Bottom of Venus Mine


Whitehorse, Canada

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On the shore of Windy Arm of Tagish Lake in the South of Canada’s Yukon Territory 1/100 f14 Fuji S5Pro Nikon 17-55 @ 35mm

In the years following the Klondike Gold Rush, the population of the Yukon Territory plummeted as the placer gold fields, once the domain of individual or fairly small groups of miners, were taken over by huge dredges, owned by well-capitalized foreign corporations. These dredges processed enormous amounts of gold-bearing gravel, needed few men to operate, and were encouraged by the Territorial government, which saw them as the key to the economic future of the Yukon. For the independent placer and quartz miners who remained, any rumor of a new discovery of gold, silver or copper was cause for a stampede to the area. The most dramatic of these stampedes occurred in the spring of 1905, when development of silver claims between Windy Arm and Carcross, about 50 miles south of Whitehorse, began on a large scale.

John Conrad, a flamboyant mining promoter from Montana, managed to raise the enormous amounts of capital required for development work from some of the most high-profile financiers in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. With that capital, he consolidated over 100 mining properties, built some of the most ambitious aerial tramways ever attempted, and drove over 6 miles of underground tunnels and drifts. At the height of the rush, the new service town of Conrad City was presumed by many to be the future capital of the Yukon. With three hotels, three churches, a private hospital, a Mounted Police detachment, and most other amenities, Conrad City rapidly became, not just a typical mining boom town, but a respectable place for men to bring their families.

Unfortunately, the stories of the richness of the mines were too good to be true. Although the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway showed their faith in the mines by surveying for a spur line to Windy Arm to access them, little payable ore was ever shipped. Although the rush only lasted 18 months, several hundred people spent well over one million dollars on development. Now, the caribou and grizzlies have returned to Montana Mountain, and only ghosts and scattered mining ruins remain in what has become one of the prime year-round recreation areas in the southern Yukon.

sic Fractured Veins & Broken Dreams:
Montana Mountain and the Windy Arm Stampede by Murray Lundberg italic\\

Artwork Comments

  • Roy  Massicks
  • Yukondick
  • Elfriede Fulda
  • Yukondick
  • LoneAngel
  • JohnDSmith
  • Yukondick
  • Vickie Emms
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