Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Yukon Gold Strike in 1896

 

Top Ten things not to do

Pixabay image

This week marks the anniversary of the discovery of gold in the Yukon territory in Canada in 1896. This was the last big gold strike in North America. We don’t want to miss out on the opportunity. As always, we need to take the list to ensure we don’t make any errors that could cause a time continuum tear. Grab the list and a canteen, and we’ll be off.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Yukon Gold Stike in 1896 by John W. Howell © 2020.

10 If you go, do not buy one of those mining kits called “Yukon Outfits” that are being sold everywhere. If you do, at best, maybe something will come in handy. At worst, you will have spent a pretty penny on useless equipment. (Oh look, Malachi. You have a can of beans in that kit. It might be nice to have a can opener.)

9 If you go, do not cross that line in the sand drawn by Tiny, the WWF champ. If you do, at best, you’ll have a gift for Tiny. At worst, Tiny will assume you are trying to jump his claim. (The big problem with Tiny, Mika is his inability to restrain himself once he gets agitated. Sure, you can try to talk him out of tossing you into the bottomless ravine, but history says you won’t be successful. Oh look, I think you made Tiny smile. Nope, just gas.)

8 If you go, do not think you are the only one going. If you do, at best, you may find an unclaimed spot. At worst, you’ll get there and have nowhere to mine for gold. (You see, Milan. Once the word got out, over 50,000 miners converged on the scene in the first two years. There was minimal unclaimed land)

7 If you go, do not ask the young miner Jack London how his mining is going. If you do, at best, he will think you are talking to someone else. At worst, he’ll try to sell you his claim. (Jack London was 21 and not very successful as a miner, Monte. He did write his first book in 1900. It was a collection of short stories about his mining experiences titled  The Son of Wolf. You should have gotten his autograph.)

6 If you go, do not ask George Carmack how his claim is doing. If you do, at best he won’t answer. At worst, he will pull out his .44 and ask you why you want to know. (You should know Merrick that George Carmack, along with his brother in law Skookum Jim and nephew Tagish Charlie was the guy who went salmon fishing in the Yukon and first discovered nuggets of gold. He eventually pulled out over a million dollars worth. Which today would be worth $30,000,000.)

5 If you go, don’t tell anyone that you think the gold may run out. If you do, at best they won’t believe you. At worst, you might cause a panic among the miners. (In fact, Mac. several miners sold their claims to mining companies who continued to mine for gold as late as 1966. Today there are still 200 small mines operating in the area.)

4 If you go, do not forget your warm clothes. If you do, at best you can borrow some. At worst, no one will loan you anything, and it is 60 degrees below zero. (I would say you need to pull that lever marked “home,” MacGillivray. If not you are going to freeze to death.)

3 If you go by boat like most and land at Skagway Alaska, do not think you can ride to the goldfields. If you do, At best someone will set you straight. At worst, you won’t realize that it is a 550-mile walk. (Also, the Canadian government won’t let you cross the border without at least 2000 pounds of supplies. So here you are Machau. You need to figure out how to lug 2000 pounds and walk 550 miles before you can even look for gold. I think it is time to head home since the store seems to be out of mules right now.)

2 If you go, do not believe Nikola Tesla that his x-ray machine will find gold without digging. If you do, at best you still won’t buy it. At worst, you will purchase the device. (As could be expected Mackinley, the machine proved worthless unless the gold was sitting on top of the ground. Obviously, if it was on top of the ground, you wouldn’t need the machine. Now go ask Nick for your money back.)

1 If you go, do not think you are going to get rich. If you do, at best you won’t lose all the money you have. At worst, you’ll be one of those who sold everything they had to go gold mining and lost it all. (It may surprise you to know, MacLaren that of the 100,000 men who headed for the Yukon, only 50,000 made it to the goldfields. Out of that number, only 4000 actually found gold. Even so, the amount of gold discovered was over a billion dollars worth in today’s value.)

102 comments

  1. Interesting, funny and 100% you, John! 🙂 Thank you for a good laugh, much inspiration and a lovely start to the new week. x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Dina. Have a super week. 😊

      Like

    2. I totally agree with you, dear Dina! Very clever and funny way to tell historical facts. Well done, John!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, the lure of gold! Some women went as well and some even prospered. One woman was pregnant and dragged her 2000 lbs of supplies over the pass. Some got rich by opening brothels. A girl has to do whatever she needs to make ends meet! I will be sure not to cross over Tiny´s claim.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There were so many amazing stories to come out of the Yukon. Thanks, Darlene

      Like

  3. My son did a reading assignment on this for school actually. It said the ones who really got rich were those who sold equipment and supplies. Pretty easy to believe that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Their was one guy who had 300 plus mules for rent. He would also ship the supplies. Made a fortune

      Like

      1. I think someone bought up all the shovels in one town and sold them for a higher price. Lots of people getting fleeced back then.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you think only 4000 found gold then, yes, a lot were fleeced.

        Like

  4. Great list, John. Lugging 2000 pounds and walking 550 miles before I can even look for gold. I think I would have stayed home and tried my luck with the scratch-off lottery tickets. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea, Jill. Thanks. 😁 The photo shows a 200+ pound gold nugget (Well chunk of gold) Today it would fetch over $5 million.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting remark from Charles Yallowitz – I’m sure he’s right and the only people to make money were the suppliers of equipment. It seems like the whole world is trying to get rich through all the centuries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. There were some miners who landed in San Fransisco with over a ton of gold That would be worth over $51 millon today

      Like

  6. Most of these are for information sake, since I’m in the abyss. Tiny has a lot of upper body strength. I thought we could be partners. Can you imagine risking everything for the chance of striking it rich? Good list, John. At least this thing is bottomless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Keep on falling Dan. I hope the Corona distributer fell with you. Oh yes and the wing guy. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A very entertaining way to learn more about the Yukon gold rush!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Liz.

      Like

  8. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    What a humorous reminder that today’s challenges might not be all that bad. Great list, John. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know right. Talk about an adventure. Thank you, Gwen

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah-ha, Tiny has gold fever!! I know better than to mess with the big brute in this state!! 🤐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He actually got excited when his dentist put in a gold crown. Think of chasng after pounds of the stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Will Tesla’s machine count as part of my supplies? By weight, I’ll need it and a six-pack. Maybe I’ll just dig for gold in Alaska which isn’t a bad place either.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is much easier to get to Alaska than the Yukon for sure. The mounties will allow the machine but have confascated your six pack. Only Moosehead lager allowed in country.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Makes sense to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. As always, funny AND informative, a great combination. So interesting to learn some of these things, chuckling all the while. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A good way to go, Marcia. I would say. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I think I would have passed on that walk and lugging the equipment. Have a great week, John!

    Like

  13. First off, I’d have vodka in my canteen and would have gone to Brooks Brothers for my gold digging outfit. I know, some girls would have worn tight pants and a push up bra, but it was not that kind of gold digging, now was it.

    As for Tiny, he could go scratch, as my Aunt Tillie would say, and I’m wondering of Tom Selleck who once was the big cheese at the NRA, has a website to ask him, the best place to get that .44.

    And the price of gold even now, has gone down a few quarts, but I won’t MULE over it.

    🙂

    I so enjoy these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your outfit. So much better than those stilettos and capri pants. Yeah Tiny can be a pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tiny may need more fiber in his diet. Don’t knock capri pants John, Lucy wore them, after all. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I like the fiber suggestion. Need to work that in next time. 😁 You are right about Lucy. She rocked them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. She’d go mining for gold I’ll bet.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Knowing her4 she would find a 112 pound chunk too.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. And she wouldn’t tell Ricky. She’s hide it, for a rainy day.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Under the bed.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Their twin beds. I always get a kick out of that. So 50s.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. The network censors wanted to make sure we all kept pure thoughts in our heads when we watched the shows. Growing up I never saw a twin bed except on TV and in my room. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      9. You had to wonder where the hell they got Little Ricky from..the stork??? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Central casting. 😁 Also Lucy did the show while she was pregnant. How on earth did America survive?

        Liked by 1 person

      11. They looked so happy, the Ricardos, when the Arnazes were so miserable. sigh

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Shows what good actors can do.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Talk about poignant. She loved him so, but couldn’t live with is many dalliances. But she loved him, even after they were divorced. Tough spot to be in, to quote Sam Spade.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. He definately broke her heart for sure. You have to wonder what insecurities foster that dalliance behavior.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. One of the reasons she created the show was, so he wouldn’t be out on the road with the band. But, alas, he still canoodled. Some men, and woman, are just like that…it’s part of their DNA.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. She made a good try for sure. Yes some people are like that. I met a few and married one. What a life. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      17. But ya learned. She certainly did, though rumor has it, even remarried to Gary Morton, she never stopped loving Desi, who when he was dying of lung cancer, would only speak to her on the phone…didn’t want her to see him looking that way. Heartbreaking, even in myth if that indeed is what the story is. One never knows, having not been there. sigh

        Liked by 1 person

      18. He must have loved her as well not wanting her to see him while ill.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. I’m sure. They went though a lot together, plus had two children and more or less made cinematic history. Lucy as the madcap funny lady, and Desi inventing the 3 camera system that’s been used since the show aired 40 some odd years ago, though some say, it was used before. I don’t know. I like to think it was Ricky. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      20. I agree that it was Ricky. He was a pioneer for sure. I remember during the McCarthy era Lucy was accused of being a communist. Ricky stood up and said “The only thing red about Lucy is her hair.” He took a chance on being blacklisted himself.

        Liked by 1 person

      21. I never heard that story. I LOVE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      22. I thought you would like it. Gives Ricky some substance.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. I’ll say. Really impressive since, he was perceived as a mere cad.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. He actually was pretty amazing. Served in the army and played for the injured soldiers oncehe was didcharged. He and Lucy invented the sindicated system for TV shows which allowed Americans to enjoy shows long after production ended

        Like

      25. I wish you’d so a Monday essay on being there when Lucy first aired. It was Oct 15th, 1951…just looked it up. Hint Hint

        Liked by 1 person

      26. Can you wait until that week in October? Since I do anniversarys it would be the right time.

        Liked by 1 person

      27. The Ricardos amd you, worth waiting for. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      28. It is a date then. October 12th

        Liked by 1 person

      29. I’m marking the calendar.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I might add, if you are going get a guard dog. Worth its weight in gold and warm on the winter nights.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gooed idea Noelle. 😊

      Like

  15. I sure didn’t know #3 — that’s a LONG trek!! Thanks for the info, John. I guess I’ll stay put on this one — probably not much social distancing on those long, cold nights, and I’ll bet there wasn’t a mask in sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, No masks except on the hold up artists.

      Like

  16. Always a fun list, John. And yeah, gold was not the only thing happening in the Yukon. Lots of side businesses happened!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that is true, Thank you , Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I love these great history lessons, John. So, how much Moosehead lager would I have to tote 550 miles to put Tiny in a better mood?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s see. 24 bottles a day puts him in a great mood. How many depends on how many days you want him in a good mood.

      Like

      1. 24 X 365 = 8760. Let’s give him one day every leap year off.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You know that’s 8,760 pounds of Moosehead since a 12 oz glass bottle weighs about one pound.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Uh-huh. Tiny would find a way. I mean it’s alcohol after all. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  18. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Great post, John:) I still see miners panning for gold at the river, and they still get some nuggets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazing isn’t it. The klondyke is still yielding gold as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. ♥♥♥

    Billy Ray Chitwood

    https://www.billyraychitwood.com http://about.me/brchitwood

    On Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 2:03 AM Fiction Favorites wrote:

    > John W. Howell posted: ” This week marks the anniversary of the discovery > of gold in the Yukon territory in Canada in 1896. This was the last big > gold strike in North America. We don’t want to miss out on the opportunity. > As always, we need to take the list to ensur” >

    Like

    1. Thanks, Billy Ray

      Like

  20. The Dream George had before two months before The Find:

    He could not see to the far side of the river. It appeared as wide as an ocean . . . a gray mist hung just above the water’s surface. Nevertheless, he gave it little consideration. Yes, it was strange; however, he had somewhere he had to be and could not delay.

    There was only one problem. He could not remember where he was going or whom he was to meet once he arrived. He slowed his walk to ponder those things. Again, his attention was drawn to the river when the water started to boil fiercely and great plumes of steam arose into the air. As he observed this strange phenomenon, two salmon leaped from the water.

    The salmon did not immediately fall back into the river as any self-respecting fish would do. Instead, they hung in mid-air, their tails swishing back and forth. There was something about them—something different besides the fact that they were hovering over the water; that, he took in stride. Don’t all fish, at one time or another, float about out of the water?

    At first he couldn’t fathom what was bothering him concerning the fish. Then he saw it! Their scales were made of gold and their eyes were of gold nuggets. “This is peculiar,” he said aloud.
    George Washington Carmack awoke with a start.

    That was one bizarre dream, he thought as he climbed out of his bed. George believed in visions. He believed dreams foretold the future. He would have to decipher the message behind the dream. Maybe his brother-in-law could discern its meaning. Indians knew more about that sort of thing than white men.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What was so amazing he finally landed on the idea that the dream meant to go salmon fishing which he and his brother-in-law did. Great story.

      Like

      1. The morning after his strange dream, he washed up in the river, ate the large breakfast Kate had prepared for him, and then made his way to Skookum Jim’s house. It was high time they checked their trap line. George collected Jim and together they set off to the northwest. As they walked, George broached the subject of his dream.
        “I had the craziest dream last night. I’m sure it means something, I just don’t know what.”
        “We go many miles. As we walk, tell me.”
        George relayed the dream. He told of the two salmon covered in gold, having gold nuggets for eyes, and floating in mid-air. When he had finished his recitation, he asked, “So, what do you think, Jim?”
        “I know naught. I will ponder on it for a spell.”
        They sat cross-legged on the ground and stared at the slow-moving water of the creek. After the bottle had been twice passed between them, Jim spoke. “Long I thought on yer dream. But first tell what ye think it foretells.”
        George took a minute to respond, like he was marshaling his thoughts. At length, he said, “It can mean only one thing. I’m to become a full-time salmon fisherman. The rivers are full of the fish this time of year and, as you know, we can sell all that we catch to white men.”
        “Ay, those be my thoughts. Ye be mighty catcher of fish.”
        “And seeing as how we’re partners, it looks like you’re going into the fishing business with me, Jim.”
        “We start on the morrow. We need Charlie. He is young, he can empty the traps for us. After all, we are chiefs; he will do the hard work.”
        George laughed and said, “One more swig and then let’s go.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amazing stuff, Andrew. I know you wrote it and where do I find it?

        Liked by 1 person

  21. It wasn’t easy was it. Great history in here, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deborah.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Gold fever! Your history was terrific, John. #1 made those numbers very real. Still, the odds were better than a lottery ticket, albeit a killing effort for the hopeful miners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right about the odds, Jennie. I just think the cost of a ticket in this situation was just too high.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Kinda’ like going to the Casino. 🙂 Another great list, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    It’s another great list from John Howell via his Fiction Favorites blog. This one is the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT THE YUKON GOLD STRIKE IN 1896

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Don. 😊

      Like

  25. I knew none of this John. Facts and humor go well together. What people do for money…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robert.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Gold strike sounds funny, dear John! For our century oil strike would be more appropriate. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. But history is as history does.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I would settle for Jack London’s autograph, forget the gold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We gots to stick together.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Like pasta on the wall.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly like it

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Great post, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mark

      Liked by 1 person

Put your favorite fiction or non-fiction in writing. I would love to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: