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Klondike (klŏnˈdīk), region of Yukon, NW Canada, just E of the Alaska border. It lies around Klondike River, a small stream that enters the Yukon River from the east at Dawson. The discovery in 1896 of rich placer gold deposits in Bonanza (Rabbit) Creek, a tributary of the Klondike, caused the Klondike stampede of 1897–98. News of the discovery reached the United States in July, 1897, and within a month thousands of people were rushing north. Most landed at Skagway at the head of Lynn Canal and crossed by Chilkoot or White Pass to the upper Yukon, which they descended to Dawson. Others went in by the Copper River Trail or over the Teslin Trail by Stikine River and Teslin Lake, and some by the all-Canadian Ashcroft and Edmonton trails. The rush continued by these passes all the following winter. The other main access route was up the Yukon River, c.1,600 mi (2,575 km), by steamer. Many of those using this route late in 1897 were caught by winter ice below Fort Yukon and had to be rescued. With unexpected thousands in the region a food famine threatened, and supplies were commandeered and rationed. The number in the Klondike in 1898 was c.25,000. Thousands of others who did not find claims drifted down the Yukon and found placer gold in Alaskan streams, notably at Nome, to which there was a new rush. Others went back to the United States. Gold is still mined in the area. The hardships of the trails and the color of Klondike days are described in many personal narratives; among the best are W. B. Haskell's Two Years in the Klondike (1898) and James Wickersham's Old Yukon (1938).


See W. S. Greever, The Bonanza West (1986).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a river in northwestern Canada, a right tributary of the Yukon.

The Klondike, 180 km long, originates in the Mackenzie Mountains and empties into the Yukon at the city of Dawson. The river is fed by snow, and the high-water period occurs in spring. The Klondike gold-mining region, famous for the “gold fever” caused by the discovery of gold deposits in the area in the late 19th century, is located in the river’s basin. During the region’s heyday (in the early 20th century) its population grew to 30,000. When the deposits were depleted the importance of the region fell abruptly and the population decreased to 1,000-2,000. Gold is mined today only on a small scale. The city of Dawson is the largest population center in the Klondike.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the scene of wild rush for riches (1886). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 269]
See: Frenzy
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a region of NW Canada, in the Yukon in the basin of the Klondike River: site of rich gold deposits, discovered in 1896 but largely exhausted by 1910. Area: about 2100 sq. km (800 sq. miles)
2. a river in NW Canada, rising in the Yukon and flowing west to the Yukon River. Length: about 145 km (90 miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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In response to claims from Sefton community workers that the council was not supportive of plans to bring back into use some homes on the Klondyke estate, in Bootle, Mr Shapps said Sefton council had not been "as forthcoming as Liverpool council" in looking at refurbishment of properties.
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