THE GOLD-IN HISTORY
Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
This yellow slave will knit and break religions, bless the accursed…
Timon of Athens
HISTORY OF CANADIAN GOLD RUSHES
In the second half of the 19th century, American prospectors began making deals with the Native Tlingit and Tagish tribes. They opened the important routes of Chilkoot and White Pass, and reached the Yukon valley between 1870 and 1890.
The Klondike Gold Rush was the most famous gold rush in Canadian history. Over one hundred years ago, a handful of prospectors discovered gold nuggets in a tributary of the Klondike River, which later resulted in the migration of 100,000 prospectors. It triggered a stampede of more than one hundred thousand people into the Yukon. They travelled thousands of kilometres to reach the district, then rafted down the Yukon River and established a mining camp on a mud flat.
On the Alaskan side of the border a log-town was established in 1893 on the Yukon River called the Circle City. In three years, it grew to become “the Paris of Alaska”, with about 1,200 inhabitants, saloons, opera houses, schools, and libraries. But soon it became a ghost town, when large gold deposits were found upstream on the Klondike.
Great achievements are often rewarded with gold, in the form of gold medals and gold trophies. Winners of athletic tournaments and other graded competitions are usually decorated with a gold medallion. Some of the most prestigious awards, like Nobel Prize, are made of gold, while other popular awards, like Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Palme d’Or and the British Academy Film Awards, present gold- plated statues and prizes.
Aristotle in his ethics used gold symbolism when referring to what is now known as the golden mean. Gold is also associated with the wisdom of aging. The fiftieth anniversary is marked as golden. A person’s most valued or most successful latter years are sometimes considered “golden years”. The height of a civilization is referred to as a golden age.