|Kinross' Open-Mining Pit - SO HUGE!|
Gold in Alaska was first discovered in 1872 near Sitka. The first substantial gold strike came in 1880 in Juneau when Joseph Juneau and Richard Harris led by a native Alaskan found “large pieces of quartz, of black sulfite and galena all spangled over with gold” (alaskascenes.com) at a creek now known as “Gold Creek.” It is estimated that Gold Creek yielded $67 million in profits.
The next major encounter with gold would occur 27 years later. Prospectors had tried for decades in the wilderness of the Yukon River Valley to strike gold. The tide changed on August 16, 1896 when two members of the local Tagish tribe, Keish and Kaa Goox, and George Washington Carmack found gold on Bonanza Creek, a tributary of Klondike (nps.org). This find sparked a frenzy among prospectors in the area, and within just a few months, all of the potentially valuable land along Bonanza Creek had been claimed. Astonishingly, the Alaskan prospectors were able to mine for a year before their delicious secret leaked to the surrounding world. When it did, the Klondike Gold Rush began.
The excitement of “striking it rich” reached people from everyone socioeconomic background. Few truly comprehended, however, the hostility of the Alaskan climate and topography. To be adequately prepared to enter the frozen world of the Yukon, travelers had to bring a one-year supply of food and resources. Travelers had the option of traversing two equally daunting passes: the 3,000-foot Chilkoot Pass and the White Pass (aptly nicknamed “Dead Horse Trail” for the many horses that died during the crossing). Of the 100,000 people that set out on the Klondike Trail, only 30 or 40 thousand completed it, and only a few hundred found substantial amounts of gold (nps.org). It is estimated that the Klondike Gold Rush yielded $150 million in gold.
|The monster trucks used for transporting the gold ore to the crusher require new tires each year, |
the cost of a single new tire: $90,000.00!
|Keagan posing with a gold brick valued at over $406,000.00!|