In the summer of 1897 two ocean going steamers landed on the west coast of the United States. One ship, The Excelsior, landed in San Francisco and three days later The Portland landed in Seattle. Down the gangplank of these two ships went a rag-tag group of men and women carrying sacks of gold. Some walked down the docks with $5,000 worth of gold while others had over $100,000 worth.
The miners told of the rich claims they had staked one year earlier on a series of small creeks flowing into the Klondike River. This new goldfield, in the northwest corner of Canada, was said to be the richest gold find in all of history with enough work for tens of thousands of people. There were stories of gold nuggets lying on the ground waiting to be picked up. One rich miner was to say, “With hardly any effort at all I’m coming out with $25,000.” What could be easier? All you had to do was get there.The ensuing Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1898 was the greatest gold rush in all of history and was said to be ‘the last great adventure.’
The Dawson City Museum presents a glimpse of the journey to the harsh north country of Alaska and Yukon. Do you have what it takes to make it to the Klondike? Become a virtual stampeder! Take the challenge and strike it rich or lose it all. Good luck, cheechako!