MP-0000.103.31 | Loading gold on pack horses, Bonanza, YT, 1898

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Photograph, glass lantern slide
Loading gold on pack horses, Bonanza, YT, 1898
Edwin Tappan Adney
1898, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8 x 8 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  event (534) , History (944) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The miners are loading small canvas sacks of gold dust and nuggets onto horses. They are on their way to deposit the gold in the bank in Dawson City. There are plenty of men in the Yukon who would like to steal it, but it is well protected by the North-West Mounted Police, under their commander, Sam Steele. By 1898 there were 350 members of the NWMP in the Yukon, assisted by 200 members of the Canadian army. This was a great many law enforcement officers for a community of no more than 40,000 people. Also, there were only a few ways to enter or leave the Yukon, and the police guarded them carefully, inspecting all baggage to make sure that miners had paid a 10% royalty to the government on all their gold. The Yukon was thus much more peaceful and law-abiding than most North American mining communities.

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

  • What

    The small sacks on the horses are full of gold dust and nuggets.

  • Where

    This is Bonanza Creek, Yukon, not far from the location of the 1896 discovery.

  • When

    The photograph was taken in 1898, at the height of the Klondike gold rush.

  • Who

    These men are miners loading very heavy sacks of gold, carefully sewn shut, onto pack horses for the trip to the bank in Dawson City.