Eric A. Hegg Photographs the Gold Rush

Eric A. Hegg Photographs the Gold Rush

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Eric A. Hegg

A bit more gold, and then we’ll move on. These images are from the amazing archive of Eric Hegg photographs at the University of Washington which  document the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes from
1897 – 1901. Images include depictions of frontier life in Dawson City,
the Yukon Territory, and Skagway and Nome, Alaska.

Some more info…

In the fall of 1897, after hearing of the gold strikes in the Yukon
Territories, Hegg joined the thousands of gold seekers heading north.
Accompanied by a group of men from Bellingham Bay , he traveled by
steamboat up the Inside Passage through British Columbia to his
destination in Alaska. Finding his passage further north closed due to
the freezeup on the Yukon River, he settled temporarily in Dyea, Alaska
which was the jumping off point for the Chilkoot Trail to Dawson. Here
he opened a small photography studio. Later, during the winter of
1897-1898, he established a second, more substantial, studio in
Skagway.

The photographer Per Edward (Ed) Larss who had arrived in
Skagway in March of 1898, was employed by Hegg to assist in documenting
the huge migration to the Yukon known as “the Stampede”. For a short
time, he and Larss made frequent trips to the Chilkoot Pass following
the footsteps of the thousands of Klondikers who wound their way up the
Dyea River to the Golden Staircase and over over into British Columbia.
They also documented scenes along the White Pass Trail. Along the
trails they recorded the sail driven sleds, temporary tent towns, piles
of snow covered food caches and the many hardships endured by the
Klondikers as they neared their goal.

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Bar at the grand opening of the Opera House, Dawson, Yukon Territory, July 4, 1899.

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Captain Jack Crawford and group of people at social event, Dawson, Yukon Territory, ca. 1899.

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Four men using rocker to mine for gold on Nome beach, Alaska, ca. 1900.

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Aftermath of a fire in Dawson, Yukon Territory, October 14, 1898.

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Captain Jack Crawford and group of people at social event, Dawson, Yukon Territory, ca. 1899.

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Exhausted Klondiker resting on the trail, probably Alaska, 1898.
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Gold nugget from Pioneer Mining Co.’s claim on Anvil Creek near Nome, Sepember 29, 1901.

See the full archive here. And steer clear of Captain Jack!

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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. karen at 12:54 pm

    Wow, who knew there were such fashionistas (or opera for that matter) in the Yukon 120 years ago? I especially am in love with the rugged cowboy’s beautiful long coat…I want one! (2nd from left in opera house pic) Karen

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