proceeds up Puget Sound, passes Port Townsend and Victoria, and gets out through the Straits of San Juan de Fuca to the Pacific. From then on the voyage is an uninterrupted run of 2,000 miles to Dutch Harbor, the first stop. Dutch Harbor is a coaling station and a supply point for naval vessels and the Bering sea fleets of sealers and whalers. After a short stop there the vessel proceeds on its way north through Bering sea, past the Seal Island of St. George and St. Paul and up through Norton Sound to Fort Get There, on St. Michael's Island, where is located the transfer and supply station for the Yukon river. Here the traveler finds a good many native Eskimos. Here passengers and freight are transferred to large and commodious river steamers, which proceed down the coast sixty miles to the north mouth of the Yukon, a river larger than the Mississippi, that can be navigated with large steamers 2,300 miles without a break, and which abounds in fish, the salmon being noted far and wide for their fine flavor and large size.


As you proceed up the river you see innumerable Indian villages and small settlements inhabited by traders, missionaries and Indians, all of interest to the traveler. The first two or three hundred miles is through low, flat country, after which the mountainous country is reached, and the constant change of magnificent scenery is beyond description.

At old Fort Yukon, which is inside of the arctic circle, you see during the months of June and July the sun twenty-four hours without a break, and all along the river during these months one can read a paper at any time during the day or night without a lamp. It is continuous daylight during this time.

After leaving here the next point of interest is Circle City, the metropolis of the Yukon country. Here you find a large frontier town, the houses all built of logs, and while they have no pretensions to beauty, they are warm and comfortable. Circle City has a population of nearly 2,000 people, and some of the best placer

mines in the country are located near this place. From here the traveler proceeds on up the river 240 miles further, and finds Fort Cudahy at the mouth of Forty Mile Creek. This is a thriving town, similar to Circle City, but not as large. It is the supply point for the mines in the forty-mile district.


The Yukon river, which crosses Alaska from east to west and empties into the Pacific a little south of Bering Strait, is said to be a mightier stream than the Columbia. River steamers navigate it hundreds of miles from its mouth. Passengers from Seattle are usually transferred from ocean steamships to these vessels at St. Michael's Island, near the mouth of the Yukon. The source of the river is in British territory, 200 or 300 miles south of the point where the stream crooks away westward into Alaska. In fact, it may be said to drain very nearly the same mountain slopes as the Fraser, Columbia, Peace, and Stickine. It was natural, therefore, to expect that gold would be found along the main channel of the Yukon or some of its tributaries. Explorers were sent out from two bases. One set went up the river from its mouth, traversing the whole of Alaska from the west to east; and another pushed up from the south, from the vicinity of Juneau, through Chilkat Pass. The North American Transportation and Trading Company established trading stations near the source of the river five or six years ago. Most of the prospecting has been done either between this locality and the point where the river crossed into Alaska, or within the first 100 miles over the line.

Fine gold dust, in small quantities, was found at the mouth of the Porcupine river, a stream that joins the Yukon about 100 miles west of the boundary, and also near the mouth of Forty-Mile Creek, most of whose course lies in Alaska, but which crosses into British territory before emptying into the big river. Fort Cudahy is situated here, and Circle City, where there were other mining camps, is about fifty miles further

west. These places are about 800 or 900 miles from the sea, if one travels by steamboat, and in the winter are completely cut off from the outer world.


The principal settlement on the Canadian side, Forty Mile, is not in many respects after the style of the typical mining towns. There are no animals-except dogs-and in the whole town there is not the track of a wheel. It is at the mouth of the creek that has given to the interior its greatest celebrity, a town of 200 cabins, all so nearly alike, with a few exceptions, that the difference is hardly worth mentioning. The Alacka Commercial Company has a 2-story building for its agents' office, and there are others; a few saloons and stores and the Pioneer hotel, but there is one form of architecture that seems to fill the requirements of the climate and of taste. It is a log house twenty feet square, with a perfectly flat, dirt-covered top. The top of the house is a hanging garden, which, if the structure is more than a year old, is covered with a rank growth of weeds.

It would be hard to find anything else than dirt that would keep out the cold. In building such a house there is a groove cut in what is to be the underside of each log, that it may fit down snug to the timber just beneath it, and there is a packing of moss put in all the joints between the logs to fill all possible inequalities. Moss is the best non-conductor of heat or cold that the country affords, and it is put to a variety of uses in building. To make a roof a course of stout poles first is laid across, and after that a thick coating of moss; then the flower garden is put on― that is, about a foot of dirt. There is no floor, except the natural one, and the furniture is an after consideration, made to suit the requirements of the occupant; a bedstead made altogether of poles, as is usually the table also, chairs of a great variety of design and finish, a moose-skin rug or two, and the invariable Yukon stove. The latter is made of sheet-iron, and weighs about twenty-five pounds. There are no vani

ties of any sort about a Forty Mile house. It is made primarily to keep out the cold. It has a single door— extending no higher or lower or wider than is necessary for getting in or out-and a single window of four small pants of glass. In winter another sash is put in to make a double thickness. There is a preponderance of saloons at Forty Mile. Whisky is worth $10 a quart bottle and retails at 50 cents a glass. A half dollar also buys three loaves of bread.


The use of the word "fort" in naming the stations of the lower river is not justified by facts. None of them has ever been put to military use. Fort Yukon

was established by Robert Bell as a post of the Hudson Bay Company, he assuming that it was in Canadian territory. He made a mistake of 300 miles, measured by the river. Hudson Bay Company held the post until it was warned away by an American officer. The other "forts" are only trading posts, generally with a log store building and a few cabins, fringed with a variety of native shacks.


Circle City stands on a dead-level plain, twenty feet higher than the river at the ordinary stage of water. In the distant background is a low range of purple hills which marks the dividing line between the Birch creek district and the river. On the opposite side from the town the river runs away into space, with no very well defined shore line.

The prevailing style of architecture in this city, where gold nuggets exchange currently for flour, is a low, square log cabin, with wide projecting eaves and a dirt roof. The crevices between the logs are chinked with moss, which abounds everywhere. It takes two men about two weeks to get out the logs and erect one of these buildings, and when it is done it rents for $15 a month, or if it is for sale it commands from $300 to $500.

Poor Circle City!-hardly a dozen white people,

from the present outlook, will be left here next winter to offset perhaps a hundred Indians. Seven months ago Circle City could boast 1,500 white people, now scarcely forty, and they are only waiting for the first boat to take them to Klondyke.

Circle City differs not greatly from Forty Mile. It is a newer place, having been started three years ago. There is no natural advantage in putting the town in that particular place, only that there is a little bight of the river just out of reach of the headlong current, which makes a quiet landing place for small boats, and back of it is a level country for miles. Yet there is another reason in the fact that it is only eight miles across a low divide to Birch creek, which is the point of interest for all gold hunters.

A postoffice has recently been established in Circle City, and the first United States mail arrived there on July 14. Before that it was the custom to get one or two mails a year in and out of the country by private enterprise. The carriers usually received $1 a letter for the service and made $500 to $1,000 out of a single trip. The government contract was let at $500 for a round trip from Juneau to Circle City, but the man who carried the Canadian mail from Juneau to Forty Mile received $650 for the round trip, with 300 miles less distance. There was only one trip made this year with the United States mail, while the Canadian contractor made three.


It would seem to people in the "old country," as the states are sometimes referred to, that there could be no stability about the growth of a town almost within the arctic circle, but somehow a newcomer has not been in the place twenty-four hours before he is inspired with a different idea. Fine and coarse gold and nuggets are shaken out of buckskin bags and weighed in exchange for "grub" without discrimination.

Dogs are worth $100 each. Speaking of dogs, it seems that a large percentage of the wealth here is

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