Thursday/ gold made early Seattle prosper

Johannesburg in South Africa is sometimes said to be the real ‘El Dorado’: the city that was built on the discovery of gold*. Seattle, for its part, was a pioneer outpost in the late 1800s, and was lifted out of an economic slump and prospered by 1900, due to the discovery of gold.

Here is a brief timeline of Seattle at the end of the 1800s:
1889 Seattle’s Great Fire reduces 50 blocks of downtown to rubble.
1893 The financial Panic of 1893 causes a national recession.
1897 On July 17, the Portland Steamer docks in Seattle, carrying half a ton of gold from the Klondike region in Canada.
Some 10,000 men and boys leave for the Alaskan and Canadian goldfields.
1898 Canada creates the Yukon territory.
1900 By the time the decade and the century ended, Seattle’s population had doubled to 81,000.

*The Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a gold rush in 1886 that led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa. There was once a massive inland lake, and its silt and gold deposits from alluvial gold that had settled there, formed the gold-rich deposits that South Africa is famous for.

A retrospective (printed in 1996) of Seattle Times articles from the late 1800s, that I found in the Seattle Public Library.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *