II-142445.0 | Above the diggings, Bonanza Creek, Klondike, YT, 1902

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Above the diggings, Bonanza Creek, Klondike, YT, 1902
L. F. Robertson
1902, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  event (534) , History (944) , Industry (942) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

This is an excellent panoramic view of Bonanza Creek. By 1902, when it was taken, companies had bought many of the original claims, and the work was being done on a larger scale. The camera is facing north, and the creek is flowing away from the camera towards the Klondike River. Note the structure running across the picture from left to right, then curving towards the background. This is a flume, bringing water to the sluice-boxes or hydraulic hoses. Almost every tree has been cut down and every inch of creekbed dug up and sluiced for gold. A few years later the creek was dammed up and large dredges floated on it to work the ground once again. The last big dredge is still there.

Source : Off to the Klondike! The Search for Gold [Web tour], by William R. Morrison, University of Northern British Columbia (see Links)

  • What

    The photo shows the damaging results of thorough placer mining to the environment.

  • Where

    Millions of dollars' worth of gold came from this creek in the Yukon. Bonanza means an exceptionally large and rich mineral deposit.

  • When

    The photograph was taken in 1902. The creek was later dredged, and does not look the same now, but similar piles of stones are still visible near the mouth of the Klondike River.

  • Who

    There is no one in the picture (unless that is a blurred figure in the centre foreground), but the results of human activity are very clear.