Yukon Nuggets

  • Joe Juneau's Restaurant. Yukon Archives. Dawson City Museum & Historical Society collection, #14.

1898 Yukon Nuggets

Famous People


At the height of the Klondike gold rush in 1898, Dawson City was rightly called the Paris of the North. The boom towns had just about everything you could imagine. And it had characters...some of whom were already rich and famous...and some who would become so later in life.

The Klondike made millionaires out of people who arrived early...before 1898, people like Big Alex McDonald, Swiftwater Bill Gates, Joe Boyle, Belinda Mulroney and others who owed their fortune to gold. But there were many people in Dawson City during that tumultuous year (1898) who would gain fame and sometimes fortune after leaving the Klondike. Examples are numerous.

Augustus Mack from Brooklyn, New York was here. Later he would design the world renowned Mac Truck. Alec Pantages was here too. Later he would be the most famous movie theatre owner in North America. Sid Grauman, whose Chinese theatre in Hollywood is home to the hand and foot prints of the world's most famous movie stars, looked for gold in the Klondike at the turn of the century.

Duff Pattulo, came to the Klondike as an assistant to Major J.W. Walsh, who was sent by the Canadian government as gold commissioner. Pattulo would later become the Premier of British Columbia. Tex Rickard, who gained fame as the manager of Madison Square Gardens in New York City, walked the streets of Dawson in 1898, as did Joe Juneau, who ran a restaurant in Dawson. The State capital of Alaska is named for Joe because he had discovered gold on the Alaskan panhandle.

Jack London lived a year in the Klondike district, mining the land and its people for their stories. His Yukon experiences resulted in two of the world's most famous books... Call of the Wild and White Fang. It's said that Belinda Mulroney who made her fortune with various business enterprises in the Klondike, owned the dog which London used as inspiration to write Call of the Wild. Arthur Treadgold, who set about gathering up mining claims to build a vast network in the mining district, came from England. He was a direct descendant of one of the world's noted pioneering scientists, Sir Isaac Newton. Calamity Jane, who had gained notoriety as a sharp-shooter in Wild Bill Hickok's wild west shows, ran a boarding house in the Klondike.


Kate Rockwell danced her way to stardom in Dawson and remained the darling of the American press until her death in the 50s - remembered for all time as Klondike Kate. Fame and fortune came early for some...and for some it didn't last long. For others it came after they left. But that part of the Yukon, known the world over as the Klondike, left its mark on many people from around the world.



A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.

Les McLaughlin

Les McLaughlin

As storyteller, radio man, and music producer, Les proved a passionate preserver of Yukon heritage throughout his life — nowhere more evident than as the author and voice of CKRW’s “Yukon Nuggets,” from its inception until his passing in 2011.