Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/188

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formerly, it is still large, and Cripple Creek possesses a record for gold production rarely equalled. The total production up to 1910 was over $200,000,000.

The gold of Cripple Creek occurs mostly in veins, though some small placer deposits were worked in the early days. Instead of one great vein as at the Comstock lode in Nevada, there are very many smaller veins, representing ore bodies formed in fissures in the choked-up neck of an old volcano. Erosion has altered the appearance of the volcanic vent, but the geological structure proves the origin of the region.

About the time of the discovery of the Cripple Creek district, new gold deposits were found at Leadville, in Colorado. We have seen that gold placers were worked in this region in 1859, but were soon exhausted, and that in 1874 silver-lead ores were discovered and again brought a boom to the region. With the fall of silver, Leadville had lost much of its prosperity, but again picked up on the discovery of gold ores shortly after 1890, About this time, and later, many mines in the San Juan region and elsewhere in southern Colorado also became important gold producers.

Following quickly in the train of the fall of silver, news came of the discoveries of gold in the Klondike region. The Treadwell and other mines in southern Alaska had long been worked, but in the far north mining had not been very active. More or less gold had been mined on the Yukon and its tributaries for many years, and from 1886 to 1895 interest was somewhat stimulated by discoveries on Forty-Mile Creek, Koyukuk River, Mission Creek, Mynook Creek, Tanana River and many other streams flowing into the Yukon; but the production was not very great and the industry was carried on in a desultory way. With the discovery, however, of gold on the Klondike River in 1896, this apparent apathy was turned to the wildest excitement.

The Klondike River is in the Yukon Territory of Canada and flows into the upper Yukon River east of the Alaska border. Gold was discovered there on August 17, 1896, and a stampede to the new district followed which will always be memorable for the hardships encountered and the frightful mortality among those who took part in it. By 1898 over 40,000 people were camped on the Yukon, at the mouth of the Klondike, while many had died on the way, frozen on the White Pass, or on the long winter trail from Edmonton, or starved in the forest, or drowned in the Yukon, or shipwrecked in the Pacific. Whole parties often perished and nothing was heard of them until perhaps years later their outfits were found on the wilderness trails. Dawson City came suddenly into existence on what a few months before had been a barren river bank, and took its place as the metropolis of the gold regions of Arctic America. Soon after the first discovery of the Klondike gold, the deposits on various smaller streams in the vicinity, such as Bonanza