Thursday, March 31, 2011

Klondike Goldrush

Did you know Canada.. The Klondike Gold Rush began in July of 1897 when two ships landed on the west coast of the US. The Excelsior, landed in San Francisco and three days later The Portland landed in Seattle and both were carrying bags of gold worth $5,000-$100,000. The news spread like wild fire and this set off the Klondike stampede.

(Miner's camp at the head of the Yukon River during the Klondike Gold Rush, from the Canadian National Archives. Date: 1st May 1898)

An estimated 100,000 people started out in the gold rush but only about 30,000 made it to Dawson City in 1898 after travelling through torturous passages to reach the Klondike River and the gold.  The most difficult route was from Edmonton and overland through the wilderness.  Edmonton  became known as a "Gateway to the North" for gold prospectors en route to the Yukon.

For those that arrived the gold did not live up to the reports.  Locals had already claimed all of the gold-bearing creeks and most of the gold was not at the surface, but rather 10 or more feet below. To reach it, the miners had to dig through the permafrost.

Edmonton's Capital EX, formerly known as Klondike Days is a celebration of the Klondike history with the theme revolving around the Klondike Gold Rush.

Source: virtualmuseum.ca, Wikipedia

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