Gold Miners Prospectors Crossing The Chilkoot Pass Alaska Mine Miner Photo 2
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Gold Miners Prospectors Crossing The Chilkoot Pass Alaska Mine Miner Photo 2:
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8X10 PHOTOChilkoot Pass Photo 2
The Chilkoot Trail began at Dyea and extended for 33 miles to Lake Bennett, the head of navigation for the Yukon River system. The trail had been used for years by the Chilkat Indians to cross the mountains and by early prospectors traveling to the Yukon interior. The Chilkoot Pass has an elevation of 3,739 feet. More people chose this route rather than the White Pass, because Chilkoot was open all year and its trail to Lake Bennett was shorter by a few miles. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people traveled the trail in 1897-98. It was the experience of a lifetime for most and the end of the trail for others. With close to 2,000 pounds of supplies to haul, the prospectors found that local Indians (Tlingit) provided a much-needed service. The Indians could pack enormous loads, and charged 12 cents a pound for packing from Dyea to the scales at the base of the Pass. When the demand for packers increased, the price went up. Some charged $1 a pound over the pass. Even with the packers available, most stampeders could not afford the charge and ended up hauling their own supplies over the trail. Once the gold stampede began in earnest, men began to construct all sorts of systems for getting supplies and paraphernalia over the pass. Archie Burns built the first hoist using a gasoline engine, and a pulley drum to haul up a sled by cable. Several others built primitive aerial tramways. By far the most elaborate was the Chilkoot Railroad and Transportation Company's. It ran from Canyon City, over the pass, and down to Crater Lake, a distance of eight miles. This tramway was professionally engineered with a series of tripods and constructed up the trail with cable strung between them. Loads up to 400 pounds could be carried at one time for a fee of 7-1/2 cents per pound. The tram opened in May 1898 and put a lot of the Indian packers out of business.OVER 100 MINING PHOTO'S IN OUR store2500 PHOTO'S IN OUR store
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