Seattle – Historic Gateway to Gold!

Seattle has long been a place where people came to make their fortunes, and it is no less so today, where Microsoft and many other famous technology companies have gotten their start, made their fortune and made a revolution which changed the world.

But, in the 1800’s, Seattle’s role was no less significant when “Gold!” was found in Alaska. Seattle and San Francisco prospered as willing newbies became miners, hoping to hit the mother-load in the Alaska Gold Rush (and of course, San Francisco went through that during the California Gold Rush too).

The miners set sail for Alaska from San Francisco and Seattle and there is a Klondike Museum run by the National Park Service, in the historic Pioneer Square area of Seattle, where these miners could have walked!

The knowledgeable park rangers make the perilous journey come alive, and it is truly amazing what the men endured. Of course, there was a whole “support” network which came along, too, filled with colorful characters, some of ill repute.

All this began in July of 1897. Americans had been struggling through years of a depression then, too, and so the American people were even more intrigued by the possibility of riches.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park preserves the story of that 1897-98 stampede to the Yukon gold fields and explains Seattle’s role in this event. The park offers a glimpse at the stories of adventure and hardship of this gold rush.

When I visited this museum with elementary-age school children, they all had a great time, and although it is years since I visited this place, I don’t expect much to have changed. It’s a great chance to learn (for people of all ages) and is not a huge time-sink.

Around you, will be other interesting shops and stores and activities. Do go at least once to this historic part of Seattle.

Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park, Seattle
Seattle History

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