Gold was discovered in the Klondike Region of Canada’s Yukon on August 16, 1896.
Prospectors flocked to the area as soon as news reached Seattle the following year. Prospectors arrived in numbers by the summer of 1898. This was fast for the times given the difficult terrain to maneuver – mostly from ports in Alaska to treacherous river routes and mountain passes until reaching Dawson City, the primary staging post.
About 100,000 ventured to mine for gold. They recovered 20 million ounces – so at today’s price of about $1800/oz. gold that amounts to 200 oz per prospector would be valued at $360,000 in today’s dollar per miner. Very few made it rich though – most didn’t find a lot of gold or spent it frivolously in the Yukon. The same overall story as for the California gold rush about 40 years earlier.
This 1871 Mitchell map of Alaska and the relevant parts of the Yukon is from 1871.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.
Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.