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of blue bells will adorn your camping. But high above this paradise of almost tropical exuberance giant glaciers sleep in the summit of the mountain wall which rises up from a bed of roses. By September everything is changed. The bed of roses has disappeared before the icy breath of the Winter King, which sends the thermometer down to eighty degrees below freezing point. The birds fly to the southland, the white man to his cabin, the Indian to his hut, and the bear to his sleeping chamber in the mountains. Every stream becomes a sheet of ice, mountain and valley alike are covered with snow.
That part of the basin of the Yukon in which gold in greater or less quantities has actually been found lies partly in Alaska and partly in British territory. It covers an area of some 50,000 square miles. But so far the infinitely richest spot lies some one hundred miles west of the American boundary, in the region drained by the Klondyke and its tributaries. This is some three hundred miles by river from Circle City, which marks the extreme limit beyond which even flat bottom boats cannot find a navigable passage.
The first attempt at defining the Alaskan boundary was made by Lieut. Schwatka, who in 1883 made a rough and necessarily crude survey of the Lewes and Pelly-Yukon rivers from their head to Fort Yukon, situated near the mouth of Porcupine river, a distance of about 500miles. Lieut. Schwatka determined the position of this meridian line from his survey and located it at the mouth of what is now known as Mission or American creek, on the headwaters of which valuable discoveries of gold are now being made on the Alaskan side.
In the meantime the Canadian mounted police are maintaining order and making judicial awards in mining disputes, without any particular regard for the line. In relation to this question I often hear the wish expressed that the contention will be finally sett led by our government buying all the Canadian territory west
of the Mackenzie and north of Portland canal. statement that has often been made that the gold is all on the Alaskan side of the line is extremely misleading. It is true that the present balance seems to be rather in favor of the Birch creek district as a placer ground, but the heart of the ultimate quartz field—where much the greater value lies-will possibly be higher up the Yukon and across the line.
One of the first things to attract attention throughout the entire Yukon basin is the great number of dogs. They are closely related to the wolf, and if they are not natural born thieves, they are nothing. They usually celebrate the arrival of all newcomers by a general fight. They will steal anything from a pair of boots to a side of bacon. They manifest a great degree of cunning in their attempts at stealing. Snowshoes, dog harness, and the like, as well as all kinds of uncanned meats, have to be cached. This is done by erecting a strong house upon posts, twelve or fifteen. feet above ground, for the safe keeping of all such articles. As previously stated, these dogs are used in freighting to the mines in winter. An additional charge of two cents a pound is made on bacon and all uncanned meats on account of the extra trouble to keep that class of goods from the dogs. The howling of wolves would be pleasant music compared with the howling of these dogs at night. Under the least provocation, in the calm of night, one will start in and almost simultaneously every dog within five miles will join in a general uproar. They often continue their howlings for hours. In spite of all these inconveniences the dog is to the inhabitants of Yukon what the reindeer is to the Laplander, the horse to the inhabitants of the plains. In winter they are hitched to a sleigh and in summer loaded with packs.
RESOURCES OF ALASKA.
Early Prospectors-Mines of the Kootenay-Alaskan Mineral Belt-First Discovery of Gold in the Yukon Valley-Gold All Over Alaska-Where Is Klondyke?—An Unknown Region-Very Rich Yields-Prospects in the Side Gulches-May Make a Row-Dominion Government Stirred-Charges Land Grabbing New Post Being ConstructedAlaska Richer Than Klondyke-A Very. Fortunate Circumstance-Great Treadwell Mine-Method of Placer Mining-Sluicing for Gold-Relative Cost of Mining Gold-Importance of Second TreatmentProspects for Big Yields.
Indubitable evidences have been coming from Alaska for years that the region along the Upper Yukon, now so much talked of as the Klondyke, is immensely rich in placer gold. Long ago men returned from that country who told of its richness and who were anxious to go back with the necessary supplies to develop the mines. They had only been prepared to make the slightest investigation and hence came back poorer than they went. This of itself was an argument against their statements and theories on the subject, and therefore they were unable to enlist the needed help. There were those, however, who believed these stories, but they were not possessed of sufficient means to outfit the prospectors. Some of them had sufficient courage and brawn to go to the promised Eldorado, and with the returned ones as guides and some "on their own hook" made the arduous journey, and now from those, and other persons, who have, in one way or another, been led to seek for fortunes amid the
snows and glaciers, mountains and turbulent streams of Alaska, comes news that has sent a thrill of excitement throughout the world.
MINES OF THE KOOTENAY.
During the last year or two, however, newspapers, in the Northwest particularly, and elsewhere, sporadically, have published numerous articles descriptive of the mineral deposits in British Columbia just north of the Washington state line, and of the wonderful developments of all those regions. It may be safely said that this information made little impression. The Kootenay has given way to the Klondyke, and now everything pertaining to British Columbia and Alaska is of intense interest to millions of readers.
ALASKAN MINERAL BELT.
In acquiring the Alaskan territory, though the United States moved its center, figured in geographical miles, not in area or population, as far west as San Francisco. The country now extends from about the 65th degree of longitude up at the far east corner of Maine to the 122d degree up at the far northwest tip the little island of Attu, 1,000 miles out in the Pacific, beyond the Hawaiian group, which, since the purchase of Alaska, has really been our western land limit. FIRST DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN THE YUKON VALLEY.
In the spring of '83 four miners, namely, Charles McConky, Dick Poplin, George Marx and Ben Beach, outfitted in Juneau to prospect the interior. Crossing the divide in the early spring, they reached the lakes which constitute the head waters of the Yukon river, while they were yet frozen, and remained there building their boats preparatory to going down the river as soon as the opportunity availed. The boats built and the ice having disappeared, they continued their journey on the unknown waters of the Yukon.
Upon arriving at the mouth of Stuart river and being favorably impressed that their fortunes lay in that
direction, they proceeded to stem this stream in the hopes of finding things more favorable, as they had seen nothing that they had considered diggings up to that time. They had traveled about four miles up this river when they came to a bar that carried gold of a fine order, and then continued up the river, finding many bars which afterwards worked to the satisfaction of the owners.
GOLD ALL OVER ALASKA.
Dr. C. F. Dickenson, of Kodiak island, which lies. just at the head of Cook's inlet, recently said: "When I left Kodiak the people were leaving all that section of country and flocking in the direction of Klondyke. In a way, the situation is appalling, for many of the industries are left practically without the means of operation.
"Mines that were paying handsomely at Cook's Inlet have been deserted.
"In my opinion there are just as good placer diggings to be found at Cook's Inlet as in the Klondyke region.
"There is not a foot of ground in all that country that does not contain gold in more or less appreciable quantities.
"There is room there for thousands of men, and there is certainly no better place in the world for a poor man."
There is good reason for believing from the reports of men well acquainted with the whole region that there is gold to be found anywhere in Alaska. But the people rushed to Klondyke as though all the rest of the territory was pest ridden.
WHERE IS KLONDYKE?
Where are the richest of the mines in the Alaska region?
They seem to be in the Klondyke, a few miles over the British border. They were discovered, as has been said, by a party of "tenderfeet," who, against the advice of the old-timers in the district, wandered