Preservation Magazine, Summer 2016

By the Numbers: Boom Town in the Skagway Historic District

Cries of “gold!” brought tens of thousands of stampeders to Alaska’s and Canada’s Yukon Territory from 1897 to 1898 during one of the biggest gold rushes in history. Established in 1976, the nearly 13,000-acre Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park commemorates this moment in American history. Here, we explore the park’s Skagway Historic District, a restored boom town that in its heyday accommodated the needs of hopeful gold-seekers with saloons, boarding houses, bakeries, and furriers.

Jeff Smith's Parlor Museum

photo by: LOC/HABS/AK-15-19

Though it has served many purposes, this 1897 building is best known as outlaw Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith's hangout. It reopened as a museum in April following an eight-year restoration.

Skagway Map

Lauren Walser served as the Los Angeles-based field editor of Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about art, architecture, and public space, and hopes to one day restore her very own Arts and Crafts-style bungalow.

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