VI. Chronology: Seattle and the Klondike Gold Rush

Year Event


Gold strike at Forty-Mile Creek, Alaska.

June 1889

Seattle Fire.


North American Trade & Transportation Company (NAT&T) founded in Chicago, to set up trading posts along Yukon River.


Completion of Great Northern Railway from St. Paul to Seattle.


Financial panic and depression hits American economy.


NAT&T store established at Circle City, Alaska.

March-April 1896

Considerable numbers of miners leave Seattle for Circle City, Alaska, other goldfields at Forty Mile, Sixty Mile, and Cook Inlet.


Population of Circle City reaches 5,000.

August 1896

Gold discovery on Bonanza Creek, tributary of Klondike River, Yukon Territory.

Fall 1896

News of Klondike strike reaches Circle City, miners depart for Dawson. Building begins at the new site of Dawson City, Yukon Territory.

Winter 1896-1897

Miners work Klondike mines, take out millions in gold.

April 1897

Population of Dawson City reaches about 1,500.

Summer 1897

Population of Dawson City reached 3,500.

July 1897

Miners return to Seattle and San Francisco with news of Klondike gold and gold itself.

July-August 1897

Miners leave Seattle and other cities for the Klondike. By September 1st, 9,000 left the port of Seattle.

February-April 1898

Thousands leave Seattle and other cities for the Klondike.

April 3, 1898

Snowslide at Chilkoot Pass, killing over sixty men and women.

Summer 1898

Between 20,000 and 30,000 potential miners reach Dawson

July 1898

Gold strike at Anvil Creek, Alaska, Nome Mining District.


Seattle begins regrade of downtown to expand commercial district.

April 1899

Town site of Nome staked and established.

Summer 1899

Discovery of gold on Nome beaches. Two thousand arrive to mine.

October 1899

Steamer arrives in Seattle with Nome miners and gold aboard.

January-April 1900

One to two thousand miners travel from Yukon to Nome.

April-May 1900

Ships sail from Seattle for Nome gold beaches, with up to 20,000 on board.

Summer 1900

Thousands descend on Nome beaches to dig for gold in the sand.


Annual volume of business in Seattle tops $50 million.


Gold discoveries in Tanana Valley, Alaska, and founding of Fairbanks.


Founding of Alaska Club, a Seattle organization for Alaskan businessmen.


Construction of the 15 story Alaska Building, the first steel frame skyscraper in Seattle. Financed by Jafet Lindeberg, who struck gold in Nome in 1898, along with other stockholders of the Scandinavian-American bank. Includes space for Alaska Club offices.


Schwabacher Company constructs new 8-story building at First and Jackson in Seattle.


Alaska Club and Arctic Club merge in Seattle, bringing together Seattle and Alaska businessmen.


Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition is held in Seattle.


Statue of William Seward placed in Seattle's Volunteer Park.


Seattle's ocean-borne commerce reaches new high of $154,599,947.


Alaska exports nearly $50,000,000 in gold, silver, copper, other minerals, and salmon, to the U.S.


Construction of Arctic Building on Third Avenue in Seattle.

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