Elinor W. Senkler photograph collection, approximately 1870-1908  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Senkler, Elinor W.
Elinor W. Senkler photograph collection
approximately 1870-1908 (inclusive)
14 photographic prints (1 box, 2 oversized folders)
Collection Number
Photographs of Yukon gold commissioner Edmund Senkler, Roderick MacFarlane and John Rae of the Hudson's Bay Company, Eleanor Senkler, and other unidentified individuals in Dawson City and the Yukon Territory.
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 is required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The Klondike Gold Rush began in August 1896 when gold was discovered in Rabbit Creek, near Dawson City in the Yukon region of Canada. While locals began staking claims immediately, word spread relatively slowly until 1897. News reached the United States in July 1897, when the first successful prospectors arrived in San Francisco and Seattle. This set off the Klondike stampede, as thousands of gold-seekers set off for the Yukon.

The route to the Yukon was a difficult one, and many Klondikers died on the trail or turned back along the way. Of the 100,000 gold-seekers who made the attempt, approximately 30,000 made it over the rough trails to arrive in Dawson City. Originally a native summer fishing camp, the gold rush made Dawson temporarily the largest city north of San Francisco, with 40,000 residents. The town blossomed as elaborate hotels, theaters and dance halls were erected. Dawson also had fire hydrants on the streets, and was the first city in western Canada to have electric lights. It also included such amenities as telephone service, running water and steam heat. The growth of Dawson was largely responsible for the creation of the Yukon Territory as a new Canadian Province on June 13, 1898.

Unfortunately, not all who reached the Klondike became rich. By the time the masses arrived, all the creeks had been claimed, and most new arrivals found themselves working for others rather than themselves. With the news of gold in Nome, Alaska, people started to leave in large numbers, with 8,000 people leaving Dawson in the summer of 1899 alone. By 1902, the population was less than 5,000.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains images of Roderick MacFarlane, Edmund C. Senkler, Dr. John Rae, and Eleanor Senkler; also pictured are unidentified individuals and groups in Dawson City, Canada, and the Yukon Territory.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View the digital version of the collection

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  Edmund Cumming Senkler with group of men in St. Catherines, Ontario
Edmund Senkler is in the center row, second from the right
between 1870 and 1879?
1/1 2  Edmund Senkler and group of men
Edmund Senkler is in the front row in the center
between 1870 and 1879?
OS3 3  Edmund Senkler, Gold Commissioner, with other men in Dawson City
Edmund Senkler was gold commissioner of Yukon Territory from 1898-1901.
between 1898 and 1906?
1/2 4  Roderick MacFarlane and Eleanor Senkler as young girl
Roderick MacFarlane joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1852 as a 19-year-old assistant clerk. He held the position of clerk at several forts, including Fort Rae, Fort Resolution, and Fort Good Hope. After working with naturalist Robert Kennicott, MacFarlane became an enthusiastic collector of scientific specimens for the Smithsonian Institution. Later in his career, MacFarlane was Chief Factor at the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Chipewyan. He retired as Chief Factor in 1894, but remained with the company until 1913.
OS3 5  Cartoon of Roderick MacFarlane
Note on verso: "Cartoon appeared in Winnipeg newspaper on his retirement. Bird's nest reflects his interest in natural history."
between 1905 and 1910?
1/3 6  Women around table raising glasses in a toast, Dawson City, Yukon 1907
1/3 7  Men sitting around table in Dawson City, Yukon December 1907
1/4 8  Dr. John Rae, with relics from the Franklin Expedition, gold medal, and map
Byrne and Co., Richmond, Surrey (photographer)
Dr. John Rae (1813-1893) was hired by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1833, and participated in four Arctic expeditions beginning in the fall of 1846. Among his chief accomplishments are discovering the last missing link in the mapping of the Northwest Passage, and, in 1854, discovering the fate of the long-lost Franklin Expedition, who had disappeared in 1847. For this discovery, Dr. Rae received a reward of £10,000 and a gold medal from the Royal Geographic Society.
Next to Rae are relics from the Franklin expedition, which he recovered in 1854, and a gold medal from the Royal Geographic Society, presented to Rae for his discovery. The map shows the location where Franklin's ship was abandoned in 1848.Extensive notes on verso relating to Rae's various expeditions.
August 1886
1/4 9  Man with dog
Notman and Sandham, Montreal (photographer)
between 1885 and 1900?
1/5 10  Postcard of aerial view of Dawson City, Yukon between 1900 and 1905?
1/5 11  Men and women with bicycles between 1900 and 1905?
1/5 12  Men and women on summer outing between 1900 and 1905?
1/5 13  Family portrait between 1885 and 1890?
OS3 14  Men and women on horseback between 1980 and 1900?

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • MacFarlane, Roderick Ross--Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • Dawson (Yukon)--Photographs
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Senkler, Edmund C.--Photographs
    • Senkler, Elinor--Photographs