Klondike: The Last Gold Rush

Klondike: The Last Gold Rush


It’s been called the last great adventure
of the 19th Century. In 1896, prospectors in Yukon Territory fished
a thumb sized nugget of gold out Rabbit Creek. The find triggered a human tsunami not seen
since the days of the California Gold Rush. Across the US, tens of thousands abandoned
their homes to take their chances in the northern wilderness. At a time when a city like Seattle might have
a population of only forty thousand, one hundred thousand people converged on Klondike, hoping
to strike it rich. Instead, what many of them found was death,
disease, and destitution. But there’s more to the story of the Klondike
Gold Rush than merely another tale of human greed and tragedy. Across Yukon and Alaska, towns and trails
still remain as living markers of that heady time. Places where tens of thousands experienced
hope and desperation in equal measure, searching for gold in the far-flung hills. In today’s video we take you through these
places, and embark on a journey into history’s last great gold rush. River of Dreams
It was a humid August day when Tagish First Nations prospector Skookum Jim and his American
partner George Carmack first pulled gold from Rabbit Creek. The year was 1896. That summer, Jim and Carmack had been slowly
making their way along the Yukon River with their friend Dawson Charlie, looking for ways
to make cash. A month or two earlier, Carmack had decided
God wanted him to take up salmon fishing, and the three had spent the last few weeks
trying to land a decent catch. It wasn’t until late July that Carmack had
bumped into a prospector called Robert Henderson and had the conversation that would change
all of their lives. Henderson was bragging that he’d just staked
out a claim for gold. Where? Carmack had asked. Near Klondike River, came the reply. So Skookum Jim, George Carmack, and Dawson
Charlie had all drifted upstream, unsure if the prospector was yanking their chain, but
sure they had nothing better to do. And now here they were out in the remotest
reaches of Yukon wilderness, looking at a lump of gold big enough to change their lives. Not that it would be just Jim, Carmarck, and
Charlie who had their lives changed that August day. At the time the trio made their find, there
had been rumors of gold in Klondike for decades. Back in 1878, a man called George Holt had
returned from the wilderness with a handful of nuggets. 8 years later, gold had been found at Fortymile
River, a tributary of the Yukon. By the time 1896 rolled around, there were
a couple of hundred dedicated panhandlers in the area, all looking to strike it big. There were even people ready to start selling
future prospectors shovels. You know that phrase? “If you want to get rich during a gold rush,
sell shovels.”? Well, a steamboat captain named William Moore
had already founded Skagway in the Alaska panhandle specifically for selling shovels
during the gold rush he thought was coming. But not even William Moore could’ve predicted
how big that rush would be. Back at Rabbit Creek, George Carmack left
Skookum Jim and Dawson Charlie and hiked down to the town at Fortymile River to stake his
claim. On the way, he showed everybody he passed
a shotgun cartridge filled with gold and bragged about how much money he was gonna make. You can probably guess how everyone reacted
to that. By September, Rabbit Creek – now renamed Bonanza
Creek – was swarming with prospectors. Then someone found an even bigger load at
nearby Eldorado Creek and the Yukon went bananas. Before the month was out, pretty much everyone
in Yukon was camped out at the point where the Yukon and Klondike Rivers met – the future
site of Dawson City. But “everyone” in Yukon terms is equivalent
to “really not that many people” in most of the rest of the world. The few hundred people at the future site
of Dawson City couldn’t exactly qualify as a gold rush. It would take until the following summer for
things to really take off. All through that winter, the harsh weather
left Yukon completely cut off. As the lucky prospectors staked their claims,
the rest of the world was utterly unaware of the find. That all changed in July, 1897. That month, the first steamer docked in Seattle
carrying half a ton of Yukon gold. It was followed by another, and another. Before long, the citizens of Seattle were
staring openmouthed at two tons of gold. Klondike’s secret was out. There was now no stopping the tide of humanity
that would come crashing into Canada. William Moore’s predicted gold rush had
arrived. Skagway’s founder couldn’t have known
that it was destined to sweep him away. The Spirit of ‘49
In many ways, the residents of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest were perfectly primed
for gold fever. The greatest rush of all time, the California
Gold Rush of 1849, was still within living memory. Indeed, many of the prospectors already in
Yukon, including George Carmack, were children of the so-called Fortyniners. More importantly, though, gold fever hit because
people desperately needed some good news. For the last four years, the US had been caught
in the midst of one of the worst depressions on record. The economy was a wreck, populism was exploding,
and life was harsh. Add to that the late 19th Century’s lack
of a social safety net, and you have a world where many were drowning in misery. So when two tons of gold came sailing over
the horizon, it was like a bunch of magic leprechauns had just docked, promising everyone
free wishes. The effects of this were as dramatic as they
were predictable. In Seattle, a quarter of the police force
quit on the spot to head north and dig for gold. The mayor walked out of City Hall, bought
a pickaxe, and set off to find his fortune. In a single week, 3,000 people left the city,
including drivers who abandoned their streetcars in the road. The fever got so great that even the famous
were dragged in. Wyatt Earp – yes the Wyatt Earp – was among
those who headed for Yukon, while inventor extraordinaire Nikola Tesla announced he would
design a portable X-ray machine to scan for gold. As word spread across America, tens of thousands
all dropped whatever they were doing and made haste for the north, all following the spirit
of ‘49. They would’ve done better to follow its
lessons. By one estimate, twenty percent of all those
who’d descended on California back in 1849 had died, so unfit were they to be mining
gold. Now, in 1897, the world was facing a repeat. Of the 100,000 people who would eventually
travel to Klondike, almost none had any experience of mining, of surviving in the wild, or of
Canadian winter. Almost immediately, the first deaths occurred,
as people too impatient to wait for the next steamer to Yukon set out in whatever boats
they could buy. The guys selling those boats weren’t always
too careful to check their craft were seaworthy. At this stage of the rush, though, such deaths
were just ominous rumblings. Before the end of the month, the first ship
carrying prospectors had reached the Alaskan panhandle. For the next two years, Yukon would be the
epicenter of more desperation and human drama than the region had ever seen. The Frozen Jungle
It’s impossible to know what went through William Moore’s mind as he saw the first
steamer appear on the horizon. The founder of Skagway – population: William
Moore – had been waiting for this moment ever since he accurately predicted the Yukon would
be the site of a future gold rush. But if the Alaskan oracle thought he was going
to make his fortune off the incoming boat, he was about to get a nasty shock. The steamer was Cortez and the Conquistadors
approaching Mexico. And William Moore’s dream was about to go
the way of the Aztec Empire. As first hundreds, then thousands landed,
William Moore’s property became an ugly, squalid township where hope went to die. Tents were pitched in close, crowded quarters,
with little thought given to sanitation. Crude buildings sprang up with no central
plan, and no-one ensuring they were habitable. It was like if the Calais Jungle somehow mated
with Fyre Festival to produce a miserable, rain-drenched tent city of a love child. There were fights. Murders. Disease. Humans moved through Skagway’s cramped ‘streets’
not in orderly fashion, but in a shoving, screaming, mud-coated mass of filth and desperation. Not for nothing did one officer of the North-West
Mounted Police call the town “Hell on Earth.” Still, while most prospectors stopped in Skagway
only long enough to get their bearings before embarking on the 600 mile journey to Klondike,
a few managed to find their niche there. One was “Soapy” Smith, a notorious American
conman who’d committed murder in Denver, and had briefly raised a militia for the Mexican
dictator, Porferio Diaz, before being chased out of Mexico for trying to con Diaz himself. In Skagway, Soapy was able to reinvent himself
as a lawman in the mould of Wyatt Earp. At least, that was how Soapy portrayed it. In reality, his lawman act was a front to
disguise his own racketeering and fraud operations. But there were more legitimate ways to thrive
in Skagway, too. From the town, it was a 40 mile trek to Bennett
Lake, from where you could sail a boat along the Yukon to Klondike. One enterprising young man arrived in Skagway
not with a shovel and tent, but a team of mules. He hired these out to prospectors for carrying
their equipment to the Lake, and was soon making $5,000 a day. Forget selling shovels. During a gold rush apparently you want to
be the guy with all the spare donkeys lying around. But still, Skagway was just a start for most
of the people involved in today’s tale. A jumping off point, similar to Dyea a little
further along the river. They got in, stamped on William Moore’s
dreams, threw some money at some overpriced mules, and got out again. Had they known what awaited them, it seems
likely many of them would’ve stayed. Death on the Ice
If you’ve ever seen The Gold Rush by Charlie Chaplain, you probably remember the iconic
shot of hundreds of shivering men tramping up a near-vertical incline of ice. Well, that really happened. Once you left Skagway, you had two choices
for getting to Bennett Lake. One of them involved scrambling over four
miles of sheer ice. So steep was Chilkoot Pass that anyone attempting
it had to drag up their equipment piece by piece, climbing once and leaving their stuff
at the top, then going all the way back down, and picking up the next batch. The North-West Mounted Police had decreed
any prospectors entering Canada had to carry 1,000lbs of supplies, enough to last a year. For those unable to afford Skagway’s outrageous
mule rental prices, that meant the best part of a week just getting all their equipment
up Chilkoot Pass. That’s if they survived. Thanks to the awful weather and the inexperience
of most climbing it, Chilkoot Pass saw a huge proportion of the deaths that occurred during
the rush. There were deaths by hypothermia, deaths caused
by people slipping and falling. In April, 1898, there were three avalanches
in just twenty four hours, killing a total of 70 people. Still, Chilkoot Pass was just one way of getting
to Bennett Lake. If you didn’t want to be swept away by a
snowslide, you could always take the route over White Pass. Or, to give it its more-accurate nickname,
“Dead Horse Trail”. Sections of White Pass involved a path a mere
two feet wide, with a sheer cliff on one side, and a 500ft drop on the other. So many horses fell down that drop that it
got the name Dead Horse Gulch. You can still see their bones there today. Whether you went by “Snowy Mountain Death
Slide Pass” or “Kill all the Horses Trail,” though, you were always destined to end up
at Bennett Lake. Remember how we said that you could sail a
boat from Bennett Lake to Klondike and fortune? What we neglected to mention is that you had
to build that boat first, yourself, using trees you cut down yourself. A very, very tiny number of the prospectors
who landed at Skagway managed to do this before the winter of 1897 set in. The rest, and we’re talking tens of thousands
of people, all got stuck on the shores as the water turned to ice. The result was one of the most depressing
campsites ever created. Most of the mostly-male prospectors were living
off something called the ‘Three Bs’: bacon, beans, and bread. So not only did frostbite and loneliness do
many of them in, scurvy and malnutrition weren’t far behind. Finally, in May 1898, the ice broke. Almost immediately, a flotilla of homemade
boats was streaming down the Yukon, headed for Klondike. Nearly two years after Skookum Jim and George
Carmack first found gold, the gold rush had finally arrived. Broken Dreams
One of the few people to have any good memories of the Klondike Gold Rush was the writer Jack
London. That’s because London was a qualified, experienced
sailor. And, after all those homemade boats started
capsizing and killing scores on the Yukon River, the North-West Mounted Police decreed
only boats with qualified captains would be able to set out from Bennett Lake. So Jack London gave up on his gold dreams
and became a captain for hire, a move which made him more money than prospecting ever
would have. But the majority of prospectors didn’t have
that option. Instead, they were forced to spend what little
money they had left to ensure they could get to the gold fields upriver. That’s when they had the money at all. Of the 100,000 people who descended on Skagway
and Deya after gold fever broke out, only 40,000 would make it to Dawson City and Klondike. The rest either died, stayed in Skagway, or
spent a miserable winter camped out on Bennett Lake, only to discover they now had to pack
up their equipment and turn back. You’ll find this is a recurrent feature
of all stories surrounding the Klondike Gold Rush; the cruel shattering of people’s dreams. Even the “bad guys” don’t come out of
this tale particularly well. The same summer that tens of thousands were
turning back from Lake Bennett, cursing their luck, Soapy Smith was shot dead in Skagway,
the town he’d stolen from William Moore. Perhaps the best advice would really be: “during
a gold rush, just stay the heck away”. But the biggest disappointment was reserved
for the guys who could afford to get Jack London to captain their ship along the river. Waiting at the end for them was Dawson City,
by now a boom town with a thriving population and a reputation for law and order. Skagway this was not. There were concert halls and even hotels with
electric lighting, all built in the couple of years since September 1896. So why did Dawson City seem like a horrible
punchline to so many of these prospectors? Simple. Out in the Klondike gold fields surrounding
Dawson City, not a patch of free land remained. Every single claim had been staked. The prospectors already in Yukon when Skookum
Jim and George Carmack found gold were the ones who profited from the rush. All those thousands of people who’d come
rushing up from America in 1897 were the ones who found themselves penniless on the streets
of Dawson City. See what we mean about a cruel punchline? It’s estimated today that only 15,000 of
the 40,000 who reached Dawson City managed to find gold. Of that 15,000, less than a third found enough
to pay for their foolhardy adventure. Of that tiny fraction, an even tinier fraction
managed to strike it rich. For most prospectors, the Klondike Gold Rush
of 1897 was a brutal lesson in reality. But not everyone was heartbroken to be trapped
in Dawson City. For some, their Yukon adventure was just beginning. The City on the Edge of Nowhere
If you were to ask someone today to name the second biggest city on the Western seaboard,
there is a roughly zero percent chance they’d say Dawson City. But if you’d asked that question in 1898,
that’s exactly the answer you would have got. By summer that year, Dawson City held over
40,000 people. That might not sound like a lot, but in 1898
it was second only to San Francisco on the Pacific coast. At the very least it was about equal with
Seattle. And that meant there were plenty of opportunities
for those with a good nose for them. People like Kathleen Rockwell, AKA Klondike
Kate. Rockwell was a dancer whose troupe came to
Dawson City for a few nights. But while there, she made an excellent observation. Almost all of those who’d rushed to Klondike
were male. And there’s nothing a lonely man far from
home wants more than to spend a few minutes with a woman. If you’re assuming Klondike Kate became
a lady of the night, you should pick your head out the gutter. She was a dancer, and she got a gig dancing
– fully clothed – in Dawson City. But, and this was the key, she was extremely
adept at talking to men. So adept, that men began coming to see her
as much for the between-dance chats as her famous pink tights. Before long, Kate was able to charge a nugget
of gold just for talking to a miner in the street. In the one year she was in Dawson City, she
made $30,000. I don’t know about you, but if someone today
offered me $30,000 to spend a year dancing in Dawson City in pink tights, I’d be tempted
to take it. And this was in 1898! That money back then was enough to set Kate
up for life. Not that Kate was the only one to find fortune
away from the gold fields. Joseph Ladue was the guy who officially founded
Dawson City a couple of months after Skookum Joe and George Carmack first struck gold. His first move? Build a sawmill. While that might sound a bit odd, it made
him very wealthy. When the first waves of prospectors showed
up, looking for lumber to build their homes, Joe Ladue was the guy selling it to them. In the presumed words of Joe Ladue: “Kerrrrching!” But then that was Dawson City, a place where
you could live a life of champagne as easily as you could starve to death in the bitter
cold. Just like any boom town, really. And, just like any boom town, Dawson City
couldn’t last. In fall, 1898, two Swedes and a Norwegian
stumbled across some gold deposits at Anvil Creek, Alaska. It wasn’t, like, a ton of gold. But it was still enough that some of the prospectors
stuck in Dawson City decided “to hell with Klondike”, and went down to try their luck. They arrived too late to stake their claims
(again), and were forced to set up camp not by the riverbed, but on a nearby beach. It was here they made their amazing discovery. The beach at Nome was full of gold. It was just lying there, ready to be sifted
out the sands. And because you couldn’t stake claims on
a beach, that meant anyone with a bag of equipment could set up and start looking for their fortunes. When word reached Dawson City, it killed the
town even faster than it had been born. In a single week, 8,000 residents left for
Nome. By the time the 20th Century dawned, Dawson
City was a near ghost town, its fancy hotels all but abandoned, and only a handful of die
hards left, wondering what the heck just happened. What had happened was the Last Great Adventure
had finally ended. Today, Dawson City is home to a mere 1,410
souls, less than 0.1% of the population of Seattle. It’s still a gold mining town, and some
of the mines are still family affairs, small plots that dedicated people work, bringing
in just enough to sustain their lives out in the Canadian wilderness. Skagway, too, is just a shadow of its former
self, a colorful little town of about 900 that Soapy Smith wouldn’t even recognize. But the overall legacy of the Klondike Gold
Rush is a far less settled affair. On the plus side, the rush produced so much
gold that it’s said to have helped rebalance the American economy. On the downside, that tide of humanity sweeping
into a formerly pristine wilderness did environmental damage that hasn’t been undone even now,
over a century later. It proved disastrous, too, for First Nations
peoples, who saw their traditional hunting grounds destroyed by strangers driven mad
by gold fever In the end, perhaps the most remarkable thing
about Klondike is that it happened at all. It says something about the desperation of
daily life in the late 19th century that 100,000 people would be willing to abandon everything
they held dear; to leave their jobs, their families, their homes to travel into an inhospitable
wilderness on the faint hope of finding gold. That they did was somewhere between brave
and foolhardy, admirable and stupid. But, stupid or not, there’s no doubting
that their arrival changed this corner of Canada forever. The Klondike Gold Rush may have been the 19th
Century’s Last Great Adventure, but its effects are being felt even today.

100 Comments

  1. My great great grandfather uprooted himself from Minnesota to seek gold in the Yukon. He contracted scurvy and said his "life was saved by a potato." As far as I know, all he came back with were stories and some leggings from local Indigenous Peoples.

  2. Could you do a video going in depth on the uranium ore rush in the Midwest I feel it’s a topic that few ever cover and I feel it’s right up this channels alley

  3. Please do a video on the Channel Islands off of California. There's a rich history of fauna (including the pygmy mammoth) as well as the legend of the Rainbow Bridge (when the Chumash Native American people believed that people fell off a rainbow and became Dolphins while traversing to the island from the mainland California.

  4. I’m from South East AK and have been to Skagway many times, hiked the Chilkoot Trail twice(highly recommend) and have been Dawson City. I loved the video but just wanted to mention the Chilkoot pass is nicknamed the Golden Stair, the trail holds the worlds most miserable camp named Happy Camp and that Juneau AK also saw a gold rush nearly 20 years earlier and held 1 of the largest gold mines in the world at that time.

  5. Perhaps you may wanna look at the Pilbara or any part of Western Australia…there was a gold rush here to in Kalgoorlie…or how WA was almost a French colony…by like a week or two…. actually I should make these… nevermind gimme a few months…or do it…I probably won't… probably

  6. Nice work. Alaska and the Klondike want to kill anyone that doesn't respect it – even today it is not to be underestimated. Your portrayal of the human cost of the gold rush is very much appreciated.

  7. I've enjoyed your videos, and I've watched many. Polished but not flashy, and informative.
    As an audio professional, I have one suggestion. Take the cable of your lav mic, go up and inside the bend of the clip, then down. It will make for a cleaner look, and won't pull on your button- down so much. Nit-picking, I know, but it is a basic cable management thing in my world.
    Keep up the great work. Truly enjoy.

  8. All good, BUT (three things to ponder):
    1. Mining Gold was exchanged for cash…why was Gold valuable (on its own or versus any other element)? Depression doesn't answer this question – Gold was exchanged, not the value in itself.
    2. Where did the Gold go?
    3. In the 1970's, the American currency was separated from Gold, becoming an intangible piece of paper. Currency no longer represented an exchange of something tangible (gold). Wherever the gold was stored, what was its purpose?

  9. The definition of being on a fool's mission…There's a museum in Seattle's pioneer square
    that has US Forrest Server guides, And John Nordstrom made so much money selling
    supplies that he formed the Nordstrom Dynasty…

  10. The cold cement floor presses hard against the bruises, but I'm too tired to care.
    A few of the wounds have re-opened, but only weeping, the blood loss isn't enough to cause concern. I can hear the door open. A terrible clanging echo as the sheet metal hatch creaks open on old, rusted hinges. A light from the hallway beyond forms a halo around a shadow of a man in a suit and hat, a haze around his head appears otherworldly for a moment, but is betrayed by the glow at his mouth to be nothing but cigarette smoke.
    The shadowy figure moves, taking the cigarette in hand, and a deep, rumbling basso voice echoes into my holding cell "You kept your end of the deal. Here is ours"
    The shadow steps forward, and bends at the waist, placing a small silver packet on the ground. My reward for my help in solving their "problem". I wonder how far it will take me.
    Far enough to escape the memory of what I have done? I hope so.
    It's mine now. The equipment, and the memories, the nightmares, and the scars.
    And, too- the Klondike Bar……

  11. 🎶Eight stars of gold, in a field of blue. Alaska's flag may it be to you. The blue of the sea, the evening sky. The mountain lakes, and the flowers near by. The gold of the early SOURDOUGH'S dream. The precious gold of the hills and stream. Alaska's flag to Alaskan's dear. The simple flag of the last frontier. 🎶
    I know the video is mostly about Canada, but it's better than being yet another comment about Klondike bars. Aso I typed that by memory, so I may have missed it up a bit. 😊

  12. I lived in the small town of Haines, 13 miles by water from Skagway 360 miles by road. Skagway today is a tourist trap with a fantastic railroad and up to four huge cruise ships a day in the summer, that's 10,000 plus people. Then after the summer gold rush, which swells the population with temporary staff up to 2,500 people, it shrinks back into its ghost town reality in October. 900 permanent residents? Truthfully it's more like 700, since many leave for the season.

  13. Can you do one on the rise and fall of Hollywood and why that of all places became the town where all the movies are made

  14. Donald Trump's grandfather made his fortune selling the meat from the donkeys and horses that died in order to feed the hungry

  15. Leaving your home to make your way for better or worse was the way for much of American history. Its a new thing where people stay home or very close to.

  16. As a Canadian, I enjoyed this presentation very much. I have enjoyed the other videos and this channel & your sister channel. They are great to watch while I am eating my lunch.

  17. Great video. I've been to Dawson City 4 times. If you drive south about 40 kilometers or 24 miles you will come up to the Dempster Highway. It's a treacherous 500 mile trek thru a gravel and shale road which is a trucking route to the peel river that you cross on a ferry into Inuvik, Northwest Territory. A magical drive on scenic beauty for sure. On the way just 70 kilometers into the Dempster you will find the Toombstone Mountains. A freakish scene as you look at the the sunlit peaks at 2 am on chilly June day. Next year I go back as I do my 5th Alaska-Yukon trip.

  18. You need to read Robert A Dahl’s autobiography, After the Gold Rudh, he grew up in Skagway in the 1920’s before becoming the father of modern political theory. He was the grandfather of my ex wife, the best thing about being married to her was getting to know Bob before he died.

  19. I lived in the Yukon for 2 years. Was up in Dawson city as well. I did the chilkoot pass though all be it in the summer. Skookom Jim community centre was a nice place. Was also able to rent a boat and travel the Yukon river. Again just a short journey. It was amazing. And hard and dangerous. Could never imagined what it was like back then.

  20. When one refers to "The Klondike Gold Rush", In Canada, the area is always referred to as "The Klondke" not just plain old "klondike"; in "the klondike" not in klondike; your sentences make me cringe; as a result of single use of the word "Klondike" its an area like "the mountains"– it's called 'The Klondike'.

  21. 2 tons of gold! That would be a cube 28.4" on a side. Watch "The Canadians" and you'll learn that "Klondike Kate" actually stole that name from the real Klondike Kate. Katherine Ryan. The first female member of the Northwest Mounted Police

  22. you totally skip over the gold rushes of Fraser river, Cariboo, Ominica, and many others in BC as the miners followed the mineral belt north.. do a little more research you missed 50 years of mining history..

  23. The thing about americans is they just will not believe anything, anywhere is better or worse then their country or people. British Columbia and, the Yukon was a great leveller.

  24. Man, THAT is depressing: make your way all the way up there, through harsh winters, climbing, penniless, only for it to be a total sausage fest. D:

  25. 1734 HAHAHA! Two Dirty Swedes and a Dumb Norwegian huh?? LULZ! 😄
    👂Hearing the "Two Swedes and a Norwegian" part reminded me A'LOT of the nonsensical ramblings" left on the Kensington Rune dry mmm

  26. I loved Dawson City. The Top of the World highway between it and Boundary (and Chicken – a town of "25 nice people and 1 old grump"), Alaska, is something I'd highly recommend seeing. Some of the story that got bypassed – C.J. Berry, who became one of the lucky to make it rich, made it a habit to leave outside his cabin door a bucket of gold nuggets and a bottle of whiskey, with a little sign on it reading, "Help yourself." According to one theory, the town of Nome came from a map on which the scribbled question "? Name" marked its location – a cartographer later presumed the scribblings were meant to say "Cape Nome." Legend has it that one of the prospectors that went there from Dawson apparently did so by bike (the Yukon is usually frozen over in winter), making him the first bicyclist in Alaska. Fairbanks sprang up about five years after the Nome gold rush, and was one of the last rushes in that area of the world. The find that caused the town to spring up is still celebrated each year. Lots of stories to tell, many already told not just by Jack London, but also Robert Service, among a few others whose literature was made famous by their participation in the Rush. And of course, there is the slang term "sourdough," given to a type of bread that was popular in the gold rush – as later applied to the miners, the term came to mean "someone who is soured about staying in the North, but lacking the dough to get out."

  27. Twice mentioned, the NWMP, later called the RCMP, who kept the Klondike from becoming more of a tragedy of chaos. Although it might have been more complete to mention Sam Steele.

  28. This video is a fabulous overview of the Yukon Gold Rush. Simon’s voice is perfect for this kind of narration (obviously, that’s why he has 5?6? Channels now??!)
    Read “Alaska” by James Michener for an in depth exploration of the gold rush realities…….

  29. This is a weird situation that combines human misery with comedic misery. In the end, you're left confused thinking about what you should be feeling. So many pointless deaths, but for the most part, you just shake your head and think "What were they thinking?"

    Hmm, should stop being a downer in comments. In any case, great video again.

  30. :0 The female protagonist of the Klondike app is Kate. Now I know her namesake!

    …even if everything else is pretty wrapping paper over the horrid truth.

  31. your story of The Klondike is, to me, insulting. Yes, the journey to the Klondike was long and dangerous. But, it was an adventure, an actual real adventure, too. And you had to have guts. Dawson City was well run, the NWMP saw to that; it was possible to buy dresses from Paris; and just getting there was food for boasting for the rest of your life.

  32. This is my new favorite channel. The only improvement I can conceive is on location, but obviously that would impact your accounting.
    Speaking of on location, I'm heading to Bangkok and northern Thailand soon. I'd love to see a video on something from that part of the world before I go or as soon as I get back!
    Finally, (thankfully?), there can NEVER BE ENOUGH documentaries on treasure. Found treasure, missing treasure, rumored treasure… teach me and tease me 😉

  33. The Klondike gold rush was the last… The Witwatersrand gold rush pales in comparison… Started in Africa 1882, the last stakes were claimed in 1980. By 1904, there were 1.2 million people in Johannesburg and in 1972, just under 60% of the world's gold had come from this 120 mile stretch of gold country. Tens of thousands of people made fabulous fortunes (almost all selling goods and services to miners).
    But it didn't happen in North America so it is insignificant.

  34. While in 20 minutes, you did a good job of touching on the gold rush, the book, Klondike, by Pierre Berton tells a much better detailed account of the whole event.

  35. Australia's (Victoria) big Gold rush happened in the 1850's and turned Melbourne into the worlds richest city by the 1880/1890's

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