopedia Britannica
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Gold miners searching through rocks and dirt for gold. goldbottom
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Sluice used for separation of gold from dirt with water. Pinterest
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
The gold race begins in Klondike, when the first lucky seekers arrive in Seattle, 1897. isolafelice.forumcommunity
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Prospectprs on Dyea Wharf surrounded by supplies required for the trek to the gold fields date ca 1899. Yukon Archives
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Women pulling a sled loaded with provisions through the streets of Skagway, Alaska in 1898. Pinterest
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Within weeks after news of the Klondike gold discovery reached Seattle in the summer of 1897, Skagway, Alaska was transformed into a frontier boom town with saloons, cheap hotels and bawdy houses. peachridgeglass
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Dawson City prospectors 1897. Pinterest

21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Klondikers and Indian packers near Stone House, Chilkoot Trail, Alaska, 1897. Pinterest
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Klondiker with group of five Indian packers and a two oxen pack-train on the Chilkoot Trail, Alaska, 1897. Pinterest
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Image of fallen horses along the White Pass trail. Smithsonian
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Dead Horse Trail. 1001detours
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
A stampeder photographed leading his horse across the rocky, often treacherous White Pass trail. Smithsonian
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Dawson City July 4, 1899. The McCune Collection
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Dawson City and Midnight Dome – 1898. summitpost
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Alaskan Native, 1897. alaska.si.edu
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Women heading for Dawson City. Pinterest
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Gold panning in Alaska 1897. miningartifacts
21 Photos Delivering The Visual History of the Klondike Gold Rush
ca. 1900, Atlin, British Columbia, Canada — Elderly Miner Named “Daddy”. Alexander Alland, Sr./CORBIS

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