So imagine hearing there is just money to be had lying around? What would you do? Would you go for it? That is the situation that happened in 1897 when a steamer came into Seattle with sixty-eight men who unloaded thousands and thousands of dollars worth of gold in cans, bags, blankets and even moccasins. Yes, the second great gold rush in the history of the United States had begun, and it wasn’t even on American soil. It was in Canada, but that didn’t stop Americans from making the long journey to the cold, arctic area of the Klondike.
What makes the book Call of the Klondike by David Meissner and Kim Richardson so fascinating is the personal, first hand accounts of two adventures’ who were inspired after seeing those 68 men disembark from that ship. The two men were Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond, who were friends and both came from mining families. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and both had families that could set them up nicely for an outfit. So they took off for the Klondike quickly to get ahead of any others who would be taken over by gold lust. And they were right to go, because a huge wave of gold seekers were just a few months behind them.
Getting to the area where gold had been found wasn’t easy. First there was a four or five day boat ride, followed by 500 miles of trails and lakes, much of it done in cold, icy rain, or freezing cold weather.
This book looks at the lives of these two men through letters home to their parents, and the journal one of them kept during this adventurous year in our country’s history to give us a rare glimpse into this rush and the hardships many faced for a chance at getting rich.
Great read for grades 6th and up.