Relics of the 1890’s Gold Rush

We saw many relics from the Gold Rush of the 1890’s on our 2013 journey through Canada and Alaska.

Dredge # 4
Dredge # 4 in Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Gold Mining Equipment in Chicken, Alaska
Gold Mining Equipment in Chicken, Alaska
Gold Dredge 8 in Fairbanks, Alaska
Gold Dredge 8 in Fairbanks, Alaska
Gold Mining Relics in Fairbanks, Alaska
Gold Mining Relics in Fairbanks, Alaska

We’re not wandering at the moment. These are just a few photos representing relics of the 1890’s Gold Rush in Canada and Alaska.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Day 40: Gold Fever in Dawson City, Yukon

Day 40: June 24, 2012 in Dawson City, Yukon

Blondie and I started the day with a walk along the Yukon River.

In Dawson City it’s all about the gold. To learn more about the gold rush history and see where gold was first discovered here we drove along Bonanza Creek Road to take a walk on the Discovery Claim trail. Descriptive signs and old gold mining equipment line the trail beside Bonanza Creek where gold was discovered in 1896.

What better way to celebrate my birthday than to pan for a little gold? I learned how to pan for gold from a very patient teacher at Claim 33.

A drive to the top of Dome Road for a view of the city and the Yukon River was our next adventure of the day. The road is steep and narrow with many sharp turns. Bicyclists were also making the trek up the hill. When we got to the top to look around, they went down the mountain on one of the narrow trails.

At the Robert Service Cabin. He wrote several books of poems including "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
At the Robert Service Cabin. He wrote several books of poems including “The Cremation of Sam McGee”

Next, a stop at the Robert Service Cabin was in order. Robert Service is a famous poet who lived for a time in the Yukon. My brother Joe gave us a book with a collection of his poems for Christmas and we have been reading it as we have been traveling. “The Cremation of Sam McGee” is one of our favorites. Click on the link to read the poem.

Jack London, author of “The Call of the Wild” also lived in Dawson City.

After visiting with our neighbors from BC in the campground for a little while, we had a birthday dinner at Sourdough Joe’s. Ice cream for dessert was perfect after a hard day of being a tourist so we walked next door to an ice cream shop. Henry had on a Tybee Island Pirate Fest t-shirt and as we were standing in line to order a young man behind us commented that he had been to Tybee Island. Of course we started talking to him and asked him where he was from. When he replied “Nova Scotia” we asked what brought him to Dawson City on the other side of the continent from his home. He told us he was working at a small gold mine in Dawson City. The idea that someone from Nova Scotia who was working in Dawson City had actually been to Tybee Island just blew me away.

Day 33: Another fun day in Skagway

Day 33: Monday, June 18, 2013

While we slept, four cruise ships arrived in the harbor. Skagway was bustling with activity early in the morning as the trains, sightseeing buses, and stores prepared for the onslaught of cruise ship passengers.

The streets were still fairly quiet as I took my early morning stroll through town. I passed by two trains filled with passengers waiting to depart. Later in the day the streets were filled with people strolling along, taking pictures, and hitting the shops.

After another delicious breakfast at the Sweet Tooth we joined the throngs of shoppers browsing the shops. You can find anything from the typical made in China souvenirs to beautiful handcrafted, made in Alaska items. After drooling over all the beautifully crafted items I finally decided on a pair of jade whale tail earrings.

At 10:30 we went to the Days of ’98 Show at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles. The musical play tells the tale of Soapy Smith, Alaska’s most notorious outlaw. The show was entertaining and so much fun. The piano player, dance hall girls, ragtime music, and Soapy himself were all great. I highly recommend attending the show if you ever go to Skagway.

Here is a video of the girls performing the can-can. If you are reading an email update and can’t watch the video, click Wandering Dawgs to go to the web page and scroll to the video to watch.

When we came out of the show the streets were filled with people. A drive along the Taiya Inlet to the former town of Dyea sounded perfect. Thousands of prospectors hoping to strike it rich during the Klondike Gold rush followed the Chilkoot trail which began in Dyea. The narrow, winding gravel road to the site of the once booming town of Dyea was beautiful. The trail to the town site takes you through woods and neither of us was prepared for the hike so we didn’t actually see where the town once was. At the end of the road were the Dyea Flats with wild iris and other wildflowers adding splashes of purple to the green.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Klondike Gold Rush, visit The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Site to find out more.

Henry spent the rest of the afternoon washing the truck while I did some cleaning inside. Watching the cruise ship passengers pass by on their way back to their ship was a great way to relax after a hard day of being a tourist.

Dinner at the Red Onion Saloon was really fun. As I was enjoying my pizza and Henry his Reuben, we were pleasantly surprised to see a band setting up to play. With two fiddles, a bass, a mandolin, a guitar, and English Concertina we knew the Windy Valley Boys would be fun to listen to. Their first song was a foot tapping, buck dancing kind of song that reminded me of the jam session at the Floyd Country Store in Virginia. We ordered another beer and stayed for the entire first set. What a great ending to our day!

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