"... I Know there has been hard weather on the Chilkoot, but think
stories are exaggerated by Skagway people. I'll stick to my plan. I'm going
to Dyea, and then over the Chilkoot. The more that are frightened off, the
-- Fred Dewey
"...In the night sometime, a snow slide began. I was awakened
by the roar, but I could see nothing. Several more occurred, only not as
close. ...We rushed out and watched a genuine avalanche. It was a grand and
beautiful sight. It looked like a great waterfall as the snow came pouring
over the rocks. Men came pouring out into the streets of the camp, shouting
and shooting their rifles into the air. Moments later a man came running into
Joppe and Mueller's restaurant by the Scales, yelling, "For God's sake, come
quick! Help dig out Mrs. Maxon and several others! They've been buried alive
in their tent." ...As far as one could see up the gulch, winding in and out,
were men going to the rescue. About five hundred feet beyond, several tents
were buried. As I arrived, one tent had been uncovered and three taken out
dead. No one knows how many are buried, probably between forty and one
-- Fred Dewey
"...I wish I could show you the view from one of these great domes. I
never tire of looking over the bleak Rockies a hundred miles away, and on all
the country between."
-- Fred Dewey
"...You have to get in line and wait your turn to get a chance to go up over
the Summit. Though the men are forced to stop for over a half an hour in their
place, they are as silent as a grave yard."
-- Clarence McNeil
"...The blinding snow rendered it dangerous in the extreme to attempt the
descent from the mountain toward Lake Lindeman, the head waters of the Yukon
River. To make matters worse, the clouds set down on the mountain top and we
dared not leave the camp for more than a few hundred feet, for fear we might
lose our footing and be lunged over a precipice or into some yawning chasm in
the mountain. A misstep meant death.
We took shovels and dug a hole in the ice and snow and spread a tent over
it, placing sacks of provisions on the tent to weight it down so the fierce
wind could not carry it away. Our supper consisted of a cup of tea and a few
crumbs of bread. We then wrapped our blankets about us and lay down to listen
to the howling of an Alaskan storm, which seemed to shake the very mountain
with its violence.
Two weeks were consumed in reaching Lake Lindeman, eleven miles further on.
Another week had passed before a boat was completed with which we could make
our way down the river. While in camp at Lake Lindeman one of the party
injured his knee, and three times a hunting knife had to be brought into
requisition and incisions made. Only after the most careful nursing was he
able to proceed on the journey. Men are often taken with snow-blindness in
that country and lie helpless for days in their tents, unable to cook enough
to sustain life. If deserted by their companions in this condition their fate
Many lives have been lost at these various points of danger, and along this
section of the river many graves dot the shore where unfortunates have been
laid in their last resting place. Niches cut in the frozen ground mark the
lonely graves of fathers and sons whose return is waited for in vain by loved
ones in the realm of civilization. It is a sad thing indeed to lay your
friends away in that desolate region, where only wild beasts congregate to
mourn a requiem over their graves. I simply mention these facts in order
that any one who thinks of going into that country may know beforehand that
the search for gold there is preceded by hardships and privations which they
little dream of unless they have penetrated the American land of the midnight
-- J.O. Hestwood
"Gold is as common here in Dawson as iron is in Juneau. Everybody has money.
There seems to be no limit to this district, and they are striking new
diggings every few days of a hundred miles around, and stampedes are the rage.
Men with packs on their backs, breaking for some new creek or new discovery,
are met at every turn. Some are leaving good pay bound for something that
promises better, and in this way the country is being explored and prospected.
I have built a shop 12 by 20 feet, consisting of a tent drawn over a frame of
scantling, and am doing well, working sixteen hours a day, and with all the
work I can do. For making a half-ounce ring out of Klondike gold they pay me
$25. This is the greatest gold camp on record."
"After leaving Dyea we had a trip full of hair-breadth escapes, and
arrived at Dawson on June 9th. We should have started either a month earlier
or later, as we struck the worst time.
I start work tomorrow at $1.50 an hour, and will soon have a job which has
been promised me at an ounce of gold daily. On the boat which leaves tomorrow
for St. Michael's are 50 people who nine months ago were broke, and are now
taking out from $10,000 to $100,000 each.
One Montana man took $96,000 out of 45-square feet, and another took
$130,000 out of 85-square feet, and other strikes equally rich are reported.
Old-timers expect to make big strikes this winter. There are more ways of
making money here than in any place I ever saw."