The Man Who Sparked The Klondike Gold Rush

Who would like to move to Yukon? Surprisingly, from 1896 to 1899, more than 100,000 people migrated to Yukon, which at the time was considered as an unprecedented amount of immigration. Why did all these people all of a sudden move to the Yukon Territory, I hear you ask? We know they have great potatoes, and a lot of cold weather, but what else do they have? Well, back then, they had a lot of something much more valuable than cold weather or potatoes – gold.

Gold, element Au, the lustrous yellow metal, the coveted prize of many battles and raids throughout history. Gold has been considered valuable throughout human history due to its scarcity and its physical properties. Countries have been pillaged, homes have been raided, and mountains have been dug out, all for this substance.

One day, an American prospector in the Yukon named George Carmack was exploring a river area with his wife, his nephew, and an Indigenous friend. Carmack panned for gold in the river, not expecting to find anything. But all of a sudden, he lifted his pan out of the water and realized that there were shiny yellow particles in it. Excitedly, he cleared his pan and did it again, only to find more gold flowing through the sediments of the river. Legend has it that he then rushed to the nearest registry station, emotionally shouting at the registrar to quickly make land claims for himself and his companions along the riverbank. Other prospectors around the registrar heard this, and immediately rushed up to make claims for themselves. The registrar was overwhelmed by the

panicking mob, and shouted for more help from his co-workers. Amid the chaos, some began to write to relatives in the USA, telling them about the gold that had been discovered. The news quickly spread, and before you know it, the Klondike Gold Rush was in full swing.

George Carmack ended up leaving the Yukon as a wealthy man with $1 million earned from his discovery. However, in reality, very few people got rich from the gold rush, and many people ended up dying in poverty. However, the legend of the stampede that the gold rush caused would be immortalized in Canadian history, with the founding of many gold-rush cities that still remain today and many films being produced about the circumstances of the prospectors. After large scale mining was completed in 1966 a total of $250 million in gold was mined from the region. There are still small mines operational in the Yukon, but nothing compares to the Klondike Gold Rush,

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This post explored the years 1897-1902 of Canadian history
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