Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Yukon Gold For Western Wednesday...!

How about a story about the great Yukon gold strike, still considered to be one of the very first really big gold strikes in the U.S.

This one is different in the sense that the man who founded it actually made a lot of money from the find.

George Carmack discovers Klondike gold

Sometime prospector George Carmack stumbles across gold while salmon fishing along the Klondike River in the Yukon.

George Carmack’s discovery of gold in that region sparked the last great western gold rush, but it was pure chance that he found it. In contrast to the discoverers of many of the other major American gold fields, Carmack was not a particularly serious prospector. He had traveled to Alaska in 1881 drawn by the reports of major gold strikes in the Juneau area, but failing to make a significant strike, he headed north into the isolated Yukon Territory. There he spent his days wandering the wilderness with the friendly Tagish Indians and fishing for salmon.

On this day in 1896, Carmack and two Tagish friends were salmon fishing on Rabbit Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River. As he habitually did, Carmack occasionally stopped to swirl a bit of the river sand in his prospector’s pan. He had seen a little gold, but nothing of particular note. At day’s end, the men made camp along the creek, and Carmack said he spotted a thumb-sized nugget of gold jutting out from the creek bank.

The two Tagish Indians later said that Carmack had been napping that evening and one of them found the nugget while washing a dishpan. Regardless, further investigation revealed gold deposits “lying thick between the flaky slabs of rock like cheese in a sandwich.”

Subsequent expeditions in the spring and summer of the following year turned up other sizeable gold deposits. In part, because the summer of 1897 was a slow one for news, the major mass-circulation newspapers played up the story of the gold strikes, sparking a nationwide sensation. In the years to come, as many as 50,000 eager gold seekers arrived in the Klondike-Yukon region. Few found any wealth, though their hardships and adventures inspired the highly romanticized Yukon tales of Jack London and the poems of Robert Service.

Carmack did get rich, reportedly taking a million dollars worth of gold out of his Klondike claims and retiring to Vancouver, B.C. He died in 1922 at the age of 61, a wealthy and honored benefactor of the city.

Nice to know there are a couple of happy stories of folks that managed to make a little money out of one of these gold rushes. So often all we hear are the stories of bad times and hardships.

Coffee inside again. How about some fresh peach cobbler?

8 comments:

Beth Bailey said...

That darn ol' media! It is a happy story. Fresh peach cobbler sounds scrumptious. Love you, Bubba.

Beth Bailey said...

I was reading the comments from Sunday 'toons. All the kids in the neighborhood ran when Daddy whistled not just us. Remember Daddy hanging the razor strop over the door? Boy, did our room get cleaned! I did learn the hard way about telling Daddy if he was going to spank Skippy (Hermit) then spank me too. I was a very quick learner on that issue.

HermitJim said...

Hey B...
Everyone knew Dad's whistle, that's for sure! Yeah, Dad didn't use the stop much, but the appearance was often enough to get the job done!
Thanks for stopping by today!

JO said...

What a great story. nice to hear he made it out of the Yukon with plenty of money.

I can't believe what a beautiful morning this is 68 degrees and only 13% humidity doors and windows open. I know by 8am it will be hot but right now this is wonderful, but I'm still stopping by for coffee and that peach cobbler :)

Momlady said...

Nice story. I'll be heading up that way soon. At least it will be cooler there. Looking forward to our family (my sister and brother) trip.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
Yeah, it's nice to find a story where the person has good luck instead of all bad. Good for him!
Thanks for coming over today, sweetie!


Hey Momlady...
Sounds like a nice trip. At least it should be cooler and that's a good thing.
Thanks for dropping by today!

Rob said...

The Yukon is in Canada & this all happened 50 years after the California gold rush (which was a huge one & far easier to get to).

FWIW the "illegal" gold mining going on today in South America is said to be worth more than the drug trade down there.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rob...
I should have said Yukon instead of the U.S. Pardon my blunder!
Thanks for the visit today!