August Hahn Collection of Eric A. Hegg Photographs, ca. 1897-1898  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Hegg, Eric A., 1867-1948
August Hahn Collection of Eric A. Hegg Photographs
ca. 1897-1898 (inclusive)
25 photographic prints
Collection Number
Photographs of the Klondike Gold Rush, gold miners and Klondike towns taken by Eric A. Hegg.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Eric A. Hegg was born in Bollnas, Sweden, in 1868 and came to America with his parents when he was three years old, settling in Wisconsin. Hegg studied art and photography (possibly as an apprentice to a local photographer). At fifteen, he opened his own studio in Washburn, Wisconsin. At the age of twenty-one, Hegg moved to the Puget Sound area, and by 1897, he owned two photo studios in Bellingham Bay, Washington. In that year, he left for the gold fields with a group of men from Bellingham Bay on the Skagit Chief sternwheeler. Having arrived too late in the season to get all the way to Dawson, Hegg stayed close to the coast, photographing stampeders, first in Dyea, then with a second studio in Skagway. With his brother Pete and several others he formed a party continuing on to the Klondike, heading over Chilkoot Pass, successfully navigating through White Horse Rapids, on to Lake LaBarge, Thirty Mile River, past Five Finger Rapids, and arriving in Dawson in July, 1898. He later went to Nome and opened a studio there, continuing to photograph the gold rush. Eric Hegg died in San Diego in 1955.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1896 brought a stampede of hopeful gold seekers. Alaska was the gateway through which most miners passed as the routes through Alaska were more accessible than those through Canandian territory. Ships left San Francisco, Seattle, and Port Townsend, among other ports, for the Alaska panhandle. From there one of the most popular routes went from Dyea over the Chilkoot Pass. A longer but less steep route began in Skagway and went over the White Pass. The Canadian government required every prospector to carry in at least a one-year supply of food, and a single miner's food and supplies might weigh several tons. Once over the passes, gold seekers built boats to make the rest of the trip along the Yukon. While the trip over the pass could be difficult, the trip downriver was equally arduous, with early freezes and perilous rapids. The miners crossed Lake Bennett and then proceeded down the Yukon to Dawson City, and on to seek their fortune.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains photographs made by E. A. Hegg depicting images of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska and Yukon Territory, ca. 1897-1898. Most show miners, prospectors, and Klondikers on their way to the gold fields or engaged in mining activities. Towns (such as Skagway and Dawson) also appear in the photographs.

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


Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 1  Dyea, Alaska (Hegg 51)
1/1 2  Dyea Trail (Hegg 101) 1898
1/1 3  Sheep Camp, Alaska (Hegg 204) Apr., 1898
1/2 4  Summit of Chilkoot Pass (Hegg 208)
This photograph is still attached to an album page. Photo 208 is on the reverse side of photo 701.
ca. 1898
1/2 5  Caribou Crossing (Hegg 701)
This photograph is still attached to an album page. Photo 701 is on the reverse side of photo 208.
1/3 6  Lake Lindeman (Hegg 402) June 1, 1898
1/3 7  Three men, woman, and dog in a small boat, probably Bennett Lake or Lake Lindeman
Photograph on album page.Attached to photo: Hon. L.A. Palmer, of this city, has lately received word that his brother, George Palmer, was in the snow slide upon the Chilkoot Pass a week or so ago, and that he escaped all right. The message came from Mrs. George Palmer at Tacoma, saying he was safe and particulars would follow in a letter. Mr. Palmer has for some years resided at Tacoma, but formerly lived here.
1/4 8  Wharves at Skagway (Hegg 164)
1/4 9  Ddogsled in Skagway street, Alaska (Hegg 12)
1/5 10  Tagish Post, Custom House (Hegg 704) ca. 1898
1/5 11  Scows with sails on Lake Marsh (Hegg 708) June 6, 1898
1/6 12  Small boat navigating White Horse Rapids (Hegg 712) ca. 1898
1/6 13  Goods being dried after a wreck on White Horse Rapids (Hegg 719)
1/7 14  Boats on Lake LeBarge (Hegg 717) ca. 1898
1/7 15  The steamer Kalamazoo wrecked on the Thirty Mile River (Hegg 580) ca. 1898
1/7 16  Five Finger Rapids (Hegg 723)
1/8 17  Steamboat landing at Dawson City
1/8 18  Main St. looking north at Dawson (Hegg 741) 1898
1/9 19  Men with huskies, Yukon (Hegg 570)
1/10 20  View at Grand Fork looking up Bonanza Creek
1/10 21  View looking up Eldorado from the Forks
1/10 22  Skookum Gulch (Hegg 399)
1/10 23  Keith and Wilson mine on French Hill (Hegg 3025)
1/10 24  Mining on French Hill, rocking out gold
1/10 25  French Hill (Hegg 552)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Frontier and pioneer life--Alaska--Photographs
  • Frontier and pioneer life--Yukon--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Gold miners--Alaska--Photographs
  • Gold miners--Yukon--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Gold mines and mining--Yukon--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Gold rushes--Alaska--Photographs
  • Gold rushes--Yukon--Klondike River Valley--Photographs
  • Personal Names :
  • Hegg, Eric A., 1867-1948
  • Geographical Names :
  • Alaska--Gold discoveries--Photographs
  • Dawson (Yukon)--Photographs
  • Dyea (Alaska)--Photographs
  • Klondike River Valley (Yukon)--Gold discoveries--Photographs
  • Skagway (Alaska)--Photographs
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Hahn, August (collector)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

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