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Word Count: 536
The largest gold rush of all attracted about 100 000 people to the Yukon It was sparked off by George Carmack and his native brothers-in-law Tagish Charley and Skookum Jim Mason They found gold on Rabbit Creek a tributary of the Klondike River on August 16 1896 The creek proved to be so rich in gold that local miners renamed it Bonanza just as they called the adjoining creek Eldorado At first the Yukon discoveries were limited to miners already in the North for the Klondike was even more inaccessible than the Cariboo The outer world only learned of the strike in the summer of 1897 when about 80 miners left Alaska in two ships When the first ship docked in San Francisco in July it caused a sensation for it was crammed with boxes and bags of gold Some of the miners carried a fortune of more than half a million dollars in gold As the news was flashed across the world men and women left their jobs and headed for the Klondike Most stood no chance of reaching the goldfields until the following summer but they did not know this Eager to get there as soon as possible they struck out overland or booked a passage on one of the many steamers heading for Alaska The most popular route was via steamer to Skagway or Dyea in Alaska taking the White Pass trail across the mountains from Skagway or the Chilkoot Pass trail from Dyea Most of the people who took the White Pass trail had to turn back when winter came Some 22 000 people made it through the Chilkoot Pass during the winter of 1897 to 1898 though this involved scaling the side of a mountain heavily loaded with supplies On reaching the summit the travellers went straight back down again to collect the next load It could take three months to get all ones
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