The word "Klondike" is synonymous with countless treasures. And, in fact, this is the name of a river in the northwest of Canada. Local Indians from the Khan tribe called the river Tshondek, which can be translated as “driven water”. To catch salmon, the Indians set up traps from stakes driven into the river bottom. The Europeans found this name too complicated, and they began to call the river Klondike.
And what is the connection between the Klondike and the treasure? It turns out that the most direct one: in the nineties of the nineteenth century, the famous "Gold Rush" began here, beautifully described in the works of Jack London. Which, by the way, himself could not resist the temptation to try his luck in gold mining.
In 1896, rumors spread throughout the United States that gold had been found on the small Yukon River. About who became the discoverer, exact data have not been preserved. Several people were named: the Scotsman Robert Henderson, the Indian from the Tagish tribe Jimi Skukuma, the American prospector George Carmack. However, such details were of little interest to the fortune hunters; it was enough for them that on the Klondike River they could make gold and become a rich man in a short time.
Founded in 1896 at the confluence of the Klondike and the Yukon, Dawson has a population of around 40, 000 during the Gold Rush. At the same time, a huge number of gold prospectors simply could not overcome the difficult path to the cherished Dawson, becoming victims of severe frosts and avalanches.
The prospector, who was lucky to reach the goal, had the right to secure one area for himself and to mine gold on it. In total, during the "Gold Rush" about 200, 000 gold miners visited the Klondike. But, not everyone was lucky. About 4, 000 people, in fact, were able to earn decent money on the Klondike. The rest, at best, paid off their expenses for a long trip. And many returned home poorer than they were before they arrived in Dawson. Several thousand adventurers ended their lives here and were buried in the frozen ground.
Despite the fact that the mined gold could be profitably sold to dealers, prices, even for the most necessary goods, sometimes grew to unimaginable sizes, not only those who washed gold with trays in ice water, but also merchants tried to cash in. In the midst of the fever, salt could be exchanged for gold in a ratio of 1 to 1. And the price of eggs reached $ 3 apiece.
Already in 1898, the amount of gold mined sharply decreased, almost all of the riding gold was washed out, therefore, the prospectors began to leave the banks of the Klondike, although the most stubborn of them continued to work at the beginning of the twentieth century. The young writer Jack London returned home not with a sack of gold, but with a pile of manuscripts that American magazines willingly published. We can say that he found his "gold mine".
And in 1925, almost thirty years after the start of the "Gold Rush", Charlie Chaplin's comedy of the same name was released. Chaplin's hero was lucky - unlike his less successful colleagues, he was able to become rich. Interestingly, for the filming of his famous comedy, Chaplin had to hire more than 2, 000 tramps, who walked in a line through the mountain pass, and then stubbornly brandished shovels and picks, imitating the hard work of miners on the Klondike River.