For me, photographs record time. Every inch is informative: where, the occasion. Noting dates is paramount. When records become as old as these, every item: sundries on a shelf, what people wore, is not only an education but grants the magic of beholding a past that preceded us by far! Reading a book of notations can become a blur and accompanying images might not be done justice, if we are ill-prepared to give them more than a surface glance. To draw the most informed experience from this album, I read about these very regions, made memorable by a fictional adventure: <i>'Aurore Of The Yukon'</i>.
With preparedness, my visual encounter with real places and events I'd just read about, was immensely rewarding and awe-striking. I was well-versed in Skagway, Dyea, the Chilkoot trail, and why gold rush 'stampeders' had to traverse 33 taxing mountain miles in the absence of any transportation. There was no railway until 1899. After enduring these and being admitted into the Yukon by 'North West Mounted Police'; a boat through perilous rapids was required the rest of the way. I gave 4 stars because there are no portraits of ultimate successes: locating gold. This book certainly deserves 4'.5.
This well-organized collection taught me three startling things. The worst sufferers of the White Pass trail's condition in the gold rush's first year were innocent, dear horses: 3000 of them! They were impaled on stumps or tripped, no matter the caution of their hardworking ascent. May they rest in peace! I didn't know most claims were staked before the large influx arrived and people left without trying. It was a shame to read that tides ruined some prospectors' supplies off-ship at Dyea, which bankrupted them before they could begin. Everyone who attempted any stage of this quest was brave.