Document 96: Excerpt from the Diary of F. Hiscock

F. William Hiscock, "The Youkon Trail of Year 1898." Dawson City Museum, Yukon, Canada.
Secondary reproduction without museum permission not permitted.

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Bonanza Creek, Klondike District
November 1898

....We got some miles up Bonanza before we came to any claims being worked. Then we began to see a windlass with a heap of dirt and gravel being frozen to all depths has to be thawed out, with wood fires, usually put in in the evening and left to burn during night time, in the morning the thawed earth from 4 to 5 inches to 8 or 9 inches, is hoisted by windlass in a wooden bucket, tipped out and in 20 minutes it is frozen solid again and remains there until the spring comes, and the snow melting and the water running, a sluice is made of sawn boards and the dirt is scraped off the dump as it thaws everyday, and put through and the gold is caught in a grating made of sticks in the bottom of the sluice. Most workers in the claims have a tub and with some water in their cabins so if it is kept from freezing they can always wash a few pans of the richest dirt in the evening.

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest