Nineteenth-century History

Documentary about the Yukon Passage

I have spent about the last hour watching a very interesting documentary produced in the 1970s about the Yukon Passage during the Klondike Gold Rush. The primary focus of the documentary is not the gold rush itself, but rather the way in which prospectors would have gotten to the Klondike region in the late nineteenth century. It follows a group of men who took the same route using the same means that would have been available to contemporaries. The documentary on YouTube consists of six videos which are roughly broken up into ten-minute segments. You can either watch it below or on YouTube. Either way, the videos should play in order.

While I’m at it, I thought I would share a little bit of information about the Klondike Gold Rush. Gold was first discovered in the Klondike region of north-western Canada on August 16, 1896 by American prospector George Carmack, his wife Kate Carmack, her brother Skookum Jim and their nephew Dawson Charlie. As with previous gold rushes, when news reached the United States, a race ensued to the area with prospectors going to extreme lengths to get there with the hope of getting rich quickly. As you can expect from the northern regions of Canada, the climate was not very friendly with massive snow storms, freezing temperatures and a dense, almost impenetrable wilderness presenting severe obstacles to newcomers.

The rush lasted until 1899 when news reached the region that gold had been discovered in Alaska and many prospectors packed up and moved on. Many prospectors had had a lot of success in the very gold-rich area. The Klondike Gold Rush has moved into history as one of the most famous of the nineteenth-century gold rushes through works by Jack London and several movies, among others.

How would you rate this post?
  1. November 25, 2012 1:22 am 

    I had heard about the show years ago and could only find a teaser about it on Youtube, then one day it was there, the whole show. Sure gives you an idea of what it was like traveling that distance in the rough natural conditions.

    The show sparked the idea for Liarsville, outside of Skagway, Alaska where people can visit an 1898 stampeders tent-city much like the original Liarsville created during the Klondike gold rush in the same area:

  2. November 25, 2012 8:44 pm 

    It really does give you a good idea! It was fascinating to watch though because until you see it, you really don’t have a very good understanding just how though traveling would have been through that region at that time. Of course it’s something you frequently read about, but it’s just entirely different to see it.

    I didn’t know about Liarsville. That sounds like it would be a very interesting place to visit to get a good idea of what living in the old frontier towns would have been like. Thanks for the link and the pictures!

  3. November 25, 2012 9:47 pm 

    Alex, you are most welcome.

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Explore History Rhymes
Random Featured Articles
The Modocs – Introduction

The Modocs – Introduction

“Well, I tell you what I will do. I give you twenty-five head of ponies if you take my place today, as you say Heaven is such a nice place. Because I do not like to go right now.” These were the words of the Modoc chief Keintpoos – or “Captain Jack” as he was...
Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain: Architectural Features of the Home

Houses in Fin-de-Siècle Britain: Architectural Features of the Home

As in all time periods, certain trends defined houses in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. These were not only visual, but also in terms of how the houses were laid out as well as certain features which were new to the period. Early in the Fin-de-Siècle, the features of a house were not much di...
The Johnson County War

The Johnson County War

The Johnson County War has gone down in history as one of many Wild West legends about range wars. Some accounts claim various famous gun slingers like Jesse James were involved, however, this was certainly not the case. The real range war occurred in April 1892 and was the result of tensions, brewi...
Nineteenth Century German History: Revolution in Nineteenth Century Germany (1848-1849)

Nineteenth Century German History: Revolution in Nineteenth Century Germany (1848-1849)

By the end of the fifth decade of the nineteenth century, the prevailing atmosphere in Germany was that of extreme change. The people were tired of oppression, censorship and of the ruling class thinking of themselves as immune to these issues. Hans Joachim Hahn sums it up nicely when he writes that...