MP-0000.103.7 | Sheep Camp, Alaska, 1897

 
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Photograph, glass lantern slide
Sheep Camp, Alaska, 1897
Edwin Tappan Adney
1897, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8 x 8 cm
MP-0000.103.7
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  event (534) , History (944) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Gold was discovered on Bonanza Creek in August 1896 by two Tagish men, Skookum Jim and Dawson Charlie, and by their partner, George Carmack. (See their stories in the Mining Hall of Fame). It took nearly a year for word of the great strike to reach the "outside," as northerners called the rest of the world. When the news reached the south, tens of thousands of people travelled north to the Alaskan town of Skagway, heading for the passes over the Coast Mountains. Sheep Camp is where the miners prepared for the climb over the Chilkoot Pass. This photo must have been taken in the fall, for in the winter there was heavy snow on the ground. On April 3, 1898, an avalanche killed 60 people here.

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

  • What

    Sheep Camp was not really a community, just a collection of tents near the foot of the Chilkoot Pass, where miners rested before attempting the terrible climb.

  • Where

    The tents were located on the Chilkoot Trail, between Skagway, Alaska, and the international boundary at the top of the Chilkoot Pass.

  • When

    The photograph was taken in 1897, probably in the fall, for the news of the rush got out in early summer, yet there is no snow on the ground.

  • Who

    The tents were used for a few days by some of the thousands of men and women who were to pass that way, amidst a jumble of supplies and debris.