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Yukon Gold Rush

People are starting to build cities and are attempting a trek to sight gold that will pay off their debts. Most only found just enough gold to pay off their costs, but some, fortunately, have became extremely rich beyond their greatest imaginations.

Haoyang Li

on 18 January 2012

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Transcript of Yukon Gold Rush

WISH WEALTH... ENDURANCE... At August 16, 1896, within the Klondike Region of the territory of Yukon, the Carmacks were travelling south of the Klondike River. Following a suggestion by another gold prospector, named Robert Henderson, they started to prospect near the Bonanza Creek in hope of searching gold. This is what this event has triggered…
WHERE WE TAKE THE ORDEAL FOR THE WEALTH! The Klondike Gold Rush was a major event related to wealth in the late 1800s. An estimated 100,000 people went attempting and travelling to the Klondike region in Yukon, hoping that they will find and prospect gold and make them exceptionally wealthy. This therefore caused many new towns to be built close to the gold rush area, and eventually, Yukon became an official territory of Canada. Will this wish come true for every traveller… It became a major event because the original prospectors who panned for gold in the Bonanza creek, found out that unusually high amounts of gold are found in this region. Another prospector went on prospecting on a neighboring creek which was eventually named as the Eldorado Creek, which happens to bear even richer amounts of gold than in the Bonanza. Countless claims were made. News spread towards nearby settlements, and eventually, even distant settlements hundreds of miles away got reported from this event. And a hundred thousand people attempted to take this dangerous ordeal in hope of sighting gold and becoming rich. Photograph of Discovery THE DAWSON TIMES — BREAKING NEWS! Massive stempede of approximately 100 000 people desperately travelling to the Klondike in hope for searching gold! Due to the recent discovery of massive amounts of gold within the Klondike region, roughly 100 000 people coming as far as from Seattle, tall, strong, hopeful, and poor went attempting to take this risky step facing dangerous obstacles and steep mountains towards sources of immense wealth. Hundreds of travellers travelling and risking through the Chilkoot Pass while carrying a year of supplies to reach Klondike, hoping for gold. The journey is unanimously tedious and harsh, with tens of thousands of people struggling to carry heavy loads of supplies weighing more than 500 kg while trudging through very long paths consisting of mountains, narrow mountain passes, sharp rocks, and steep slopes under forbidding temberatures ranging from very hot in the short summers, to extreme cold (below −50° C)! Some may also have bought or rented animals such as horses, oxen, and dogs that will aid them to travel to the Klondike region and carry supplies for them, but they are extremely costly, with even the lowest-class animals costing well over $700 to buy, or rented out at $40 per day! Reports show that several people decided to travel to the Klondike region via water access using many ships of varying quality, durability and sizes including paddlewheelers, fishing boats, barges, and coal ships. They are also shown that all have overloaded and many water route attempts have failed as the ships sank. A group of travellers used a boat to travel to the Klondike region. Attempting to become reach the Klondike and becoming rich is similar to winning a large lottery prize and is an ordeal to the travellers. Journeys are expected to be extremely long to up to over 1 600 kilometres in length plus mountain passes, slopes, and sharp rocks. A traveller is expected to reach Klondike in about a year, and may take another year for return, and the journey can be as costly as $1 000 to reach this region. Due to the conditions and requirements for this trip, it is highly unlikely one could become any richer than before upon taking this trip, with a potential risk of death and failure. People grew the desire of wealth and gold People landed at Skagway People landed at Dyea People took all-water routes They used boats of varying sizes and qualities Journey is very long and expensive All ships have been overloaded, and many sank Faced narrow passes in the White Pass Faced against sharp rocks and boulders Rode the Klondike river system Travelled through the Chilkoot trail Faced steep curves Potential risk of avalanches Risks of travelling to the Klondike - Organization Chart ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ There are many routes taken in this massive stampede. Most travelled by land, struggling to travel incredible distances under risky conditionswhile carring huge amounts of supplies. The most common route taken is the southeastern Alaskan trails, where the prospectors will land either at the towns of Dyea or Skagway, and then take equally high risks to face through very difficult slopes and very narrow passes. Some people chose all-Canadian or all-American routes with very similar risks involved in the trip. Other people attempted to reach Klondike through all-water routes by using boats and steamships, which, are prone to overloading and sinking. MAP This is the Southeastern Alaskan trails. Most prospectors took this route towards the Klondike region to find gold. TOWN OF WRANGELL At the Southeastern Alaskan trails, a traveller may either arrive at Dyea or Skagway. DYEA SKAGWAY TO SKAGWAY These who landed at Skagway have to trudge up to 48 km over the Yukon Territory mountain ranges, and then down to the Klondike river system to reach their destination, often making temporary tent sites so they can eat and sleep while on the middle of the journey. They must make their way through the narrow White Pass before crossing Bennett Lake. The Journey of Skagway In the White Pass, the trail initially began gentle, but as people progress deeper into the trail, they must face against extremely narrow pathways that can be less than a meter wide. The wider parts of the pass are riddled with numerous boulders and sharp, angular rocks across the mountains. THE WHITE PASS This trail also gained notoriety, as this trail was also colloquially known as the "Dead Horse Trail," or the "Dead Horse Gulch." This was due to that the horses which transported the supplies perished in massive numbers, making travelling even more forbidding to animals. The high density of travellers and hostile weather soon caused the trail to close officially, which stranded over 5 000 travellers in Skagway. An alternative route was established to make the use of wagons possible, added with the even colder weather which froze the muddy, wet ground allowed the pass to reopen, allowing prospectors to continue making their difficult, arduous way towards Canada, again carrying their heavy supplies for a whopping 1 600 km [it may even have to be carried in relay], and probably need as much as around 3 months to reach Bennett. If a prospector landed ad Dyea, which is another Alaskan town similar to Skagway, travelled through the famous Chilkoot Trail to reach Lake Lindeman, which was fed into Bennett at the head of the Yukon River. The Chilkoot Trail Of the approximate 22 000 people attempting to take this steep yet climbable path, the harsh conditions, the inclination, the weight of the equipment and supplies made this trip exceptionally long and laborious, and it can take over a day to climb 300 meters of the pass, and that supplies must be broken down into smaller packages and carried in relay, further adding the extreme difficulty of reaching the Klondike. Avalanches are very possible and the chance of getting caught by it is highly questionable in this trail. In one case, an avalanche stole over 60 people crossing this mountain pass. Upon reaching Bennett Lake/Lindemann at the later stages of the travel, prospectors began building boats of varying sizes and performance rating that would transport them for the final 800 km down towards Dawson City as spring arrives. As over 7 000 boats were constructed, the final part of the journey was as dangerous and questionable, as the river was very dangerous and fast, which can wreck boats, the NWMP introduced new safety rules that the river is way too jeopardizing to travel and that women and children should walk around the rapids and that any boat that carries passengers must have a licensed pilot, typically costing $25 at that time. Lake Bennett and Lindeman WATER TRAVEL From Seattle or San Francisco, approximately 1 800 prospectors attempted to travel to Klondike via water travel {such as boats and steamships}, first across the Northern Pacific towards the Alaskan coast towards St. Michael. At the Yukon River delta, a boat could take the prospectors all the way towards the Klondike region. It was faster than land travel, and does not involve carrying supplies while trudging their way up the trail, it was unfortunately long and highly expensive, and that all of the ships are overloaded and many sank, killing the prospectors. DAWSON CITY OF Among the thousands of people who finally reached Dawson City, mostly among 1898, the best creeks containing the most amounts of gold have all been claimed, including the Bonanza, Eldorado, Hunker, and Dominion. Over 10 000 claims have already been made; therefore prospectors have to search farther to discover new creeks in order to sight gold and make a claim by its own.

Geologically, this region is permeated with gold veins, forced to the surface by volcanic activity, which then would be eroded away by streams, which left significant gold nuggets and dust. Some ores also laid about 4-10 meters below the surface in the creek beds. Some others lay along the hilltops created through older streams.

Finding gold was a great challenge for many prospectors and miners, and worse, gold was very unevenly distributed in this region, making the prediction of decent gold mining sites even more unpredictable. THE CHALLENGE FOR GOLD There are many methods to recover gold so that the prospectors would become rich.

By underground mining [since most gold was found underground], miners attempt to extract gold by digging down, while thawing the permafrost by fire [however this can create dangerous gases which must be removed, and was later replaced by steam] and then digging a shaft to extract gold. This method was mainly done in winter.

The second method is to use hydraulic mining, where miners used pressurized water to wash up a hill slide or suck up the dirt from the ground to extract gold. THE JOURNEY OF SIGHTING GOLD Workers thawing ice by steam Priniciples with mining with shaft Mining by Sluicing There are other methods to recover gold. These include separation methods, including panning or sluicing.

Panning, although simple, was unfortunately very slow, and it requires a considerable amount of time to sight any amounts of gold.

There are also more complex, yet faster way to use separation by using a rocker box or a sluice. Prospectors would dig up dirt and put it in the box or sluice with water, and then, they would rock the box repeatedly so that the gold particles would sink to the bottom whereas sand and dirt will flow back to the water. They may also even further purify the gold by using a magnet to attract magnetic sand particles, or use mercury which amalgamates exclusively with gold while leaving all the other sand particles out. Rocker Box Panning OTHER METHODS OF SIGHTING GOLD Spanning from 1896-1899, with many towns such as Skagway and Dawson City established for the gold rush, and with massive amounts of gold being found in the Klondike Regions, most, unfortunately did not met what they expected and many became even poorer.

Out of about 100 000 prospectors attempting to take this risk, only about an estimated 30-40% of them successfully reaching the Klondike, while most ends up getting stranded or dying while in the middle of the journey. Conditions are forbidding, boats sank in water trails, and that journeys typically take over a year to make.

For these people who reached Klondike, only approximately 15 000 to 20 000 successfully became prospectors, and yet only 4 000 finally struck even inconsiderable amounts of gold, and only a tiny proportion of all travellers have become immensely wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

Most of these people only ended up becoming destitute as they arrived in this region, and unable to make a living, with monthly wages for men as low as $100, a colloquial phrase “Ah, go to the Klondike!” was made to express detest with an idea. The Aftermath Wealth Sought Gold Became Prospectors FAILURE (cc) image by quoimedia on Flickr THE END... :(
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