Seattle Starts the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush



Seattle newspaper announcing the first arrival of gold from Klondike courtesy Wikimedia Commons








Everyone was glad to get back to work after the 1893 Depression. Still, many were not satisfied with the mundane careers that stretched ahead of them..

Nimble Seattle took off when gold was discovered along the Yukon’s Klondike River. Once The ship Portland first disgorged prospectors laden with sacks of gold in San Francisco in 1897, front-page headlines screamed the news to the East Coast where many felt stifled in factory, office, or low-paying retail jobs. Here was achance to tackle the real frontier — a wilderness so vast that anyone could come back a millionaire.

Flyers sent all over the world touted Seattle as the gateway to Alaska. Most of those who bolted to the Yukon were Americans or recent immigrants who had left their homelands for just such an opportunity. Canny Seattle natives stepped up to supply the prospectors with provisions. By1898, countless mining firms opened offices in the Pioneer Building. Hotels, theaters, and outfitters sprang up to meet the needs of hordes of miners who fought for space on ships destined for the gold fields.

“He was among the first to answer the call of the North when the manhood of the world stampeded toward the arctic and the sparkle of gold,” notes my father, Hans Pederson’s obituary. He and a partner crammed themselves aboard a ship and joined the throngs of prospectors who washed up on Alaskan shores like flotsam on the tides.


MYSTERIOUS BUILDER OF SEATTLE LANDMARKS: Searching for My Father by  Paula Pederson VIE Publishing

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