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Klondike Gold Rush of 1896

Gold was discovered in British Columbia in the Cassiar districts, in 1873, and miners entered the Yukon region, in 1882. In 1886, coarse gold was discovered after Forty-mile Creek was found, sending shock waves of excitement through the Yukon country. In August 1896, George and Kate Carmack, Skookum Jim, and Dawson Charlie, discovered gold on Bonanza (Rabbit) Creek, a tributary of Klondike River. Two weeks later, gold was found on Eldorado Creek, a tributary of Bonanza. In the fall of 1896, news of the Klondike strikes reached Circle City, and miners departed for Dawson. Building began at the new site of Dawson City, Yukon Territory. By September 1896, Bonanza Creek is fully staked out and many claims were already producing. During the winter of 1896-97, miners worked the Klondike mines, removing millions of dollars in gold. The summer of 1897 brought news and spectacle. The day of July 14 exploded as the steamship Excelsior arrived in San Francisco, California with a half million dollars worth of gold on board, and wondrous stories of the Klondike Gold Rush hit the news wires. Three days later the steamship Portland docked in Seattle and 68 miners unloaded one million dollars worth of gold in front of a crowd of 5,000. During July and August 1897, miners left Seattle and other cities for the Klondike. By September of that same year, 9,000 had left the Port of Seattle. Ships bearing the first stampeders arrived in Dyea and Skagway, Alaska or steamed directly up the Yukon River to Dawson City. Oliver Millett of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, staked a claim on Cheechako Hill, far above Bonanza Creek, that produced a half million dollars worth of gold. A staking rush of the nearby hills began. In the winter of 1897-98, writer Jack London and an army of miners trudged over the White and the Chilkoot Pass trails. In the spring of 1898, thousands left Seattle and other cities for the Klondike. The population of Yukon peaked at over 30,000. Dawson City became the largest Canadian city west of Winnipeg. The ice on Lake Lindemann and Bennett Lake thawed and an armada of more than 7,000 boats began their water journey to Dawson City. Unfortunately, more than 60 men and women were killed by a snowslide on the Chilkoot Trail. Through the summer of 1898 between 20,000 and 30,000 potential miners had reached Dawson. Gold was discovered at Anvil Creek, Alaska. Two years after The Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889, the city began to regrade downtown to expand the commercial district. More than $22 million worth of gold was pulled out of the creeks. Roughly $2.5 million was pulled out in 1897 and $10 million in 1898. In the spring of 1899, more than a million dollars worth of property and 117 buildings are destroyed in a fire in Dawson City. The town site of Nome, Alaska, was staked out and established. The summer of 1899 brought change and growth to the Alaskan and Canadian gold territories, the railroad came to Alaska as the first White Pass and Yukon Route train ran from Skagway, Alaska, to Carcross, Yukon. A year later, the line to Whitehorse was completed. When gold was discovered on the beaches of Nome, Alaska, two thousand arrived to extract it, and the next gold rush began. The Klondike Gold Rush was officially over. A Steamer arrived in Seattle in October 1899; it carried Nome miners and gold. Early in 1900, from January to May, one to 2,000 miners went down the Yukon to Nome, and ships sailed from Seattle for the Nome gold beaches with up to 20,000 passengers on board. Throughout the summer of 1900, thousands descended on the Nome beaches to dig for gold in the sand. From 1901 through 1904, big things happened in Alaska and in Seattle. Thanks to the Alaskan and Canadian Gold Rush and the rebuilding of Seattle and San Francisco, the annual volume of business in Seattle topped out at more than $50 million. Gold was discovered in the Tanana Valley of Alaska, and the city of Fairbanks was established. The Alaska Club, a Seattle organization of miners who had struck it rich in the Alaskan and Canadian gold territory and other Alaskan businessmen, was created. Between the years of 1906 and 1916, Seattle grew significantly in size and recognition. Part of the re-growth of Seattle became apparent when, in 1906, the Schwabacher Company constructed a new eight-story building at First and Jackson in Seattle. In 1908, the Alaska Club and Arctic Club merged in Seattle, bringing together as one group the Seattle and Alaskan businessmen. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was a world's fair held in Seattle on the grounds of the University of Washington, in 1909, publicizing the development of the Pacific Northwest. The grounds design was achieved by the Olmsted Brothers. Also in 1909, the Statue of William Seward was placed in Seattle's Volunteer Park. Seattle's ocean-borne commerce reached a new high of $155 million in 1914. Between 1915 and 1916, Alaska exported nearly $50 million in gold, silver, copper, other minerals and salmon to the United States. One of the benefits Seattle received from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896 was the ability to rebuild the city. In 1916, the Construction of the Arctic Building in Seattle was the physical manifestation of the design work of A. Warren Gould.