What will it be like on the way?

On the Iditarod. Men loading wood onto the riverboat RELIANCE with passengers watching from top decks. Lomen

     There are many stories about what life was like on the road to the gold fields. Many gold-seekers chose to get to the interior of Alaska or the Yukon by taking a steamship up the Yukon River.

     Let's piece together the story of Captain A.E. LeBallister by reading selected entries from his Yukon Log written in 1898-1899 for the steamer John J. Healy.

     Read the entries for clues about the trip.

Captain A.E. LeBallister: Yukon River Log 1898-1899 for the steamer John J. Healy. 8 selected pages

Map: Alaska ca 1918. Alaska Road Commission. Maps and Drawings. Asa_ RG 306, Series 1380

Cleary Creek. Wood hauling.

Chena, Alaska Boats in winter quarters, three steamers, including DELTA and TANANA. Dobbs

     Where did they start? Where were they going? What was the weather like? What daily things did the Captain record in his journal? Use a map of the Yukon River to plot the progress of the steamer. Try to imagine what it was like onboard the steamer for the passengers. What were the biggest dangers facing the steamer? What do you know about the month of September in Alaska? What do you think will happen?

     Look at the pictures to get a sense of what life was like for a steamer traveling on the Yukon River. What impact on the environment do you think this might have had?

Overview I
What do I need for a trip to the gold fields? I Which way to the gold? I What will it be like on the way?

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Alaska's Gold was developed through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission by the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development.  1999.  All rights reserved.   Alaska Gold Themes written by Cristine Crooks, Alaska Consultants in Education.  Alaska's Gold Themes website developed by WEBDesign.