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Dawson City, heart of the Yukon gold rush, still has stories to tell

Section: Daily Dispatches

The lucky few who attended GATA's Gold Rush 21 conference in Dawson City in 2005 and endorsed the Dawson Declaration may especially appreciate this wonderful journalism about a recent visit to the town.

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125 Years After Gold Was Discovered in the Yukon, We Ventured up to Dawson City. Here's What It Looks Like Now

By Brendan Kiley
Seattle Times
Saturday, September 10, 2021

DAWSON CITY, Yukon Territory, Canada -- The first tourists to Dawson City arrived in July of 1898, a few weeks before the boomtown's second birthday.

Mrs. Mary E. Hitchcock (widow of a U.S. Navy officer) and Miss Edith Van Buren (niece of the former U.S. president) swept into the new gold-mining settlement, 170 miles south of the Arctic Circle, with opulent cargo: a zither, a parrot, canaries, a portable bowling alley, crates of fancy foods (pâté, truffles, olives), a movie projector, an exhaustive wardrobe (silks, furs, starched collars, sombreros), two Great Danes, and a 2,800 square-foot marquee tent for their lodgings.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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Their arrival was strange -- and strangely appropriate.

Dawson had been hastily founded in 1896 after a party of four prospectors (a Tagish and Tlingit woman named Shaaw Tláa, her brother, her nephew and her white husband George Carmack) discovered a promising amount of gold at nearby Rabbit Creek, filled an empty shotgun shell with the stuff and registered their claim, telling people as they went. Soon, swarms of hopefuls poured up and into the Yukon -- over mountain passes, through rapids, across glaciers, with sometimes-fatal results -- to get in on the action.

Much of that action involved mining the miners, selling goods and entertainments to the insta-rich and aspiring insta-rich: roulette, exotic-dance revues, Champagne, porcelain chamber pots, Persian carpets, mahogany furniture. The summer Hitchcock and Van Buren showed up, Dawson's population was pushing 40,000. They were just two more spectacles in a bizarre kaleidoscope. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

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Toast to a free gold market
with great GATA-label wine

Wine carrying the label of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, cases of which were awarded to three lucky donors in GATA's recent fundraising campaign, are now available for purchase by the case from Fay J Winery LLC in Texarkana, Texas. Each case has 12 bottles and the cost is $240, which includes shipping via Federal Express.

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To order a case of GATA-label wine, please e-mail Fay J Winery at

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