Klondyke! The word and place
that has startled the civilized world is to-day a
series of thriving mining camps on the Yukon River
and its tributaries in the Canadian Northwest Territories.
Prior to August 24, 1896, this section
of the country had never been heard of. It was
on this day that a man named Henderson discovered the
On the first day of the following
month the writer commenced erecting the first house
in this region and called the place Dawson City, now
the central point of the mining camps.
Dawson City is now the most important
point in the new mining regions. Its population
in June, 1897; exceeded 4,000; by June next it cannot
be less than 25,000. It has a saw-mill, stores,
churches, of the Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist
and Roman Catholic denominations. It is the headquarters
of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, and perfect
law and order is maintained.
It is at Dawson City that the prospector
files his claims with the Government Gold Commissioner,
in the recording offices.
Dawson City faces on one of the banks
of the Yukon River, and now occupies about a mile
of the bank. It is at the junction of the Klondyke
River with the Yukon River. It is here where the
most valuable mining claims are being operated on
a scale of profit that the world has hitherto never
known. The entire country surrounding is teeming
with mineral wealth.
Copper, silver and coal can be found
in large quantities, but little or no attention is
now being paid to these valuable minerals, as every
one is engaged in gold-hunting and working the extraordinary
placer mining claims already located.
The entire section is given up to
placer mining. Very few claims had been filed
for quartz mining. The fields of gold will not
be exhausted in the near future. No man can tell
what the end will be. From January to April,
1897, about $4,000,000 were taken out of the few placer
claims then being worked. This was done in a
territory not exceeding forty square miles. All
these claims are located on Klondyke River and the
little tributaries emptying into it, and the districts
are known as Big Bonanza, Gold Bottom and Honker.
I have asked old and experienced miners
at Dawson City who mined through California in Bonanza
days, and some who mined in Australia, what they thought
of the Klondyke region, and their reply has invariably
been, “The world never saw so vast and rich a
find of gold as we are working now.”
Dawson City is destined to be the
greatest mining camp in the history of mining operations.