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Timeline / Defining Rights and Responsibilities / 1896: Tagish family finds gold in the Klondike

1896: Tagish family finds gold in the Klondike

Miners descend on the Klondike after a Tagish man known as Skookum Jim Mason and his relatives find gold in Rabbit Creek. The area is renamed Bonanza Creek; millions of dollars of gold are mined.

Keish (known as Skookum Jim Mason) made the discovery, along with his cousin, Dawson Charlie; his nephew, Patsy Henderson; and his sister, Kate Carmack, and her husband, George Carmack. Carmack staked the claim in his name because the family worried that other miners would be reluctant to acknowledge a claim made by a Native man.

Land and Water

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Gold miners working a flume, Bonanza Creek, Alaska, ca. 1909–1915

Courtesy Alaska State Library, Loreta Larsan Photograph Collection

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Route to Rabbit/Bonanza Creek, Alaska, 1897

Courtesy Alaska State Library, William Norton Photograph Collection