Visit Alaska’s Important Gold Rush

Gold played a big part in the early development of Alaska. Lots of communities experienced abundant life because of gold strikes. Then later it was followed by rapid depression because areas were getting mined out. From 1861 up to 1898, Wrangell had three major gold rushes: Cassiar, Stikine River and Klondike Goldrush. Due to these rushes, the small community of Wrangell became a bustling supply center for the miners. 

Stikine River Gold Rush

A former Hudson’s Bay Trader, Alexander Choquette found gold on the upper reaches of the Stikine River in 1861. This caused a stampede through Wrangell and on the Canadian territory. But Alexander’s was just a minor find compared to the gold strikes that followed. Wrangell was once known as Fort Stikine and it was leased from Russia by the Hudson Bay Company.

Cassiar Gold Rush

Alaska was bought by the United States of America from Russia in 1867. Henry Thibert and Angus McCulloch were the ones who found gold in the Cassiar District of Canada in 1872. And because of it, Wrangell was brought to prosperity overnight. But this prosperity only lasted five years before the gold was panned out and those who did not have the chance to strike moved on. 

Klondike Gold Rush

Wrangell once again became the base of operations for prospectors in the late 1890s. The Stikine River route was the first of three possible routes to the Klondike and there had already been two rushes on this location. The second one was from Skagway and over the White Pass and the last was from Dyea up the Taiya River and over the Chilkoot Pass. From 1897 to 1900, Wrangell became a vital supply point for miners heading to Klondike. 


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