Saturday, August 24, 2013

WAWeekend: “Gold!” ~ and the Rush was on!

Seattle had a real ‘rush’ following the arrival in July 1897 of the  SS Portland. The ship was carrying  68 miners and nearly two tons of gold. The Klondike Gold Rush was about to begin and it would have a significant impact on The Emerald City:

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In fact it was that discovery more than a century ago that put Seattle on the map as a Gateway to the Klondike; marking its beginning as the Pacific Northwest regional trade center it is today.

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At the time, Seattle’s Chamber of Commerce promoted the city as the ‘only place’ to outfit for the gold fields.
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More than 100,000 people would seek their fortunes as result of that discovery near where the Klondike and Yukon rivers meet. And large numbers of them set forth from Seattle, taking either overland or water routes as shown on the map below:

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I had never paid much attention to the Gold Rush nor its impact locally until I made a discovery of my own:
The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park* in Seattle’s Pioneer Square

(*It is not Museum – although housed on two floors of the historic Cadillac Building, it sure looks more like one than it does a park).

This haven of history is an easy two block walk north of Century Link field, home of the Seattle Seahawks or King St. Station, the city’s Amtrak hub (its clock tower is visible in the cityscape photo above).

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I’ve visited the historic park three times in recent years and each time discovered something I’d missed on previous visits in its audio and visual displays or in the life size models of a store, cabin and a mining operation.

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I can assure you that a visit to the Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park is a gold mine of an experience – and the best part, admission is free!

If You Go:

Map picture

Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park
319 2nd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 25

It is a great place for kids – stop by the Ranger’s desk and get one of the activity sheet they have for the wee ones.

Parking is limited on the street, but there are several nearby lots. Bus stops, the train station and local ferries are within walking distance.

Thanks much for spending time with us this weekend. See you back here next week, until then,  ‘Happy Travels!’


  1. But found riches more favourable than gold proving a point that travel is the best education.
    A very interesting museum and how great it is complimentary

    1. I loved that particular quote. . .it seemed to sum up the riches to be had from the journey as well as the pot of gold that might be waiting at the destination. Thanks for the visit Helen. Have a great week!

  2. I'm fascinated by the gold rush history, Jackie! Thank you for putting in the ball field pic. My best friend and I (now passed) had the best weekend ever in Seattle. Along with my ex and I. Love Seattle! :)

    1. Thanks for visiting today Mike! Seattle really is a pretty special city if you look at all it has to offer. . .places like this Museum!

  3. Nice to hear this bit of history. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for dropping by today Irene - your visits are always appreciated.

  4. I must say the older I get the more interested I become in history - especially our own history and what our forefathers and mothers went through. Amazing isn't how a city grows over such a short time, and others disappear.
    Have a great week, and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

    1. It is amazing how our interests change, isn't it? Loved your blog post and congrats on the front page magazine photo!

  5. I love following you because you keep introducing me to things in Washington I've never seen or heard of even though I lived there for nine years. :-)

    1. That might just be the nicest compliment I've gotten about the blog. Thanks so much!


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