Yukon Gold Dredging photographs, circa 1905-1915  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Title
Yukon Gold Dredging photographs
Dates
circa 1905-1915 (inclusive)
Quantity
86 photographic prints (1 box) ; various sizes
Collection Number
PH0662
Summary
Photographs depicting dredging operations in the Yukon Territory around Dawson City. The photos show dredges, hydraulic mining, a power house, pipelines, company camp towns, and more.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon Territory of Canada began in 1896 with news of a gold strike on Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River. By 1899 the first gold dredge began working in the area around Dawson City. Dredges, barge-like processing machines that operate in rivers and creeks or float in ponds of their own making, became popular because they allowed the deeper, more gold-rich soil of river- and creek beds to be mined. Without dredges, miners were restricted to gold panning, using sluice boxes, or excavating the claims themselves. Dredges move by using a rotating series of buckets, scooping up material in the front, processing it, and expelling the "tailing," or waste, behind them. In effect, they are able to gradually move the pools in which they float.

Due to the success of this heavy machinery, entrepreneurs pushed to gain land concessions from the Canadian government and to consolidate the claims of individual miners in the area. As a result, gold mining grew into a corporate venture, performed on a larger scale with the backing of investors. Corporations engaged in fierce competition for prime claims, water, and power, which often led to lawsuits and governmental disputes. Dredging operations required a large and consistent supply of water as well as laborious ground preparation.

Well in advance of the actual dredge, teams of workers cleared the ground of brush and moss, hydraulically washed away or "stripped" the top layer of silt, and thawed the underlying gravel by injecting water. Only after this intensive preparation process could the dredge itself come in and mine the area. Dredges would operate within feet of competitors' claims and buildings, sometimes tailing the waste into another's land. Lumber was often cut and stolen from competing claims. In one instance a Yukon Gold Company dredge was destroyed with dynamite. In efforts to recover greater quantities of gold, larger dredges with higher capacities were constructed and launched.

The two major competing corporations in the Yukon were Joe Boyle's Canadian Klondyke [sic] Mining Company, 1905, and the Guggenheim-backed Yukon Gold Company, 1906. In 1897 Joseph Whiteside Boyle (1867-1923) was a manager and promoter for the boxer Fred Slavin when he heard of the Klondike Gold Rush. He and Slavin traveled to the Yukon Territory, worked as laborers for others, then staked their own claims. Eventually Boyle decided that dredging, rather than hand panning, would be more profitable. After consolidating claims and obtaining approval from the Canadian government, he formed his own dredging company named The Canadian Klondyke Mining Company. In April of 1913, Boyle obtained the Granville Power Company's power plant on the north fork of the Klondike River. In May of 1913, the construction of the two largest dredges yet built, Canadian No. 3 and No. 4, was complete.

Canadian No. 4 eventually became a National Historic Site of Canada. One of the most successful dredges ever constructed, it sank in 1924, was refloated and refurbished in 1927, and operated until 1940. The dredge was then rebuilt by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation and continued to work from 1941 until it ceased operations for good in 1959. In 1967 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada decreed that dredging in the Yukon was of national historic importance, and the dredge was donated to Parks Canada by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation. Canadian No. 4 was excavated and underwent restoration and conservation from 1991 to 1992. It re-opened to the public in 1993.

Jerry (Jeremiah) D. Doody was a photographer in the Dawson and Whitehorse areas of the Yukon Territory. According to Alaska-Yukon Postcards: An Historical Review by Ken L. Elder and John H. Grainger, Doody is noted as having a varied career that included work for the Smithsonian Institution in Central America and service to the U.S. Army in Texas in 1882, as well as employment as a Kansas cowboy. Doody moved from California to the Yukon Territory in 1898 and worked with H.C. Barley's photography studio in Whitehorse.

Wolfe Photo was the commercial photograph studio of Frank E. Wolfe, thought to be active in the Yukon/Klondike River area from the late 1890s to around 1920.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection depicts mining and dredging operations in the Yukon Territory goldfields near the town of Dawson and on Bonanza Creek, Bear Creek, and the Klondike River. Images are primarily of Canadian Klondyke Mining Company dredges, but the collection also includes images of hydraulic mining, a power house, pipelines, company camp towns, and dredges of the Yukon Gold Mining Company.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Based on handwritten labels on many of the photographs, unsigned photographs are probably attributable to J.D. Doody.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Bear Creek on the Klondike RiverReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1
 Klondike River with Bear Creek Camp in foreground and two dredges in background
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
undated
1 2 October 6, 1912
1 3
Yukon Consolidated Gold Company pipeline from Twelve Mile power plant to Bear Creek Camp
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
undated
1 4-5
 Men standing on dredge at Bear Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
July 22, 1913

Bonanza Basin and Bonanza CreekReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
2 6 July 18, 1913
2 7
View of Ogilvie Bridge over Bonanza Creek with probably Canadian No. 3 or 4 in background
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 25, 1913
2 8 undated
2 9
 Bonanza Basin with Yukon Gold Co. machine shops and furrows of dredged soil
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 4, 1914
2 10 undated
2 11
 Hydralic mining in Lovett Gulch
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
On item: "Hydrolic mine, Lovett Gulch left limit."
undated
2 12 1912
2 13
Ground thawing operation on lower Bonanza Creek near Lovett Gulch with a dredge in the background
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
undated
2 14
Ground thawing operation
undated
2 15
 Men setting up No. 1 dredge thawing plant at Bonanza Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
July 5, 1913

Canadian Klondyke Mining Company gold dredgesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Canadian No. 1
Folder item
3 16
Dredge
On item: "7 1/2 ft. bucket."
undated
3 17
 Dredging in winter
On item: "Bear Creek Dredge operating on the Klondike."
November 20, 1909
Hunker Creek, Yukon Territory
Folder item
3 18
 Dredging on upper Hunker Creek with piles of soil and mountains in the background
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
June 28, 1913
3 19
Dredge
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 15, 1914
3 20 August 12, 1915
Folder item
4 21
Canadian No. 1 and Canadian No. 2
On item: "No. 1: 7 1/2 ft. bucket. No. 2: 15 ft. bucket."
undated
Canadian No. 2
Folder item
5 22 December 25, 1913
5 23
Partially aground at Bear Creek, at 9:15 am, probably under repair
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 24, 1915
5 24
Dredging near the mouth of Bear Creek on the Klondike River
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
undated
5 25 undated
5 26
 Partially landed with buckets trailing on the ground in front of dredge
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
May 5, 1914
5 27
 Man in automobile with Canadian No. 2 in background
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
On item: "Blitzen Bean Holder of WhiteHorse to Dawson Record" (automobile race).
July 22, 1913
Canadian No. 3
Folder item
6 28
 Workers constructing Canadian No. 3 sitting or standing on construction scaffolds
On item: "Showing group in construction at Bonanza Basin."
September 15, 1912
6 29
View from rear of Canadian No. 3 dredge
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
"Dredge No. 3 showing the stern end of the dredge."
June 4, 1913
6 30
 No. 3 dredging
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 22, 1913
6 31
Canadian No. 3 working in Bonanza Basin
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
On item: "Showing the work done by Dredge No. 3 of the Boyle Concession Ltd. since May the 12th 1913."
June 14, 1914
6 32
 Canadian No. 3 working at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers
On item: "Bonanza Basin showing the Klondike River from the workings of dredge No. 3 to the Yukon River."
June 14, 1914
6 33
 View from hillside of dredge at work with Dawson City and river in the background
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 2, 1914
6 34
Canadian No. 3 dusted with snow with winter landscape in background
December 1914
6 35
Dredging on the Klondike River
May 31, 1915
6 36 undated
6 37 undated
Interior of dredge
Folder item
7 38-40 undated
7 41
Bull wheel and intermediate drive for bucket ladder
December 2, circa 1913-1915
7 42
Upper and lower tiers of riffles on starboard side
December 1, circa 1913-1915
7 43
300 horse power motor and bull wheel
undated
7 44
Stacker hoist
undated
7 45-46 undated
7 47
Gears for raising or lowering bucket line
1914
7 48
Engine
1914
Canadian No. 3 and Canadian No. 4
Folder item
8 49
 View of Bonanza Basin with Canadian No. 3 and No. 4 under construction
On item: "C.K.M. Co. [Canadian Klondike Mining Company] Camp, Bonanza Basin."
August 2, 1912
8 50 May 12, 1913
8 51 circa 1912-1913
8 52
Canadian No. 3 and No. 4 dredging in Bonanza Basin
On item: "3 and 4 beginning work."
May 22, 1913
8 53
Canadian No. 3 and No. 4
November 19, circa 1913-1915
8 54
Stacker on Canadian No. 3 with Canadian No. 4 in background
December 2, circa 1913-1915
8 55
Dog laying in front of Canadian No. 3 and No. 4
undated
Canadian No. 4
Folder item
9 56 December 3, 1912
9 57 June 12, 1913
9 58
Canadian No. 4 with men standing on upper balcony
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 22, 1913
9 59
Front of Canadian No. 4
On item: "Dredge on Bonanza that has taken out over a million."
undated
9 60
View of Canadian No. 4 behind furrows of dredged material
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
August 22, 1913

Yukon Consolidated Gold CompanyReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
10 61
 Gold thawing plant at Gold Run Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
May 11, 1914
10 62
Yukon Gold Dredge No. 2, probably dredging in Bonanza Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
1913
Yukon Gold Dredge No. 4
Folder item
10 63
 Dredging on Hunker Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
June 2, 1913
10 64
Dredging on Lower Hunker Creek
J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
undated
Folder item
11 65
Yukon Gold Dredge No. 5 dredging on Bonanza Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
July 4, 1913
Yukon Gold Dredge No. 6
Discrepancies exist between labeling of Dredges Nos. 5 and 6 in the photograph captions.
Folder item
11 66
 Company camp at Yukon No. 6 on 5 Below Discovery Bonanza Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
July 19, 1913
11 67-68
 Yukon No.6 on Bonanza Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
July 21, 1913
Folder item
11 69
 Yukon Gold Dredge No. 9 on Eldorado Creek
Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory (photographer)
July 30, 1913

Unidentified dredges and dredging machineryReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
12 70-72
Dredge
undated
12 73 undated

Power House at the North Fork of the Klondike RiverReturn to Top

Also called the Granville Power Company.

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
13 74
 Four men and two dogs on front porch of cabin at Power House
On item: "Staff of the G.P. Co. [Granville Power Company] at Power House."
undated
13 75 June 2, circa 1913
13 76
View, looking uphill, of buried pressure pipes
On item: "Method of covering the pipe lines, Granville Power Co. at the North Fork of the Klondike River."
undated
13 77
View from hillside of raceway, Power House, valley, and the North Fork of the Klondike River
On item: "Granville Power Co. Power House at the North Fork of the Klondyke [sic] River showing raceway and pipelines covered with gravel."
undated
Interior of the Power House
Folder item
14 78
View of machinery
December 17, 1913
14 79
View of machinery
undated
14 80
View looking south of machinery and men working
undated
14 81
Switch board and exciters
undated
14 82
Switch board
undated
Canadian Klondyke North Fork Ditch
Probably the water source for the Power House.
Folder item
15 83
View from bank of water intake
undated
15 84 undated
15 85
Pressure box showing gates and end of ditch
undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Dredges--Alaska--Photographs
  • Dredges--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Gold dredging--Alaska--Photographs
  • Gold dredging--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Gold mines and mining--Alaska--Photographs
  • Gold mines and mining--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Hydraulic mining--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Mining camps--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Power-plants--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bear Creek (Yukon)--Photographs
  • Bonanza Creek (Yukon)--Photographs
  • Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site (Yukon)--Photographs
  • Klondike River (Yukon)--Photographs
  • Klondike River Valley (Yukon)--Gold discoveries--Photographs
  • Yukon Territory--Gold discoveries--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographic prints
  • Photographs
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Doody, J. D (photographer)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Wolfe Photo (photographer)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)