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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Gold at Fortymile Creek

Early Days in the Yukon

The book, based on the accounts of dozens of prospectors, follows the first gold-seekers from their arrival in 1873 until the stampede to the Klondike in 1896. Gates captures the essence of these early years of the gold rush, about which very little has been written. He chronicles the trials, hearbreaks, and successes of the unique and hardy individualists who searched for gold in the wilderness. With names like Swiftwater Bill, Crooked Leg Louie, Slobbery Tom, and Tin Kettle George, these men lived in total isolation beyond the borders of civilization. They were often eccentrics and outcasts, who shaped their own rules, their own justice, and their own social order.

215 pages

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Maps

Preface and Acknowledgments

1 Early Days: The First Gold Seekers Arrive

2 The Chilkoot Pass and Early Transportation

3 Early Developments on the Yukon River

4 The Miners’ Code

5 The Fortymile Stampede

6 Strangers in a Strange Land

7 Years of Change

8 Forty Mile: Anatomy of a Goldrush Town

9 The Arrival of the North-West Mounted Police

10 Death of the Miners’ Committee

11 Circle: The Largest Log City in the World

12 The Discovery of Gold in the Klondike

13 Epilogue


A. Mining Methods and Terms

B. Roll Call: Names of the Early Yukon Pioneers




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