Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dawson City Area Exploring, Day 3, June 26, 2010

Only rain today was about 20 sprinkles and currently at 8:30 pm it is 72 degrees. (Update: at 9 pm it is sprinkling some more) What more can you ask for? Today was our day to visit the Dredge # 4 on Bonanza Creek and visit the gold discovery site on Bonanza Creek (original name Rabbit Creek).

The dredge is so huge, one photo doesn’t do it justice. These huge dredges were used until the early 1960’s to recover gold from this area. This Dredge #4 is the largest wooden hull dredge in North America. IMG_8421


This is the excavating end, the above photo shows the end where the tailings came out.

This is the huge drum which when filled with the dug gravel, rotated with water being forced down the center of it. The gold and small gravel came out through the holes. The gold was then collected in the grid and coconut matting laying beneath this huge drum. About every day or two these mats were

IMG_0777 removed, rinsed and the gold and small gravel collected, then later refined at a nearby Gold Room.


Here is a photo of the grid and matting.

Here is photo of the control room. The dredge would move forward-10 feet at a time or side to side, then continue digging down to 57’ deep. The forward movement was clocked at 1/2 mile per year. Another great tour by Parks Canada.

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This is the Klondike Gold Discovery site on Bonanza Creek, have to admit that Bonanza Creek does sound better than Rabbit Creek. After the discovery, it was renamed. When George Carmack first found gold with two of his friends, he staked claim #1, so any future claims are numbered from his claim, like 2 up or 2 down from claim #1, his claim. There are several contradicting stories of exactly who found the gold. Was it his friends, Dawson Charlie or Skookum Jim, or was it Mrs. Carmack while doing laundry? The answer remains unanswered to this day. But we do know that George Carmack did stake the claim first.

We had picked up from the RV Park two gold pans and a shovel (for free) before heading out this morning, so off to Claim 6 above (six claims above the original gold discovery site #1). The public is able to pan for gold here and keep what they find.

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IMG_0799 Well, we panned, rubbed our aching backs and legs, panned some more and think we found (Bob did the finding) about four tiny flakes of gold.

Here the gold flakes are shown in a small custard cup.


IMG_8479 Here is what permafrost does to structures here in Dawson. When heated buildings are placed on frozen ground, the frost melts, mixing water with soil to form a very fluid muck into which the different footings settle at different rates. These two building are examples of what happens when no restoration measures have been taken.


I will say good night with one parting photo, here I am sitting in one of the 66 dredge buckets used on Dredge #4.


Diana, Eric, and kids said...

What RV park are you in? We will be in Dawson City tomorrow and were thinking of staying at Bonanza Gold. My son would LOVE to try is hand at panning.

Diana, Eric, and kids said...

Hi...we are facing you at Bonanza. Space 5 right by the trash.

Happytrails said...

What interesting information about the dredge!! Thanks for the tour and great lesson.
Permafrost sure does a number on those buildings!!
You all have fun and stay safe!!

Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

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