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Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Location Alaska and Washington, USA
Nearest city Skagway, Alaska and Seattle, Washington
Coordinates 59°27′23″N 135°18′42″W / 59.45639°N 135.31167°W / 59.45639; -135.31167Coordinates: 59°27′23″N 135°18′42″W / 59.45639°N 135.31167°W / 59.45639; -135.31167
Area 13,191 acres (53.38 km²)
Established June 30, 1976
Visitors Skagway unit: 888,255 (in 2005)
Seattle unit: 70,783 (in 2005)
Governing body National Park Service

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park commemorating the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. The gold rush was in the Yukon Territory, and this park comprises staging areas for the trek there, and routes leading in its direction. The park consists of four units: three in the Municipality of Skagway Borough, Alaska and a fourth in the Pioneer Square National Historic District in Seattle, Washington.

The story of the Klondike Gold Rush can only be appreciated by looking on both sides of the Canada–United States border. National historic sites in Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon, help complete the story. Klondike Gold Rush NHP and Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site, in British Columbia, form Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park.

Contents

Skagway unit

Skagway unit museum

The Skagway unit protects much of downtown Skagway including 15 restored historic buildings. The park also preserves portions of the White Pass Trail and the Chilkoot Trail, which leaves from the historic townsite of Dyea, Alaska and runs to Bennett Lake, from which prospectors could raft to Dawson City, Yukon. Portions of Dyea are also part of the historical park. The visitor center in Skagway has information regarding current traveling conditions along the Chilkoot Trail. A fee is required to hike the 33-mile trail.

Seattle unit

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Seattle Visitor's Center at the Cadillac Hotel
Prior location of the Visitor's Center in the Union Trust Annex (at right)

An integral part of the park is the Visitor's Center in Seattle, Washington, in the Pioneer Square National Historic District. It functions as an interpretive center and museum, and also has information on how to visit the Skagway unit of the park. It opened June 2, 1979,[1] and was located in the Union Trust Annex (built 1902[2]), across Main Street from Occidental Park.[3]

The Seattle unit is now located in an 1889 building, the Cadillac Hotel at 319 Second Avenue South. The Cadillac Hotel building was a major point of outfitting and departure during the gold rush stampede. Severely damaged in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, it was rehabilitated 2004–2005 as home to the Seattle Unit of the park, and was opened and dedicated 26 June 2006.[4][5]

An international park

In 1969, the US and Canadian governments jointly declared their intention to make Chilkoot Trail a component of a Klondike Gold Rush International Historic Park. The US portion was eventually established in 1976 as part of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The B.C. portion of the trail became Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site, one of several sites in the national park system associated with the Klondike. But it wasn't until the centennial of the gold rush, in 1998, that the dream of an international park was realized, when Klondike Gold Rush NHP and Chilkoot Trail NHS joined to form Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park. Their previous legal names were retained, while the new name reflected co-operative management between the two park services, and the formalization of relations which had in fact been going on for years.

Notes

  1. ^ Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Administrative History, Chapter 12: Operation of the Seattle Visitor Center. Accessed online 2007-11-26.
  2. ^ Summary for 117 S Main ST S / Parcel ID 5247800365, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Accessed online 2007-11-26.
  3. ^ Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Administrative History, Chapter 11: Establishing the Seattle Unit. Accessed online 2007-11-26.
  4. ^ Cadillac Hotel rehabilitation after the 2001 earthquake, on the site of Historic Seattle. Accessed online 2007-11-26.
  5. ^ Summary for 319 2nd AVE / Parcel ID 5247800715, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. (Same building, even though they accidentally omitted "South" from the address.) Accessed online 2007-11-26.

External links

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