In July 1897, a year after local miners literally stuck gold in the Klondike Region of northwestern Canada, a local Seattle newspaper got wind of the news and published a headline stating simply “Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!” It triggered an exodus of hopeful prospectors that is today known as the Klondike Gold Rush. The hopes of riches beyond imagination jump started wild dreams in over 100,000 people, who all sold their farms, homes and businesses in the midst of an economic depression to head north to the Yukon gold fields. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park in downtown Seattle commemorates and preserves the stories of those brave people taking part in the “Last Great Adventure”, many of whom underwent the long voyage in vain, and explores the city’s crucial role in the events.
The Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush Park is part of an international cooperation between the United States and Canada, with other sites being located in historically important locations. The Seattle portion of the park is soaked in history as well, as the old Cadillac Hotel where the museum is now located, served as a major outfitting and departure point during the stampede following the gold news. The museum functions as an interpretative center and also offers up helpful information on how to visit its sister units and trails.