Gold Prospecting and Mining
Located inside the Gold Rush Pawn Company showroom. Here you will find Parts and Accessories for Harley Davidson Motorcycles, plus leathers and Biker T's with our exclusive logo on the back. Gold Rush has a great inventory of hard to find unusual items at prices that will pleasantly surprise you, located just east of Kalispell at the intersection of Hwy 2 East and MT 35. www.nolfrosnpawp.wm HOCKADAY MUSEUM OF ART Travel back to nascent Glacier National Park and the birth of its artistic legacy Vintage Carnegie Library houses maste orks celebrating the region's spectacular beauty, history and culture. Rotating exhibits highlight Montana artists, Blackfeet Indians, Glacier Park. Classes, gift shop, Miniatures Auction,Arts in the Park (July), Holiday Art Walk (December). 306 Second Ave. E., Kalispell, MT 59901 406770525568
Families for aboveground activities only if you want to join the underground tour, too, the prices are A 20 (US 13) adults, A 15 (US 9.75) for seniors and students, A 10 (US 6.50) for children, and A 50 (US 33) for a family. Underground tours and gold panning are run four times a day, more often in WA school holidays. Allow half a day to see everything. The complex is still a work-in-progress with new attractions, including a Chinese garden and more galleries to open during 2003.
A rocky, mountainous trail climbs steeply to the site of this successful gold mine, passing along the way the solid, efficient wooden tramway that carried ore out of the mountain. The trail obeys an old miner's adage that the best way up a mountainside is the straightest, even if it's the most strenuous. You'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the park and substantial artifacts from the mining operation. The many mine tunnels and shafts are fascinating, though potentially deadly cave-ins, rattlesnakes, poisonous gases, and abandoned explosives lead the list of reasons to keep out of the mine openings. if this hike seems too challenging, try the Keane Wonder spring trail (below).
You can tour North America's largest gold mine, watch the world's biggest mountain carving under construction, reminisce at the Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in Lake Norden, or slurp a soda at a 115-year-old marble fountain in a grocery store where Hickok's killer sought refuge.
BIG ROCK NATURE TRAIL This is a small but attractive trail just west of the park lake. For about three-fourths of a mile it loops through the rugged terrain and wildlife habitats on the slopes of the mountain. Be sure to take along your camera, for the trail leads past an overlook affording a magnificent view of Gold Mine Creek, which cascades down the mountain more than 400 feet.
The Summit Historical Society ( 970-453-7798 for recorded information 970-453-9022 for tour reservations) can direct you to some of the most intriguing of Breckenridge's 170 historical sites. You can visit some spots alone to see others, you have to sign up for guided tours ( 6 adults, 2 children 2 to 12). To get started, stop at the Free Museum at 111 Main St., in Breckenridge. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the museum houses rotating displays on area history. While you're there, you can get information about the other Summit Historical Society sites, including a placer mining gulch, where water was used to blast hillsides to extract gold an underground gold mine and the former home of Edwin Carter, whose collection of taxidermy ended up at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. For more about that museum, see Chapter 11.
Most of Nome's original buildings were wiped out by fires or by the storms off Norton Sound that tore across the beach and washed away major portions of the business district. A sea wall, completed in 1951, now protects the town. Among the few historic sites that survive are the gold rush-era Board of Trade Saloon, a church, and a bust of Roald Amundsen, who landed near Nome, in Teller, after crossing the North Pole from Norway in a dirigible in 1926. Below the library, at Front Street and Lanes Way, the small Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum (& 907 443-6630) contains an exhibit on the town's gold rush. The Several companies offer organized tours. Nome Discovery Tours (& 907 443-2814 discover gci.net) has the asset of talented professional actor Richard Beneville as the van driver and tour guide. He'll pick you up and drive you anywhere in the area, sharing his quirky enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of the surroundings and culture. The highlight is the wildlife and scenery on the...
Ballarat, Victoria's largest inland city (pop. 90,000), is all about gold. In 1851, two prospectors found gold nuggets scattered on the ground at a place known as, ironically, Poverty Point. Within a year, 20,000 people had drifted into the area, and Australia's El Dorado gold rush had begun. Today, you can still see the gold rush's effects in the impressive buildings, built from the miners' fortunes, lining Ballarat's streets. If you're interested in another former mining town, head 1 Vi hours north to Bendigo, a small city filled with elaborate public buildings constructed with the gains from the gold rush.
1824 www.arrowtown.com 49 Buckingham St S 8.30am-5pm) shares premises with the Lake District Museum & Gallery (www.museumqueenstown.com adult child 6 1 S 8.30am-5pm), which has exhibits on the gold-rush era. Younger travellers will enjoy the Museum Fun Pack ( 5), which includes activity sheets, museum treasure hunts, stickers and a few flecks of gold. Arrowtown has NZ's best example of a gold-era Chinese settlement (admission by gold coin donation S 24hr). Interpretive signs explain the lives of Chinese 'diggers' during and after the gold rush, while restored huts and shops
Steeped in gold mining history, the Karangahake Gorge is half way between Paeroa and Waihi on State Highway 2. Site of the original gold rush in 1875, Karangahake and its residential suburb' of Mackaytown have returned to more peaceful activities fishing, outdoor pursuits, gardens, cafes and a winery tempt today's visitor. Follow the old railway formation and walk the popular Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway alongside the sparkling Ohinemuri River. Seek out the gold trails in the spectacular Waitawheta Gorge, all easily accessed from the Karangahake Reserve. Seek out the gold trails and the Windows walk in the spectacular Waitawhata Gorge.
In this case, you'll have to settle for fairly recent history, given that not a whole lot was happening around here until the Gold Rush. The next major event was the 1906 earthquake. To find out about San Francisco's rise during the quest for gold, take the free Gold Rush City walking tour offered by City Guides on Sundays at 2 p.m. and Wednesdays at noon. Meet by the flower stand at Clay and Montgomery streets. The walk encompasses Jackson Square (Jackson and Montgomery streets), a National Historic Register Landmark admired for its many restored Gold Rush-era brick warehouses. Call 415-557-4266 for details. The Wells Fargo History Museum is located at 420 Montgomery St., at California Street ( 415-396-2619 www.wellsfargohistory.com museums). Wells Fargo opened one of its first offices on this site in 1852, ready to handle business generated by the Gold Rush. Among the displays are mining equipment, an antique stagecoach, and gold nuggets. Be sure to try out the telegraph machine on...
It was the beginning of the gold rush era. A Federal Branch Mint was established in Dahlonega and from 1838 to 1861 the plant turned out more than 6 million in gold coins. Today, the old Lumpkin County Courthouse is a museum dedicated to the good old days of the nation's first major gold rush. A wide range of exhibits, including a gold nugget that weighs more than five ounces, a 30-minute film entitled Gold Fever, and a series of special events, gives the visitor a unique look into the lives and times of the pioneering families that lived, toiled and fought for their very existence in northern Georgia's gold fields.
Dawson City was the destination of the 1898 gold rush the bed of the Klondike River near here contained thick slabs of gold. The town maintains the look of those days, when it was the second largest city on the west coast, after San Francisco. Many buildings, a gold dredge, and a riverboat were restored as part of the Klondike National Historic Sites, managed by Parks Canada. Besides the buildings and their setting, there are museums, a working non-profit casino, a vaudeville show, and other attractions easily enough for two days of sightseeing. The Klondike Visitor Association (P.O. Box 389, Dawson City, YT, Canada Y0B 1G0 & 867 993-5575 fax 867 993-6415 www.dawsoncity.ca), offers information on local businesses, accommodations, and community events. For more information contact Parks Canada at P.O. Box 390, Dawson City, YT, Canada Y0B 1G0 (& 867 993-7200 www.parkscanada.gc.ca, click on National Historic Sites, then Yukon ). After passing into the United States on the Top of the...
The bleak and barren landscapes along the northern shore of the Seward Peninsula are now protected in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Evidence of the early human migration can be seen in the area, as well as more than 170 species of birds and relics from the gold rush at the start of the 20th century. Scattered across the reserve are six shelter cabins. The most popular, in a haunting setting at Serpentine Hot Springs, sleeps up to 20 people.
In the era of sailing ships, Victoria's beautiful and rugged southwest coastline was one of the most treacherous on Earth. Between the 1830s and 1930s, more than 200 ships were torn asunder along the so-called Shipwreck Coast between Cape Otway and Port Fairy. From the early 1850s to late 1880s, Victoria's gold rush and subsequent economic boom brought countless ships of prospectors and hopefuls from Europe, North America and China. After spending months at sea many vessels (and lives) were lost on the final 'home straight'. The lighthouses along this coast - at Aireys Inlet (p229), Cape Otway (p237) and Port Fairy (p244) - are still operating. The Cape Otway Lighthouse was also involved in the first telegraph cable laid between Tasmania and the Australian mainland in 1859. The spectacular coast around Port Campbell (p238) is where the Loch Arc1 famously sank, and the town is littered with material salvaged from this and many other shipwrecks. At Wreck Beach (p238) you can see the...
Within a block of one another, these three buildings are striking examples of gold-rush-era Skagway architecture. kayaks, as well as a collection of gold-rush supplies and tools, and Native American items including baskets and beadwork. There's also a big, stuffed, and standing brown bear.
In the 1850s, in addition to the semaphore, the hill was home to many of the city's criminals, but the Vigilance Committee eventually ran them out of town. Later, when the gold rush was in full swing, Chilean and Peruvian groups claimed the hill as home, followed later by the Irish who, when they moved to the Mission District, were supplanted by the Italians.
The town dates from the gold rush, and has many charming log and clapboard buildings. With 15 sites of historic note, the entire downtown area has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can spend several hours looking at two small museums and meeting people in the 2-block main street, then go out on the Talkeetna or Susitna rivers for rafting, a jet-boat ride, or fishing, or take a flightseeing trip to the national park.
The last big gold rush in the contiguous United States was set off by the discovery of gold in French Creek by a civilian prospector tagging along with Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer in 1874. (A major general during the Civil War, Custer was reappointed a lieutenant colonel after the war.) The flamboyant Custer, dressed in buckskins, rode at the head of a 1,000-man company of soldiers, scientists, newspaper correspondents, and miners, ostensibly surveying for a railroad but actually checking out the possibility of gold in the Black Hills.The area had been designated part of the Great Sioux Reservation only 6 years earlier by the Treaty of Laramie, presumably before rumors of gold in the area had reached Washington.
Tery equipment left behind from what was officially central Australia's first town - a gold rush setdement that was once home to nearly 300 people. Spending an afternoon wandering among the ruins of this extensive reserve, it's not hard to gain a picture of the hardships and desperation of these early settiers.
At the height of the gold rush in the late 1800s, the towns of the Coromandel Peninsula were heavily populated and thriving. Thames, now seen as the gateway to the peninsula, had a population of nearly 20,000 and between 80 to 90 pubs. Today, there are around 7,000 permanent residents and just four pubs, and it's still the biggest town on the peninsula. There's a sense of that more colorful history all along the west coast, but as in Northland, most of the action is on the picturesque east coast.
FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE TOURS Nomad Safaris ( 03-442 6699 www.nomadsafaris .co.nz adult child 140 70) Runs four-hour tours, with tasty home baking and the chance to pan for gold. More adventurous off-road adventures in the surrounding foothills (adult child 140 70) are on offer, and for 245 you can even get behind the wheel. Smaller 4WD options include quad-bike tours (adult 195). Off Road Adventures ( 03-442 7858 www.offroad .co.nz adult child 139 70) Does similar tours, with a Lord of the Rings tour taking in filming locations. Skippers Canyon Heritage Tours ( 03-442 5949 www.queenstown-heritage.co.nz adult child 150 70) Skippers Canyon is reached by a narrow, winding road built by gold panners in the 1800s. This scenic but hair-raising 4WD route runs from Arthurs Point towards Coronet Peak and then above the Shotover River, passing gold-rush sights. Join a four-hour tour brimming with gold-mining stories and including a picnic. Specialist wine tours are also available.
Friends of the Library sponsor City Guides walking tours ( 415-5574266 www.sfcityguides.org). You may choose from 26 different tours, all for free All you have to do is pick the tour that interests you and show up at the proper corner on time. You can get an insider's view of Chinatown, admire San Francisco's collection of beautifully restored Victorian homes on the Landmark Victorians of Alamo Square tour, or explore the haunts of the original 49ers on the Gold Rush City walk. Tours run about two hours on average. Highly recommended
The 1970s that local entrepreneurs suddenly realized that anyone visiting Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park had to go through Pigeon Forge to get there. The major portion of the 10 million visitors who came to the mountains each year were regarded as a self-renewing resource that couldn't be ignored it was a gold rush of major proportions.
This area has produced some of the richest gold finds in Canada, including a 72-ounce nugget pulled out of McDame Creek in 1877, near the gold rush town of Centreville (Mile 381). Most of the gold is long gone, but there are still extensive jade mines - check out Jade City at Mile 370 -and, until 1992, there was a huge asbestos mine in the city of Cassiar, 10 miles off the highway. You can't get back there anymore, but it was amazing to drive into the town and see the oddly glowing green hill that dominated the buildings around it. The hill was made up of tailings from the mine, grown over by mosses but in the proper light, you could swear it was alive. It was a creepy place.
The junction of the Seward and Hope highways is at Mile 56.7. The Hope is a short road, only 17 miles, that takes you past the ghost town of Sunrise to the town of Hope. Site of another gold rush - one man pulled out 385 ounces in two months - the town was established in 1896. The road up offers a good chance to see moose, and if you're looking for a town out of the way to spend the night, there's a campground and a motel in Hope - though both can fill up with weekenders from Anchorage. Try Discovery Cabins, at s 907-782-3725. Back on dry land, Mile 39.4 on the Seward has the trailhead for the Devil's Pass Trail. This is a 10-mile hike that links up with the Resurrection Pass Trail, taking you through the territory of the Resurrection gold rush. It's great for wildlife viewing.
Alaskan Brewing Company Beer lovers and aspiring capitalists will enjoy the tour of Alaska's most popular craft brewery. Now too big to be called micro, the brewery started small in 1986 when Geoff and Marcy Larson had the idea of bringing a local gold rush-era brew back to life. It worked, and now Alaskan Amber and several other brews are everywhere in Alaska and in much of the Northwest, and the brewery has won a long list of national and international awards for its brews. The short, free tour, which starts every J4 hour, includes a tasting of half a dozen beers.
Ballarat contains many reminders of the gold-rush era, but it all really comes to life in the colonial-era re-creation on Sovereign Hill. After gold was discovered, the government devised a system of gold licenses, charging miners a monthly fee, even if they came up empty-handed. The miners had to buy a new license every month, and corrupt gold field police (many of whom were former convicts) instituted a vicious campaign to extract the money.
Exploring the State's interior is easy. There are a number of driving tracks and trails that take you through gold rush towns, ghost towns, farming regions, wildflower areas and national parks. Or this being Western Australia, you can follow in no one's footsteps and blaze your own trail.
Prince Rupert's location makes it an ideal jumping-off point for visits to Southeast Alaska, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver Island, and the interior of British Columbia. The town is served year-round by both the B.C. Ferries system and the Alaska Marine Highway System. Both ferry systems offer up to five departures a week during the summer to a number of Alaskan Inland Passage ports. By road Prince Rupert is accessible via the Yellowhead Highway to Vancouver in the south, and to Dawson Creek, B.C. (not to be confused with Dawson City, the Yukon Territory gold-rush capital) and Alberta in the east.
The original Big Four began making their money as shopkeepers who sold supplies to the miners during the gold rush. Leland Stanford had been a grocer in Sacramento, Charlie Crocker was a dry-goods clerk, and Collis P. Huntington and Mark Hopkins sold hardware. At heart, they were simple men who wanted to lead simple lives. Then, with the building of the railroad in 1869, they struck it rich really rich.
The village of Mogo, 10 km south of Batemans Bay, is a relic from the past - a one-time gold-mining village that has been given the kiss of life by the superb collection of galleries, craft shops and caf s that have sprung up there. Old Mogo Town is a re-creation of the original 19th-century gold-rush village, complete with mining equipment, historic shops and houses and a walk-through mine.
Quamby, 43km north of Cloncurry, was once a Cobb & Co coach stop and a centre for gold mining, but now there's just the friendly Quamby Hotel ( 07-4742 5952 s d 15 30), with lots of rusting outback paraphernalia, a wooden veranda from where you can toast the occasional passing traffic, and basic rooms at the back. Quamby hosts a rodeo in late July.
The Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive runs 12 miles one-way. The road is paved but steep (about an 8 grade) and winding. It ascends over 3,000 feet from the visitor center, at 6,825 feet elevation, to the base of Wheeler Peak, at almost 10,000 feet. Along the way, there are pullouts where you can stop to take in views of the Great Basin and Wheeler Peak. At the first pullout, a short walk brings you to the remnants of an 18-mile aqueduct built in 1890 to carry water from Lehman Creek to a gold mining operation. The road ends at Wheeler Peak Campground, where several hiking trails begin. The road is not recommended for motor homes over 24 feet or vehicles pulling trailers, and it is usually closed by snow (except for the first 3 miles) from fall through spring.
Cave Creek, founded as a gold-mining camp in the 1870s, is the last of the valley towns that still has some semblance of Wild West character, but this is rapidly fading as area real-estate prices skyrocket and Scottsdale's population Goldfield Ghost Town Kids Over on the east side of the valley, just 4 miles northeast of Apache Junction, you'll find a reconstructed 1890s gold-mining town. Although it's a bit of a tourist trap gift shops, an ice-cream parlor, and the like it's also home to the Superstition Mountain Museum (& 480 983-4888), which has interesting exhibits on the history of the area. Of particular note is the exhibit on the Lost Dutchman gold mine, perhaps the most famous mine in the country despite the fact that its location is unknown. Gold-field Ghost Town and Mine Tours provides guided tours of the gold mine beneath the town. The Superstition Scenic Narrow Gauge Railroad circles the town, and the Goldfield Livery (& 480 982-0133) offers horseback riding and carriage...
Not far from the springs is the Pupu Hydro Walkway, a two-hour circuit through beech forest, past engineering and gold-mining relics to the restored (and operational) Pupu Hydro Powerhouse, built in 1929. To get here, take the 4km gravel road (signed 'Pupu Walkway') off Pupu Springs Rd.
I work on issues arising from small-scale gold mining. Rainforest destruction, sedimentation, and methyl mercury infiltration into rivers result from mining practices. Across Indonesia, mercury is used to amalgamate gold, then burned off, often in miners' homes. Foetal exposure causes nerve and brain damage and irreversibly affects children's cognitive development.
To start this drive, head east on U.S. 60 to the town of Apache Junction, and then go north on Ariz. 88. About 4 miles out of town, you'll come to Goldfield Ghost Town, a reconstructed gold-mining town (see Especially for Kids under Seeing the Sights, earlier in this chapter). Leave yourself plenty of time if you plan to stop here.
To start this drive, head east on U.S. 60 to the town of Apache Junction, and then go north on Ariz. 88. About 4 miles out of town, you'll come to Goldfield Ghost Town, a reconstructed gold-mining town (see Wild West Theme Towns under Seeing the Sights, earlier in this chapter). Leave yourself plenty of time if you plan to stop here. Not far from Goldfield is Lost Dutchman State Park (& 480 982-4485), where you can hike into the rugged Superstition Mountains and see what the region's gold seekers were up against. Springtime wildflower displays here can be absolutely gorgeous. Park admission is 6 per vehicle a campground charges 12 to 15 per site.
As you head east away from San Marco into this area, things quickly quieten down into about the closest one comes to Venetian suburbia - fascinating to wander around in but a little short on retail stimulation. The trick here is to do a little gold prospecting, for there are some original nuggets. One of the city's top shoemakers is here, along with a fascinating old bookshop full of rare volumes on the city, an artistic iron-monger and more.
The name refers to gold mines, not landmines, and the jewelry shopping is great. Or, see all that does not glitter - the natural wealth of Reserva de Biosfera Bosaw s and the cultural riches of the Miskito and May-angna communities. Tourists are rarer than jaguars around here, so you'll need basic Spanish and lots of persistence to access many of the Triangle's treasures.
It is located at Kapuas River, 40 km from Banjarmasin. A well-known tourist attraction is Telo Island, a pleasant fishing village and port. For the adventurer, white-water rafter and nature lovers, there is Gohong Rawai, known for its beatiful and challenging rapids. The gold mines of
Two gardens inside the park entrance are worth visiting. Cunucu Arikok and Shon Shoco have short trails with signs and labels describing the many native plants. More than 70 of the types of plant here are used in traditional medicine. The land is mostly pretty scruffy and there are remnants of old gold mines built long ago by Europeans and slaves.
In the early 20th century, expansion of the nearby Witwatersrand gold mines and oppressive Portuguese labour laws led to a mass labour migration from southern Mozambique to South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). A rail line was built between Beira and Mutare (Rhodesia), and the Portuguese moved their capital south from Ilha de Mozambique to Louremjo Marques, as Maputo was then known.
Curred as early as the Middle Neolithic period (ca. 5000 b.c.e.). In 360 b.c.e., Greek colonists from the island of Thasos, led by the exiled Athenian politician Kalllstratos, founded the colony of Krenides on the site of what later became Philippi. The colony at Krenides (which means spring, because of the abundant streams in the area) provided the Thasians with access to the rich resources of the area, particularly its silver and gold mines. Threatened by the Thracian tribes in the area, the colonists at Krenides asked Philip II of Macedonia for military assistance in 356 b.c.e. Eager to gain control of the area, and particularly its rich resources, Philip conquered the city and renamed it Philippi in his honor. Philip fortified the city with new walls, increased the city's population with Macedonian mercenaries, and extracted large amounts of gold and silver from the mines in the area. Although little is known of the city during the Hellenistic period, this was apparently a...
Roman forces reached the borders of Wales five years after they had started the conquest of Britain. Wales was part of their empire for 300 years. And what did the Romans ever do for us Well, they certainly created employment at the Dolaucothi Gold Mines in Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire. Sadly it was slave labour. Thanks to the National Trust you can still see the evidence. You can even pan for
The mountain itself got its name by accident, when a gold miner in a claim litigation was riding past with his recently arrived eastern lawyer, who was named Rushmore. The lawyer asked the name of that mountain, and the miner, as a joke, said, It's Mt. Rushmore. And so it became. GOLD PANNING COURTESY
Olof Wessberg, the impetus behind the Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve and an early backer of the national park system, went to the Osa Peninsula in 1975 to investigate the potential for an immense new park, Corcovado. He was murdered under mysterious circumstances while on a walk with his host's son. Local business interests, gold miners, loggers and squatters didn't want to see more land taken offthe market. Osa was a poor territory and many locals believed the government cared more for its wildlife than its people. Shortsighted as that was, it took some time before the local campesinos saw any financial benefit to protecting the rainforest. Wessberg's senseless murder galvanized proponents to create the Corcovado National Park and it was declared as one shortly after. Without regard, gold miners used destructive water-wash methods to pan for gold, and illegal logging plagued the park enough to force it to close so police could evict the trespassers in 1994 and 1995. As you fly over the...
World, from Dawson City to Eagle, is 146 miles of unpaved, white-knuckling terror you'll talk about for years, especially if you go early in the season when half the roadway is still covered with ice and snow. There are no guard rails and few markers to let you know whether you're still on the roadway or have ventured off onto a side road that peters out in the tundra. Eagle, where author John McPhee set much of his classic Coming Into the Country, is an optional destination at the end of the rough, narrow road. There's been a trading post here for gold miners since the 1880s, and today Eagle is populated by some 150 pioneers, curmudgeons, and refugees from urban life. 2. The Taylor Highway. Between Eagle to Tetlin Junction is 161 miles of rough road, with the biggest metropolis en route being the town of Chicken, population 37. There's a saloon, a cafe, a gas station, and two gift shops where you can buy T-shirts with slogans like, i got laid in chicken, alaska. The old mining town...
Until this century, Tlingits used channels between islands and river passageways through barrier mountains as their highways. In the 1700s Tlingit paddlers, steering huge cargo canoes carved from cedar logs, were sighted as far south as the Channel Islands off the coast of Los Angeles, reportedly to take slaves. In the 18th and 19th centuries, before epidemics decimated their communities, the Tlingit people were trade partners with the Russians, British, Americans, and interior tribes of Canada, controlling the waterways of Southeast Alaska and demanding tolls for their use. In the 1800s the Tlingits allowed gold miners to travel over the rugged Chilkoot Pass between Skagway and the Klondike gold fields, but only after they paid a substantial fee. and American traders of the early 1800s the gold miners of the late 1800s and the timber, fishing, canning, and mining industries of the 20th century. Southeast Alaska clans led (and won) the fight for Native civil rights years before Martin...
You'll also find several decent art galleries around town. The Helen Voehl Gallery, 172 N. Washington St. (& 928 684-5088), across the railroad tracks from the chamber of commerce, has colorful and whimsical art and crafts ranging from baskets made of old lariats to hand-painted clothing. The Gold Nugget Art Gallery, 274 E. Wickenburg Way (& 928 684-5849 www.gold nuggetartgallery.com), is in the oldest building in town (built in 1863) and features the works of more than 30 regional artists. The Wickenburg Gallery, 10 W. Apache St. (& 928 684-9029 www.wickenburggallery.com), is filled with classic Western works, including those by members of the Cowboy Artists of America.
Food is provided, but you can't get off the bus along the way, and the route skips the beautiful grizzly and caribou habitat toward the Eielson Visitor Center. The Kantishna Roadhouse (listed in section 11 of this chapter) offers a 190-mile, 13-hour marathon with lunch and a dog sled and gold-panning program at the halfway mark, at the lodge. It's well done, with commentary, but you can't get off the bus along the way, and the return trip may be too rushed to stop for all wildlife sightings. The cost is 115.
Little Anthony's Diner (p. 338) As you might guess from the name, this place has a 1950s theme that's fun for both kids and adults. The staff is good with children, and there's a video-game room inside and an old-fashioned melodrama theater next door. Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse (p. 343) Dinner here is a Wild West event, and there's an entire Western town outside complete with carousel, train rides, and gold panning. Kids love it.
Today, Kilwa Kisiwani (Kilwa on the Island) is a quiet fishing village baking in the sun just off-shore from Kilwa Masoko, but in its heyday it was the seat of sultans and centre of a vast trading network linking the old Shona kingdoms and the gold fields of Zimbabwe with Persia, India and China. Ibn Battuta, the famed traveller and chronicler of the ancient world, visited Kilwa in the early 14th century and described the town as being exceptionally beautiful and well constructed. At its height, Kilwa's influence extended north past the Zanzibar Archipelago and south as far as Sofala on the central Mozambican coast.
Although the promised canal was not forthcoming, the river remained the fastest route between New York and San Francisco. And as the Gold Rush geared up, Greytown became a pleasantly seedy little boomtown, with whorehouses, gambling halls and hotels hewn of mahogany and precious cedar. Between 1851 and 1868, more than 155,000 travelers passed through. esting side trips, as well as transportation from San Jos , Costa Rica, or Managua International Airport. Almost 80 of this Tico-owned hotel's clients come through Costa Rica, via the R o Colorado, spending thousands of dollars that don't end up in Nicaraguan pockets. This is not to criticize the lodge - which employs plenty of Nica-raguans and is a great addition to the river's attractions - but merely to explain (at least in part) why Nicas are so overprotective of the potential tourism gold mine that is the R o San Juan, which they as yet lack sufficient resources to develop properly.
Alaska's best long trails lead through the mountain passes of Chugach National Forest, including historic gold rush trails and portions of the original Iditarod trail (the race doesn't use these southern portions). The Forest Service maintains public cabins on many of these trails, and in other remote spots reachable only with a boat or small plane. If the nights you need are available, you can use the cabins instead of a tent on a backpacking trip. Or make a cabin your destination and spend a few days there hiking or fishing. RESURRECTION PASS TRAIL This gold rush trail begins 4 miles above the town of Hope (mentioned above in the preceding section on the Seward Hwy.) and runs over the top of the Kenai Peninsula to Cooper Landing (covered in section 7 of this chapter). It's a beautiful, remote, yet well-used trail for hiking, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, or snowshoeing it rises through forest, crosses the alpine pass, and then descends to a highway trailhead where you'll
About 27km (17 miles) south of Guerrero Negro, a 42km (26-mile) gravel road leads eastward to El Arco, a 19th-century gold-mining town that now serves as a supply center for surrounding ranchos. The area's real highlight, however, is the nearby ghost town of Pozo Alem n, a few miles east on a sometimes rugged dirt road. Its ruins include caves, several residences, the smelter, a blacksmith's shop, a still-functioning windmill and water system, and a company store with items still on the counter. A caretaker oversees the ruins and shows visitors around a small tip is appropriate.
Sleepy Cunderdin (population 1255), 156km from Perth, is a fine spot to stretch your legs. The visitors centre is handily situated in the museum (Ig 9635 1291 100 Forrest St entry by donation S 10am-4pm), a restored steam water pumping station on the old goldfields pipeline, with exhibits on farming, gold mining and the 1968 Meckering earthquake, plus an original bush school and a Tiger Moth biplane. Southern Cross (population 1200), 370km east of Perth, is the last Wheatbelt town and the first goldfields town, making a fine living from both products. Named after the stars that prospectors Tom Riseley and Mick Toomey used to guide them to discover gold here in 1888, Southern Cross was the state's first gold-rush town. Its spacious streets also inherited their names from stars and constellations. The visitors centre (g 90491001 www.southern-cross .info Shire of Yilgarn, Antares St S 8.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri) can organise bush tours and make transport bookings.
Starting from Dawson, the last remnant of the Yukon gold rush, the Dempster winds its way through pristine wilderness flanked by craggy peaks and rolling tundra before arriving at the Arctic hub of Inuvik, gateway to the remote communities of the Western Arctic. One of the most incredible road trips on earth, the Dempster Hwy is one of only two roads in North America that cross the Arctic Circle (the other, the Dalton Hwy, is outlined in Itinerary 3). This 747km (467-mile) stretch of gravel winds from the centre of the Klondike gold rush, Dawson, through pristine wilderness, over two mountain ranges and across an expanse of tundra to Inuvik, near the shores of the Beaufort Sea. It's a road deep in history, with stunning scenery and myriad chances to see wildlife. You may catch sight of moose, caribou, bears, Dall sheep, muskoxen and wolves as well as gyrfalcons, peregrine falcons, golden eagles, ptarmigan, Arctic terns, long-tailed jaegers and lesser golden plovers, all without...
Geita has gained prominence in recent times as the centre of Tanzania's now booming gold mining industry - gold was first found in the area in the early 20th century. The town itself is nothing much, but has decent infrastructure and an array of inexpensive hotels. For something a bit nicer, try Hotel Erin (r Tsh23,000) on the edge of town, with clean rooms with hot water and a garden.
The following trails are all groomed and accessible from the National Park entrance north of Ingonish on the east side of the park. The Black Brook Trails are about 15 minutes ride north of Ingonish and offer three options. The first is the Black Brook Trail, which has easy and moderately difficult sections. It's a three-mile trek through a boreal forest with views of the Black Brook River. Warren Lake Trail travels just under two miles on its way to and from Warren Lake, the largest lake in the park. The Mary Ann Falls Trail is the longest (about 15 miles return). Over its course the trail rises 1,500 feet. The payoff is the view over the coastline and of the high inland plateau. On the return leg the trail passes Warren Lake. There is a warming hut at Mary Ann Falls. Anyone using the Mary Ann Falls Trail should be equipped to deal with sudden and dramatic weather changes. In this same area is the Gold Mine Trail, so named for the gold mines that were worked in this valley from the...
Located at the base of two ski fields, the quaint Cardrona Hotel Restaurant & Bar, Highway 89, 24km (15 miles) south of Wanaka (& 03 443-8153 www. cardronahotel.co.nz), was established as an inn back in 1863 at the height of the gold rush era. These days, it's a popular spot for a summer afternoon drink in the garden, and in winter, it takes on the ski crowd that plays the hardest and stays the longest. It's chock-full of character blazing fires, large wooden dining tables, and big simple meals with friends make for a memorable winter night of fun. Main courses are NZ 15 to 30 (US 8.25- 17). Reservations are recommended it's open daily from 10am until late. If you're keen to stay over, there are five bedrooms with shared bathrooms for NZ 170 to 185 (US 94- 102).
In Thames, you'll find historic mining areas well signposted. For gold-mining tours in the Thames area, try Goldmine Experience, Main Rd., SH25, Thames ( and fax 07 868-8514 www.goldmine-experience.co.nz), which offers a guided tour through an operational, 19th-century Stamper Battery and into one of the richest goldmines of the time. They're open daily from 10am to 4pm in summer. From 1885 over 30 schools of mining provided practical training for gold miners the largest of those, the Thames School of Mines Museum , Brown and Cochrane streets ( 07 868-6227), is open daily from 11am to 3pm in summer (reduced winter hours). In complete contrast, you can escape into the tropics at the Butterfly and Orchid Garden, Victoria St., Thames ( 07 8688080 www.butterfly.co.nz). They're 3km (5 miles) north of the town. Or maybe you'd enjoy a tour of The Thames Natural Soap Company , at Pollen and Grey streets, Thames ( 0800 326-777 www.ecopeople.co.nz). Tours run Monday through Friday at 11am, 1pm,...
The biggest event in Alaska history happened 107 years ago the 1898 Klondike gold rush. If you're coming to Alaska, you'll be hearing a lot about it. Here's some context for the barrage of anecdotes you can expect. Prospectors sought gold in small numbers even before Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867. However, the Russians' main interest in Alaska was sea otter pelts. They made few forays beyond the coast, leaving the great mass of the North and Interior unexplored. When the United States took over, Alaska had virtually no white population and what it had was concentrated in the Southeast in Sitka, the Russian capital in a few other Russian settlements and at the trading post of Wrangell, which miners used as a jumping off point for gold fields up the Stikine River in British Columbia. The Klondike gold rush marks the start of contemporary Alaska. Before the gold rush, Alaska largely remained as it had been for thousands of years, ruled and inhabited by indigenous...
The most popular hike is the challenging six- to eight-hour return journey up to the Pinnacles (759m) in the Kauaeranga Valley behind Thames. Other outstanding tramps include the Coromandel Coastal Walkway from Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay (see p204) and the Puketui Valley walk to abandoned gold mines (see p210).
The first group to try to climb Mount McKinley came in 1903, led by Judge James Wickersham, who also helped explore Washington's Olympic Peninsula before it became a national park. His group made it less than halfway up, but on the trip they found gold in the Kantishna Hills, setting off a small gold rush that led to the first permanent human settlement in the park area. Wickersham later became the Alaska Territory's nonvoting delegate to Congress and introduced the bill that created the national park, but the government was never able to get back land in the Kantishna area from the gold miners. Today, that land is the site of four luxurious wilderness lodges, right in the middle of the park.
Gold was discovered, in Cherry Creek near Denver and in Cripple Creek west of Pikes Peak, in 1858, and the Gold Rush of 1859 started the following spring, with many hopeful prospectors crossing the plains of Kansas Territory with the banner Pikes Peak or Bust painted on their covered wagons (many were to return, however, with the slogan, Busted, by God ). The Gold Rush, of course, was short-lived, and little happened in the state until silver was discovered higher in the mountains in the early 1870s. The ensuing Silver Boom lasted 20 years and built most of the wrecked mining equipment you can see across the state to this day. It also cemented Colorado's economy into the boom-and-bust cycle of commodities that continues to this day. The Silver Boom was followed by booms in other minerals such as molybdenum, uranium (in the 1940s) and oil (in the '70s and early '80s.) But it was silver that built the towns of Leadville (once by far the largest city in the state), Aspen, Breckenridge,...
The road continues through the village of Los Encuentros and, about 3Vi hours from Gualaquiza, reaches Yantzaza, the only sizable village before Zamora, 1 Vi hours further south. In Yantzaza there are restaurants and some basic hotels (likely to be full of gold miners) near the main plaza. Just before Zamora you'll hit Nambija. A 1980s gold rush created a wild-west atmosphere of prostitution and crime against the backdrop of frenzied mining action. A landslide in the late 1980s killed many, and the town has calmed down in recent years. Rather than stay in a basic hotel here, it's preferable to move on.
The refuge takes in the Tanana region, which was first explored and settled in the late 1800s. By the 1870s, trade contact had been made with the Athabascan Indians in the region, and a few gold miners were sifting the streams. The first official survey was done in 1885, and it included the area from the Copper River to Tanana. This survey was followed by The gold rush came late here. In 1913, the Chisana stampede began, flooding the valleys with hopeful placer miners. It went bust as quickly as it had boomed.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (& 907 376-5155 www.iditarod. com). This famed sled dog race starts with fanfare from Anchorage (it will be part of the winter festival in 2004). After the Anchorage ceremonial start, the teams are loaded into trucks for the Iditarod Restart, in Wasilla, which is the real beginning of the race. Here the historic gold rush trail becomes continuous for the dogs' 1,000-mile run to Nome. The event enlivens Wasilla at the end of a long winter. The finish in Nome is the biggest event of the year in the Arctic, drawing world media attention and turning Nome into a huge party for a few days (they even play golf out on the sea ice). The race solicits volunteers to help, which is a much better way to experience it than just
If the story of the founding of Fairbanks had happened anywhere else, it wouldn't be told so proudly, for the city's father was a swindler, and its undignified birth contained an element of chance not usually admitted in polite society. As the popular story goes (and the historians' version is fairly close), it seems that in 1901, E. T. Barnette decided to get rich by starting a gold-mining boomtown like the others that had sprouted from Dawson City to Nome as the stampeders of 1898 sloshed back and forth across the territory from one gold find to the next. He booked passage on a riverboat going up the Tanana with his supplies to build the town, having made an understanding with the captain that, should the vessel get stuck, he would lighten the load by getting off with the materials on the nearest bank. Unfortunately, the captain got lost. Thinking he was heading up a slough on the Tanana, he got sidetracked into the relatively small Chena River. That was where the boat got stuck and...
Bigfoot Campgrounds and RV Park 1 Camp-Ground Sernces, Watson Lake 11 Claybanks RV Park 2 Dawson Peaks Resort & RV Park 12 Downtown RV Park 11 Gold Rush Campground 15 Guggieville RV Park & Gold Panning 15 Husky 5th Wheel RV Park 8 Kamloops Waterslide & RV Park 3 Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Whitehorse marks a dividing point in the road. From here you'll head north to Dawson City if you want to drive the Klondike Highway, then rejoin the Alaska Highway at Tok, Alaska. If you want to think about it, head for MacKenzie's RV Park, at Mile 922 of the Alaska Highway. Besides the usual 82 full-hookup sites with 20- and 30-amp electricity, you get cable TV, laundromat, an RV wash, and free gold-panning. C 24 (US 18). ( 867 633-2337 www.campsource.ca parks).
A Side Trip to Hope If you take a break, you'll find Hope at the end of the 17-mile Hope Highway. It's a charming gold rush-era village with several hiking trails and a couple of campgrounds (see section 3 on Chugach National Forest). A few white frame buildings remain from the days when Hope was a gold-mining boomtown after a strike in 1894. Many of the newer buildings in the town center are quaint, too. Before the 1964 earthquake, the rest of the town used to stand where the creek gives way to a tidal meadow. Today, Hope's year-round population is about 137. For information, contact the Hope-Sunrise Community Library ( 907 782-3121), which is open daily in summer from 11am to 4pm.
In nearly every city, town, village, and hamlet along the high- CjH way, you'll find a tourist information booth. These vary from tiny, H H empty offices to huge buildings stocked with free literature. The staff of these centers are uniformly friendly and usually offer a gold mine of information. They also can steer you in the right direction in case of
After Paddy Hannan struck gold in 1893, the wheatbelt town of Kalgoorlie found itself sitting on the Golden Mile, at the time the richest square mile of gold-bearing earth in the world. Today Kalgoorlie (pop. 33,000) is still an Outback boomtown, a mixture of yesteryear charm and 21st-century gold fever. The town is literally perched on the edge of the Super Pit, the world's biggest open-cut gold mine, currently 4.5km (3 miles) long, 1.5km (1 mile) wide, and 290m (951 ft.) deep. It yields around 20,000kg (680,000 oz.) of the yellow stuff every year a mere 53kg (1,863 oz.) a day. An estimated 850,000kg (30 million oz.) is still in the ground. Hardly surprisingly, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, which operates the pit, is Australia's biggest gold producer. Walking down the streets fronted with wrought-iron lace verandas is like stumbling onto a Western movie set. Countless bars still do the roaring trade they notched up in the 1890s, only now they serve gold mining executives from...
In January 2000, a tailings dam burst at a gold mine in Baia Mare, a town in Romania. About 100,000 cu metres of cyanide-contaminated water spilt into the Tlsa and Danube Rivers, killing thousands offish and birds. Described as the worst environmental disaster in Europe since Chernobyl, the spill poisoned river systems in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Serbia. While the most affected parts are slowly starting to recover, experts believe that wildlife habitats will not return to normal before about 2010.
Summer on the Chena (chee-nah) and Tanana (tana-naw) rivers. The trip features visits to a re-created Indian village and a sled-dog training school, a viewing (with narration) of an Athabascan Indian fish camp, and a flyby performed by a genuine Alaskan bush pilot. The cruise costs 50 for adults, 30 for kids ages 3 to 12, and is free for kids under 3. Sailings are mid-May to mid-September. The Binkleys, the family that owns the stern-wheeler, also own El Dorado Gold Mine, off the Elliott Highway, 9 miles north of town (& 866 479-6673 or 907 479-6673). Here visitors can pan for gold and, while riding on the open-sided Tanana Valley Railroad, study the workings of the mine just as it was a century ago. It's hokey, of course, but it's good fun, especially for youngsters. Tours, which run daily (call for times), are 30 for adults, 20 for ages 3 to 12, and free for kids under 3. Your cruisetour may include a tour of the gold mine or a visit to Gold Dredge No. 8, a huge monster of a machine...
Housed inside the former Administration Building of the Great Cobar Copper Mine, the Great Cobar Heritage Centre is an information centre and museum that provides an essential introduction to the town and its surroundings. With historic artefacts and displays chronicled in lavish detail, the centre explores the history of Cobar, from the time of the Ngiyampaa Aboriginal people to the first European pastoralists and miners and on to the mining industry of the present day. A magnificent timber staircase leads to the upper storey and various models and displays from the mining and pastoral industries, including a model woolshed and a stamper battery, a large metal machine used for crushing ore and extracting gold. Cobar is experiencing another gold and copper boom. The drive up Fort Bourke Hill offers a panoramic view over Cobar and its surrounding mines. Rising 60 m above the town, the hilltop is the site of the New Cobar Gold Mine, Cobar's first gold mine. Here a viewing platform...
Alaska-Gastineau Mill and Gold Mine Tour tf A '-day tour visits the ruins of a hard rock gold operation that functioned from 1915 to 1921, then goes 360 feet into one of the tunnels for a mining demonstration. Although Princess Tours provides the buses and sells the tickets, the tour is the work of people who came to Juneau to reopen the A.J. mine (of which this was a part), and stayed to turn it into a tourist attraction when that project failed their fascination and enthusiasm for the mine is infectious. The mine site is south of town, but buses pick visitors up at the state museum downtown. The tour is quite in-depth those without interest in mining history or mechanical matters may get bored. Dress warmly.
This is one of the state's best-preserved andmost charming historic towns. In its gold-mining heyday, Walhalla's population was 5000 now there are just 18 people. There's still plenty to see in Walhalla, and the windy drive up to the town is beautiful. Stringers Creek runs through the centre of the township - an idyllic valley encircled by a cluster of historic buildings set into the hillsides. Many of Walhalla's attractions are open year-round, but there's more happening on weekends, during high season and (oddly enough) on Wednesdays. Guided tours of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine ( 5165 6259 off Walhalla-Beardmore Rd tours adult child family 15 12 36 S tours 1,30pm Mon-Fri, noon, 2pm & 3pm Sat & Sun, public & school holidays) give you a look at Cohens Reef, once one of Australia's top reef-gold producers. Almost 14 tonnes of gold came out of this mine.
Though the pollution bellowing out of Romania's factories has been halved, air pollution still exceeds acceptable levels in some areas, and the Danube Delta has a long way to go before it can be pronounced a healthy environment (especially after the gold-mine disaster in Baia Mare in 2000, when 100,000 cubic metres of cyanide-contaminated water spilled into the Tisa and Danube rivers). The DDBR has worked hard to 'ecologically reconstruct' large areas of land in the Delta (p200), but the drive to develop tourism and build resorts and sports facilities in or near bird and animal breeding grounds there is threatening one of the planet's most delicate ecosystems.
In the 1920s, the area around Boliden west of Skelleftea became known as the Gold Country. Mining started in 1926 but the first gold had been discovered two years earlier. Originally, the search was for all kinds ofmetals, and both copper and silver were discovered, along with other valuable metals. But it was the gold that naturally created the most attention and it didn't take long for a gold rush to kick in. Boliden became the Swedish Klondike and created a major upswing in the economy, not only for the local area but for the entire country. It couldn't have come at a better time. The Great Depression was raging in the US and it affected the European market as well. As a result, people flocked from all over Sweden to take advantage of this opportunity and the population in the province of Vasterbotten doubled in the next 15 years. Eventually, the gold mine in Boliden became the largest and richest one in Europe. Between 1926 and 1967, 125 tons of gold were produced in Boliden, half...
Even if you're not headed north, a trip to Hatcher Pass combines one of the area's most beautiful drives, access to great hiking and Nordic skiing, and interesting old buildings to look at. The Independence Mine State Historical Park (& 907 745-2827 or 907 745-3975 www.alaskastateparks.org, click on Individual Parks ) takes in the remains of a hard-rock gold mine operation that closed down in 1951. Some buildings have been restored, including an assay office that's now a museum and a manager's house that's now a welcoming visitor center, while other structures sag and lean as picturesque ruins. A visit is interesting even if you don't go inside, and the setting, in a bowl of rock and alpine tundra, is spectacular. A guided tour is 5 ( 2 seniors, free under 10) and leaves at 1 30pm and 3 30pm weekdays, plus 4 30pm weekends, or you can wander with the help of an excellent walking-tour map. The visitor center is open from 11am to 7pm daily in the summer, but closes the week after Labor...
Tracing its history from the early 1300s, when it grew as a gold-mining center and became a prized possession of the Hungarian royal family, Baia Mare (which means Big Mine ) is today better known for a range of 20th-century industrial-chemical disasters. Most recently, in January 2000, the Maramure district capital was the site of the devastating Aurul Gold Mine cyanine-spill disaster, from which the greater European region is yet to recover. Baia Mare has for a long time had little to recommend it there is a revolution afoot, however, and the town appears to be preparing for a revival. Keenest evidence of this is in and around its large cobblestone town center, Pia a Liberta ii, which is now a perfectly pleasant place from which to admire the surrounding medieval and classical architecture, some of which dates from the 14th and 15th centuries.
Gold Mine History Tour (4 hr. 59 adults, 25 children 12 and under) Juneau's gold-rush history comes to life (especially for kids) as you visit the ruins of the Alaska Gastineau mine and don a hard hat for a walk along a 360-foot tunnel for a demonstration of early-20th-century mining equipment and methods. Mendenhall Glacier Float Trip (3J-2 hr. 99 adults, 66 children under 12) You'll board 10-person rafts on the shore of Mendenhall Lake, and an experienced oarsman will guide you out past icebergs and into the Mendenhall River. You'll encounter moderate rapids and stunning views, and be treated to a snack of smoked salmon and reindeer sausage somewhere along the way.
The eastern edge of this area is a gold mine for history buffs. The waterways of Lake Champlain, Lake George, and the Hudson were highways for Indians, the French, the English, and eventually the Americans who wanted to claim the land. Forts were built, destroyed, and rebuilt at Crown Point, Ticonderoga, the head of Lake George (now Lake George Village) and Fort Edward, and the contest for control of this vital waterway system climaxed at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. For more detail about this corridor, see the Lake Champlain and Upper Hudson River chapters of this book, as well as the Lake George section of the current chapter.
The Gold Museum This interesting museum houses a large collection of gold nuggets found at Ballarat, as well as alluvial deposits, gold ornaments, and coins. There are also gallery displays relating to the history of gold mining in the area. One hour should be enough to take in the museum. Sovereign Hill (Sf (Kids Australia's best outdoor museum transports you back to the 1850s and the heady days of the gold rush. More than 40 stone-and-wood reproduction buildings, including shops and businesses on Main Street, sit on this 25-hectare (62-acre) former gold-mining site. There are also tent camps around the diggings on the lowest part of the site, which would have been the outskirts of town. There is lots to see and do, so expect to spend at least 4 hours. On top of Sovereign Hill are the mineshafts and their pithead equipment. The fascinating tour of a typical underground gold mine takes around 45 minutes. The Voyage to Discovery museum has various artifacts from the gold rush, dioramas...
The other sites popular with group tours are the two gold mines. Outside of town, on Mile 9 of the Old Steese Highway, is Gold Dredge Number 8. Built in 1927, it was used for 32 years (Fairbanks was the second richest gold area in Alaska). A gold dredge operates by scooping up dirt and separating the gold by sluicing and screening through progressively finer meshes. The dredge moves by creating a dam in a small creek, then floating in the pool that's created. Eventually it mows the dam down and starts the whole process over again. Gold Dredge Number 8 could displace more than a thousand tons of earth at a time, chewing up the rivers whole, and it produced more than 7.5 million ounces of gold during its years of operation. It's open from mid-May to mid-September. Admission is 21, including your own chance to pan for gold. There's a miner's lunch deal for another 8.50. Next door and across the road is a modern gold-mining operation. You can see some of the equipment from the road. The...
Geology and human activity combine in Coppermine Trail, an easy three-mile loop past a turn-of-the-century copper and gold mine. Although you can go either direction at the fork just after you cross the brook (this is the meeting point for the two ends of the loop), we suggest taking the right-hand option, since the grade is gentler it's easier to go down the steeper places.
Although the bulk of the gold rush went through Skagway, there are a few traces of it in Haines. The Chilkat Pass, a longer but less steep alternative to the Chilkoot, had its trailhead here, as did the Dalton Trail. Both trails saw so many hopeful miners trekking their length that the paths are still etched into the stone a hundred years after the gold rush faded.
You'll pass plenty of beautiful scenery along the way, but today the real reason to cross the Canadian border into this region is the same as it was 100 years ago gold (or, rather, gold-rush history). Gold was discovered in the Canadian Klondike's Rabbit Creek (later renamed Bonanza Creek for fairly obvious reasons) in 1896. In a matter of months, tens of thousands of people descended into the Yukon for the greatest gold rush in history, giving birth to Dawson City, Whitehorse, and a dozen other tent communities. By 1898, the gold rush was on in earnest and the following year, the White Pass Yukon Rail Route was opened from Skagway to the Canadian border to carry prospectors and their goods. Dawson City was once the biggest Canadian city west of Winnipeg, with a population of 30,000, but it withered to practically a ghost town after the gold-rush stampeders stopped stampeding. Dawson today is the nearest thing to an authentic gold-rush town the world has to offer, with old buildings,...
The Pier One Theatre (& 907 235-7333 www.xyz.net lance) is a strong community theater group housed in a small, corrugated-metal building on the spit, just short of the small-boat harbor on the left. Instead of the ubiquitous gold rush melodrama and Robert Service readings, Pier One often presents serious drama, musicals, and comedy not just schlock. They also produce dance, classical music, and youth theater events during the summer. There's generally something playing Thursday through Sunday nights in the summer. Check the Homer News or the website for current listings. They strongly recommend making reservations by phone they can be changed or canceled if necessary. Tickets may also be available at the door.
Charleston, 28km south of Westport, boomed during the 1860s gold rush, with 80 hotels, three breweries, and hundreds of thirsty gold-diggers staking claims along the Nile River. The only pub left is the Charleston European Tavern ( 03-789 8862 SH6 mains 16-26 S 9am-late), now doing double-duty as a caf during the day and a boozer at night. It's the base for underground, water-laden trips offered by Norwest Adventures (p490).
A frontier town that was once nicknamed 'the Paris of the North', Dawson found fame and heady fortune as the centre of the Klondike gold rush. Preserved as a relic of those days, the whole town is a National Historic Site with unpaved roads, boarded paths, no electric wires and a host of historic buildings. You'll also find mounties on horseback, modern-day gold prospectors, and a gambling saloon complete with honky-tonk music and dancing girls. The town gets choked with visitors in midsummer, but it's still well worth a visit for an insight into life on the Klondike and the hardships early prospectors faced. More than a century after the original gold rush, as many as 100 small, often family-owned, enterprises still mine for gold in the surrounding region.
Main Street, U.S.A., abounds with horse-drawn carriages and barbershop quartets. Steam-powered railway cars leave Main Street Station for a trip through a Grand Canyon diorama to Frontierland, with its paddle-wheel steamers, the Critter Corral at the Cottonwood Creek Ranch petting zoo, and the Lucky Nugget Saloon, straight from the Gold Rush era. There, visitors find an array of cancan shows (a dance that originated in the cabarets of 19th-century Paris).
The Frantic Follies Vaudeville Review at the Westmark runs once or twice a day from May through September. This 1890s saloon show features can-can dances, skits, turn-of-the-century gold rush songs, and the poetry of Robert Service. The show lasts about 90 minutes. Get tickets at Atlas Tours in the Westmark Hotel, s 867-668-3161.
Famed as the home of the Klondike gold rush, the Yukon is one of the least populated areas of Canada. Only about 30,000 people live in the territory, or roughly one person for every seven square miles of land. But if you take away Whitehorse, home to nearly two-thirds of the population, you're left with a territory that has only one person for every 26 square miles of land - plenty of room to spread out. The Yukon was first explored by Robert Campbell in the 1840s, under command of the Hudson's Bay Company. But it was another 50 years before the world took notice of the Yukon. On August 17, 1896, George Carmack struck gold on Bonanza Creek, and the Klondike gold rush began. Over the next few years a stampede of hopeful miners headed northwest, looking for the short road to riches -their boots wore paths in the hard rock mountains that are still visible today. During the height of the gold rush, their paddleboats, makeshift rafts, canoes, and dories created boatjams on the Yukon River.
Central, the first of two settlements along the road, is 128 miles from Fairbanks. Central saw a gold rush as recently as 15 years ago. As gold rushes go, it was fairly small - a success story is of a miner who pulled 26,000 of gold in six years, or something less than he would have made slinging hamburgers - but the promise of gold does strange things to people. If you're going to stay in Central, check out the Central Motor Inn ( 907-520-5228), with rooms from about 50, tent sites for 11. Because of the influx of miners looking to work the short summer season, don't expect to find an empty room.
Finding nuggets wasn't the only way to prosper during the gold rush. Kyneton was the main coach stop between Melbourne and Bendigo, and the centre for the farmers who were supplying the diggings with fresh produce. Piper St is a historic precinct lined with buildings made of local bluestone that are now tearooms, antique shops, museums and restaurants. There's a major street party here in November to start off Budburst ( 1800 244 711 www.budburst.com), a wine and food festival hosted throughout the region over several days. The old bank building (1855) is now Kyneton Historical Museum ( 5422 1228 67 Piper St adult child 3 1 S 11am-4pm Fri-Sun) housing a display of local history items - the upper floor is furnished in period style.
Snuggled into the flanks of a green valley in the shadow of rugged, forested slopes, Tumbarumba is one of the atmospheric highlights of any trip through the Snowy Mountains. The town sprang into existence during the gold rush of the 1860s, and a number of its buildings bear witness to those exhilarating times.
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