Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush, 1896-1899 by Pierre Berton

By Pierre Berton

With the development of the railroad and the payment of the plains, the North West was once establishing up. The Klondike stampede was once a wild interlude within the epic tale of western improvement, and listed here are its dramatic stories of trouble, heroism, and villainy. We meet Soapy Smith, dictator of Skagway; Swiftwater invoice Gates, who bathed in champagne; Silent Sam Bonnifield, who misplaced and received again a lodge in a poker online game; and Roddy Connors, who danced away a fortune at a greenback a dance. We meet dance-hall queens, paupers grew to become millionaires, missionaries and marketers, and mythical Mounties resembling Sam Steele, the Lion of the Yukon.

Pierre Berton's riveting account finds to us the spectacle of the Chilkoot move, and the terrors of lesser-known trails throughout the swamps of British Columbia, around the glaciers of souther Alaska, and up the icy streams of the Mackenzie Mountains. It contrasts the lawless frontier lifestyles at the American aspect of the border to the relative safeguard of Dawson urban. Winner of the Governor General's award for non-fiction, Klondike is actual background and grand leisure, and a must-read for someone attracted to the Canadian frontier.

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W. Boyington, 1872. (Photo by the author) resulting “mud” was then stirred until uniform. “Mud-wheelers” next took barrows stacked into kilns where a constantly the next decades. Horsepower was first of the mixture to sanded tables, where stoked fire made the bricks monolithic used to mold brick in Philadelphia in brickmakers rolled out rough quantities and water-resistant. 1835, but the process was increasingly and forced them into a mold, slicing off At the time of the Fire brickmaking automated after 1870 with lever- and the excess with piano wire.

23 fit with the need for air spaces that in- between 1880 and 1884 used terra- sulated the iron within. Round columns cotta arches, and according to Wight buildings achieved modest increases were typically clad in segmental shells, the nine most significant structures built in height over all-masonry structures. while columns of more elaborate shape in the boom of 1884–1885—the new Wrapping iron columns and girders with were usually boxed in, leaving voids Board of Trade, Home Insurance, Royal terra-cotta jackets saved owners floor that could be used for pipes or ca- Insurance, Opera House, Gaff, Mallers, space that would otherwise have gone 13 16 Pioneer produced the first compre- Early fire-protected iron-framed bles.

This worked fine for small build- placed directly on bedrock. frames and columns that opened up ings, although cracking and uneven The combination of speculative the entire facade to the proportions of settlement were frequent. As buildings building, poor soil, and easily avail- iron, rather than the more solid ones of reached five and six stories, however, able wood, brick, and cast iron cre- brick. These buildings were derided as settlement led to more systemic struc- ated two distinct typologies in Chicago flimsy, but they offered tangible bene- tural failures, and in the post-fire years commercial construction by the time fits in daylighting, smaller foundations, the inadequacy of rubble walls for taller of the fire.

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