Historical Background

Arrangement

Scope and Content

General Notes

Restrictions on Access

Restrictions on Use

Acquisition Info

Processing Info

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms


Guide to the Yukon Gold Dredging Photographs
circa 1905-1915



VM Collection No.: 662
Title: Yukon Gold Dredging photographs
Date Span: circa 1905-1915
Quantity: 86 photographic prints (1 box) ; various sizes
Location: K188
Languages: Collection materials are in English.
Canadian No. 3 on the Klondike River, 1915. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW23980z




Historical Background

The Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon Territory of Canada began in 1896 with news of a gold strike on Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River. By 1899 the first gold dredge began working in the area around Dawson City. Dredges, barge-like processing machines that operate in rivers and creeks or float in ponds of their own making, became popular because they allowed the deeper, more gold-rich soil of river- and creek beds to be mined. Without dredges, miners were restricted to gold panning, using sluice boxes, or excavating the claims themselves. Dredges move by using a rotating series of buckets, scooping up material in the front, processing it, and expelling the "tailing," or waste, behind them. In effect, they are able to gradually move the pools in which they float.

Due to the success of this heavy machinery, entrepreneurs pushed to gain land concessions from the Canadian government and to consolidate the claims of individual miners in the area. As a result, gold mining grew into a corporate venture, performed on a larger scale with the backing of investors. Corporations engaged in fierce competition for prime claims, water, and power, which often led to lawsuits and governmental disputes. Dredging operations required a large and consistent supply of water as well as laborious ground preparation.

Well in advance of the actual dredge, teams of workers cleared the ground of brush and moss, hydraulically washed away or "stripped" the top layer of silt, and thawed the underlying gravel by injecting water. Only after this intensive preparation process could the dredge itself come in and mine the area. Dredges would operate within feet of competitors' claims and buildings, sometimes tailing the waste into another's land. Lumber was often cut and stolen from competing claims. In one instance a Yukon Gold Company dredge was destroyed with dynamite. In efforts to recover greater quantities of gold, larger dredges with higher capacities were constructed and launched.

The two major competing corporations in the Yukon were Joe Boyle's Canadian Klondyke [sic] Mining Company, 1905, and the Guggenheim-backed Yukon Gold Company, 1906. In 1897 Joseph Whiteside Boyle (1867-1923) was a manager and promoter for the boxer Fred Slavin when he heard of the Klondike Gold Rush. He and Slavin traveled to the Yukon Territory, worked as laborers for others, then staked their own claims. Eventually Boyle decided that dredging, rather than hand panning, would be more profitable. After consolidating claims and obtaining approval from the Canadian government, he formed his own dredging company named The Canadian Klondyke Mining Company. In April of 1913, Boyle obtained the Granville Power Company's power plant on the north fork of the Klondike River. In May of 1913, the construction of the two largest dredges yet built, Canadian No. 3 and No. 4, was complete.

Canadian No. 4 eventually became a National Historic Site of Canada. One of the most successful dredges ever constructed, it sank in 1924, was refloated and refurbished in 1927, and operated until 1940. The dredge was then rebuilt by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation and continued to work from 1941 until it ceased operations for good in 1959. In 1967 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada decreed that dredging in the Yukon was of national historic importance, and the dredge was donated to Parks Canada by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation. Canadian No. 4 was excavated and underwent restoration and conservation from 1991 to 1992. It re-opened to the public in 1993.

Jerry (Jeremiah) D. Doody was a photographer in the Dawson and Whitehorse areas of the Yukon Territory. According to Alaska-Yukon Postcards: An Historical Review by Ken L. Elder and John H. Grainger, Doody is noted as having a varied career that included work for the Smithsonian Institution in Central America and service to the U.S. Army in Texas in 1882, as well as employment as a Kansas cowboy. Doody moved from California to the Yukon Territory in 1898 and worked with H.C. Barley's photography studio in Whitehorse.

Wolfe Photo was the commercial photograph studio of Frank E. Wolfe, thought to be active in the Yukon/Klondike River area from the late 1890s to around 1920.

Arrangement

The photographs are arranged by geographic region or by company dredge. Photographs depicting both an identified dredge and a known geographic region are arranged by dredge.

Scope and Content

The collection depicts mining and dredging operations in the Yukon Territory goldfields near the town of Dawson and on Bonanza Creek, Bear Creek, and the Klondike River. Images are primarily of Canadian Klondyke Mining Company dredges, but the collection also includes images of hydraulic mining, a power house, pipelines, company camp towns, and dredges of the Yukon Gold Mining Company.

General Notes

Based on handwritten labels on many of the photographs, unsigned photographs are probably attributable to J.D. Doody.

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open to the public.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Acquisition Info

The photographs were taken from the Yukon File, 2004, and the Wolfe Collection, both in the Special Collections division of the University of Washington Libraries. It is probable that the photos were originally together in an album as many show evidence of having been pasted onto black album pages.

Processing Info

The collection was processed by Paul Nasenbeny, 2005, and Megan Peacock, 2006.


Inventory

 
Folder Item Date
Bear Creek on the Klondike River
11Klondike River with Bear Creek Camp in foreground and two dredges in background   View imageundated

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
2Bear Creek Camp looking east   View imageOctober 6, 1912
3Yukon Consolidated Gold Company pipeline from Twelve Mile power plant to Bear Creek Campundated

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
4-5Men standing on dredge at Bear Creek   View image July 22, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory

 
Folder Item Date
Bonanza Basin and Bonanza Creek
26View of Ogilvie Bridge over Bonanza Creek with probably Canadian No.3 or 4 dredging   View imageJuly 18, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
7View of Ogilvie Bridge over Bonanza Creek with probably Canadian No. 3 or 4 in backgroundAugust 25, 1913

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
8View of Ogilvie Bridge over Bonanza Creek with Yukon Gold's machine shops ("Guggieville") and piles of dredged soil   View imageundated
9Bonanza Basin with Yukon Gold Co. machine shops and furrows of dredged soil   View image August 4, 1914

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
10Hydralic mining in Bonanza Basin   View imageundated
11Hydralic mining in Lovett Gulch   View imageundated

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
On item: "Hydrolic mine, Lovett Gulch left limit."
12Bonanza Creek with two Yukon Gold Co. dredges in background   View image1912
13Ground thawing operation on lower Bonanza Creek near Lovett Gulch with a dredge in the backgroundundated

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
14Ground thawing operationundated
15Men setting up No. 1 dredge thawing plant at Bonanza Creek   View imageJuly 5, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory

 
Folder Item Date
Canadian Klondyke Mining Company gold dredges
Canadian No. 1
316Dredgeundated
On item: "7 1/2 ft. bucket."
17Dredging in winter   View imageNovember 20, 1909
On item: "Bear Creek Dredge operating on the Klondike."
Hunker Creek, Yukon Territory
18Dredging on upper Hunker Creek with piles of soil and mountains in the background   View imageJune 28, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
19DredgeAugust 15, 1914

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
20Dredging claim "6 below"   View imageAugust 12, 1915
421Canadian No. 1 and Canadian No. 2 undated
On item: "No. 1: 7 1/2 ft. bucket. No. 2: 15 ft. bucket."
Canadian No. 2
522Dredging on Christmas day   View imageDecember 25, 1913
23Partially aground at Bear Creek, at 9:15 am, probably under repairAugust 24, 1915

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
24Dredging near the mouth of Bear Creek on the Klondike Riverundated

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
25Head on view from front of dredge   View imageundated
26Partially landed with buckets trailing on the ground in front of dredge   View imageMay 5, 1914

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
27Man in automobile with Canadian No. 2 in background   View imageJuly 22, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
On item: "Blitzen Bean Holder of WhiteHorse to Dawson Record" (automobile race).
Canadian No. 3
628Workers constructing Canadian No. 3 sitting or standing on construction scaffolds   View image September 15, 1912
On item: "Showing group in construction at Bonanza Basin."
29View from rear of Canadian No. 3 dredgeJune 4, 1913

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
"Dredge No. 3 showing the stern end of the dredge."
30No. 3 dredging   View imageAugust 22, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
31Canadian No. 3 working in Bonanza BasinJune 14, 1914

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
On item: "Showing the work done by Dredge No. 3 of the Boyle Concession Ltd. since May the 12th 1913."
32Canadian No. 3 working at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers   View image June 14, 1914
On item: "Bonanza Basin showing the Klondike River from the workings of dredge No. 3 to the Yukon River."
33View from hillside of dredge at work with Dawson City and river in the background   View imageAugust 2, 1914

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
34Canadian No. 3 dusted with snow with winter landscape in backgroundDecember 1914
35Dredging on the Klondike RiverMay 31, 1915
36View from hillside of dredge in river surrounded by dredged soil   View imageundated
On item: "No. 3 in winter quarters."
37Couple in horse-drawn buggy in front of Canadian No. 3   View imageundated
Interior of dredge
738-40Dredge pumps   View imageundated
41Bull wheel and intermediate drive for bucket ladderDecember 2, circa 1913-1915
42Upper and lower tiers of riffles on starboard sideDecember 1, circa 1913-1915
43300 horse power motor and bull wheelundated
44Stacker hoistundated
45-46Upper riffles   View imageundated
47Gears for raising or lowering bucket line1914
48Engine1914
Canadian No. 3 and Canadian No. 4
849View of Bonanza Basin with Canadian No. 3 and No. 4 under construction   View imageAugust 2, 1912
On item: "C.K.M. Co. [Canadian Klondike Mining Company] Camp, Bonanza Basin."
50View of Bonanza Basin with Canadian No. 3 and No. 4 under construction   View imageMay 12, 1913
51Canadian No. 3 and No. 4 under construction   View imagecirca 1912-1913
52Canadian No. 3 and No. 4 dredging in Bonanza Basin May 22, 1913
On item: "3 and 4 beginning work."
53Canadian No. 3 and No. 4November 19, circa 1913-1915
54Stacker on Canadian No. 3 with Canadian No. 4 in backgroundDecember 2, circa 1913-1915
55Dog laying in front of Canadian No. 3 and No. 4undated
Canadian No. 4
956Canadian No. 4   View imageDecember 3, 1912
57Canadian No. 4 in Bonanza Basin   View image June 12, 1913
58Canadian No. 4 with men standing on upper balconyAugust 22, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
59Front of Canadian No. 4undated
On item: "Dredge on Bonanza that has taken out over a million."
60View of Canadian No. 4 behind furrows of dredged materialAugust 22, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory

 
Folder Item Date
Yukon Consolidated Gold Company
1061Gold thawing plant at Gold Run Creek   View imageMay 11, 1914

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
62Yukon Gold Dredge No. 2, probably dredging in Bonanza Creek1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
Yukon Gold Dredge No. 4
63Dredging on Hunker Creek   View imageJune 2, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
64Dredging on Lower Hunker Creekundated

Photographer: J.D. Doody, Dawson, Yukon Territory
1165Yukon Gold Dredge No. 5 dredging on Bonanza CreekJuly 4, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
Yukon Gold Dredge No. 6
Discrepancies exist between labeling of Dredges Nos. 5 and 6 in the photograph captions.
66Company camp at Yukon No. 6 on 5 Below Discovery Bonanza Creek   View image July 19, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
67-68Yukon No.6 on Bonanza Creek   View imageJuly 21, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory
69Yukon Gold Dredge No. 9 on Eldorado Creek   View imageJuly 30, 1913

Photographer: Wolfe Photo, Dawson, Yukon Territory

 
Folder Item Date
Unidentified dredges and dredging machinery
1270-72Dredgeundated
73Dredging buckets laid out on the ground atop logs   View imageundated

 
Folder Item Date
Power House at the North Fork of the Klondike River
Also called the Granville Power Company.
1374Four men and two dogs on front porch of cabin at Power House   View imageundated
On item: "Staff of the G.P. Co. [Granville Power Company] at Power House."
75Pipeline from the Power House under construction   View imageJune 2, circa 1913
76View, looking uphill, of buried pressure pipesundated
On item: "Method of covering the pipe lines, Granville Power Co. at the North Fork of the Klondike River."
77View from hillside of raceway, Power House, valley, and the North Fork of the Klondike Riverundated
On item: "Granville Power Co. Power House at the North Fork of the Klondyke [sic] River showing raceway and pipelines covered with gravel."
Interior of the Power House
1478View of machineryDecember 17, 1913
79View of machineryundated
80View looking south of machinery and men workingundated
81Switch board and excitersundated
82Switch boardundated
Canadian Klondyke North Fork Ditch
Probably the water source for the Power House.
1583View from bank of water intakeundated
84Spillway   View imageundated
85Pressure box showing gates and end of ditchundated

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Doody, J. D., photographer.
Organizations:
Wolfe Photo, photographer.
Geographic Names:
Bear Creek (Yukon)--Photographs.
Bonanza Creek (Yukon)--Photographs.
Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site (Yukon)--Photographs.
Klondike River (Yukon)--Photographs.
Klondike River Valley (Yukon)--Gold discoveries--Photographs.
Yukon Territory--Gold discoveries--Photographs.
Subjects:
Dredges--Alaska--Photographs.
Dredges--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs.
Gold dredging--Alaska--Photographs.
Gold dredging--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs.
Gold mines and mining--Alaska--Photographs.
Gold mines and mining--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs.
Hydraulic mining--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs.
Mining camps--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs.
Power-plants--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Photographs.
Genre Headings:
Photographic prints.
Photographs.
Last modified: September 24, 2010
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