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Women of the Klondike

      I have the pleasure this week of introducing my first guest author. Ken Spotswood is an award-winning journalist and historian who lives in Dawson City, and specializes in the history of the Yukon and Alaska. Readers of the Yukon News will be very familiar with his work, which includes the series "Klondike Snapshots." This article, the posting of which was facilitated by the Yukon Anniversaries Commission, is the first in a series of Ken's articles which will be appearing here through our Centennial year.

      The term Klondike Gold Rush generally brings to mind scenes of thousands of (white) men on the Seattle docks, crossing the frozen Chilkoot Pass, or probing the Klondike gravels for gold. Over the past 5 years in particular, however, serious historians have been focusing on the other participants in the gold rush, including First Nations people, ethnic groups, working-class people, and women. The role played by women has until recently been virtually ignored, except that of the dance hall girls who were so successful in separating the miners from their gold. In this lengthy article, Ken introduces women from a wide range of backgrounds, including Emilie Fortin, Belinda Mulroney, Grace Bartsch, Martha Black and Flora Shaw.


Proceed to Women of the Klondike



References & Further Reading:

  • Backhouse, Francis - Women of the Klondike (Vancouver, BC: Whitecap, 1995)

  • Cantwell, Sister Margaret - North to Share: The Sisters of St. Ann in Alaska and the Yukon Territory (Victoria, BC: Sisters of St. Ann, 1992)

  • Driscoll, Cynthia Brackett - One Woman's Gold Rush (Kalamazoo, MI: Oak Woods, 1996)

  • Mayer, Melanie J. - Klondike Women: True Tales of the 1897-1898 Gold Rush (Swallow, 1989)

  • Neufeld, David and Frank Norris - Chilkoot Trail: Heritage Route to the Klondike (Whitehorse, YT: Lost Mooose, 1996)