--1872—the first outsiders arrive to search for gold—three men: McQuesten, Harper, and Mayo.

--between 1872 and 1890 more people trickle in to the Yukon (which was part of the North-West Territories until it was created a separate Territory in 1898). By 1885 there were about 200 newcomers.

--1886—mining activity is concentrated on the new settlement at Fortymile, at the confluence of the Fortymile and Yukon Rivers, close to the international boundary. Much of the mining activity actually takes place on the American side of the line. By 1894 about a thousand people are working in the region.

--August 1896—the great discovery takes place on Rabbit (Bonanza) Creek. The majority of people at Fortymile leave for the Klondike. Dawson City is founded by Joe Ladue.

--late spring/summer 1897—the world learns of the strike when the first steamers arrive at the Pacific Northwest ports. People are electrified, and thousands plan to head for the gold fields.

--winter of 1897-98—thousands of men and women head for the Yukon by various means. The most popular route, because it was the cheapest, involved steamship travel to Skagway or Dyea, twin towns at the head of the Lynn Canal (north of Juneau), over the White or the Chilkoot Pass to Lakes Lindeman and Bennett (the headwaters of the Yukon River), where boats were built.

--May 1898—with the breakup of ice on the Yukon River, the boats built during the winter headed downriver towards Dawson City.

--late 1898—the population of the Yukon peaks, perhaps close to 40,000 (no census was taken until 1901)

--Summer 1899—gold is discovered at Nome, Alaska, and people begin to leave the Yukon in large numbers.

--1900 and after—mining continues in the Yukon, but it becomes increasingly capital instead of labour-intensive. Mining shifts from hand labour to hydraulic mining and then to large dredges, owned by corporations that have the rights to entire creeks (called “concessions”).

--by 1921 the population of the Yukon is 4,100, of whom 1,500 are First Nations, a decline of more than 90%. It remained almost the same until the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942, when thousands of American troops and American and Canadian civilian workers arrived in the Territory. Although it dropped after 1945, it never again sank to pre-war levels, mostly because of the increased activity of government in the post-war period. However, at about 32,000, it is still less than it was at the height of the gold rush.

Source: na, na, na, morrison, Timeline, n.d

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