On wandering around Seattle I came across Klondike Gold Rush Museum which charted the history of the Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park and .
The Klondike gold rush changed the northern regions of the North American forever. Thousands of people left their homes around the world to converse on an isolated watershed in Canada’s Yukon territory. Klondikers, as they came to be known, departed from ports in Seattle and Vancouver and ventured 1,000 miles north to the tiny coastal towns of Skagway and Dyea. They made their way over the Chilkoot or White pass trails to the headwaters of the Yukon river. On the shorts of Lake Benenett and Lindeman, Klondikers then built boats to float the 550 miles to the boomtown of Dawson city, where the Klondike and Yukon rivers flowed past some of the richest gold fields ever discovered.
Gold Rush Timeline
- August 16, 1896: Gold Discovered on the Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike river, by Skookum Jim Mason, Dawson Charlie and George Washington Carmack.
- Autumn 1896: Rush for the Klondike gold by those in nearby Fortymile and Circule and others already within Northern Canada and Alaska.
- July 14, 1897: SS Exelsior lands in San Francisco with miners who had struck it rich in the gold fields.
- July 17, 1897: SS Portland docked at Seattle preceeded by a reporter on a tug boat, claiming ‘more than a ton of gold on board’. Within days, all possible passage north was booked.
- Autumn of 1897: Stampeders rush to the towns of Skagway and Dyea. Skagway’s population booms from 5 to 5,000 in one month. Today, it is home to around 850 people.
- Winter of 1897-98: An estimated 20,000 stampeders spend the winter at Bennett, and 10,000 at Lindeman, building boats and waiting for the Yukon River to thaw and break up.
- May 29, 1898: Yukon river breaks up within 48 hours, more than 7,000 vessels leave Bennett for Dawson.
- Summer of 1898: An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people arrive at Dawson and the Klondike goldfields.
- August of 1898: Most stampeders give up and head home after finding all the gold bearing lands been claimed. The next gold rush, to Atlin, British Columbia begins.
- Autumn of 1898: First gold rush to Nome begins, signaling the final end of the Klondike gold rush. Some stampeders return to the Eagle area to stake claims initially passed over.
- May 1898-1900: The White Pass and Yukon Route railroad is built in two years from Skagway to White Hose. Its completion heralds the demise of the Chilkoot Trail and the towns of Dyea and Bennett.
A more detailed version of this post, with much more information about the Klondike Gold Rush and the journeys of the miners to the area can be found on Scribd: