The Klondike is a region of the Yukon Territories in northwest Canada, east of the Alaskan border. It lies around the Klondike River, a small river that enters the Yukon River from the east at Dawson City.
The Klondike is famed because of the Klondike Gold Rush, which started in 1897 and lasted until 1899. Gold has been mined continuously in that area except for a hiatus in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The name "Klondike" evolved from the Hän word Tr'ondëk, which means "hammerstone water". Early gold seekers found it difficult to pronounce the First Nations word, so "Klondike" was the result of this poor pronunciation.
The climate is exceedingly severe — very hot and dry in the short summer, and extremely cold during the long winter. For seven months of the year, intense cold prevails, varied by furious snow storms which begin in September and occur at intervals until May. By October 20, ice is formed over all the rivers. The ground for the better part of the year is frozen to the depth of 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 meters).
In popular culture
- The Klondyke march and two step with music by Oscar Telgmann was published in Kingston, Ontario by the Music Emporium, c. 1897.
- Jack London's novel The Call of the Wild was published in 1903.
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