“Show me the money” and follow the gold trail through big towns and small towns, boom towns and busts; over ghost trails to ghost towns, ending in dust.
Gold strikes have driven settlement in this country as much as anything else. Thousands of pioneers travelled west in search of new beginnings. History has shown that few found riches, while most gave up on their dreams and returned home; still alive if they were lucky.
The California Gold Rush brought a reported, three hundred thousand “forty-niners” west when word spread of the gold find at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, 1848.
Ten years later, gold was discovered in Colorado on the South Platte River, in what was then, Kansas Territory. This strike triggered what has been called the largest gold strike in American history. “Pikes Peak or Bust!”
In 1896 the gold find in the Klondike heralded the flood of over one hundred thousand “stampeders” to the region. Of that one hundred thousand, only thirty thousand actually made the difficult journey to the gold fields. The hardships of this venture are well documented, with much suffering and little “money to show” for their efforts.
Then at the turn of the century, when gold was found in Anvil Creek in Nome, prospectors scrambled away from Dawson and the Klondike, to the new find. Nome became a boomtown in no time with a population of twenty thousand. The “three lucky Swedes” who made this gold discovery included Jafet Lindeberg (pictured here), the owner of the Pioneer Mining Company. It can be seen on the inset that the week’s take at the mining company was two hundred and sixty thousand dollars. “Show me the money!”
Jafet Lindeberg plays a role in my latest frontier fiction series, Watch Eyes Trilogy. It’s intriguing to me, the threads of history that meet up in our fiction tales. https://www.joannesundell.com/books/