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Hardcover The White Pass: Gateway to the Klondike Book

ISBN: 0912006269

ISBN13: 9780912006260

The White Pass: Gateway to the Klondike

By the thousands they came, the gold-seekers of 1897, pouring through Alaska's White and Chilkoot passes on their way to the Klondike and to fortune. Fast behind them came the entrepreneurs, the bunco artists, and before long, the engineers and financiers whose driving ambition was to build a railway through the White Pass's rocky precipices. This is the epic northern adventure of the men who rushed for gold, the workers who toiled in winter storms...


Format: Hardcover

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History Transportation

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Dramatic story of a great railroading achievement

This well-written and interesting book tells the story of the building of the White Pass and Yukon Railway in Alaska and Canada, the "gateway to the Klondike goldfields." Minter starts briefly with the discovery of gold along tributaries of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers in 1897 and the subsequent rush of miners to the area. Skagway and Dyea were the main staging points on the Alaskan coast; from there prospectors had a choice of entering the goldfields either via the shorter but steeper and higher Chilkoot Pass or the longer but lower White Pass. Most chose the Chilkoot. But almost immediately railroad companies realized the opportunities if they could build a rail line into the Klondike region, and they quickly concluded it would be impossible to build over Chilkoot Pass. Minter details the usual competitive wrangling that goes into such undertakings, and then gets into the nitty-gritty of actually getting the railroad built through White Pass and eventually to Whitehorse. It was an immense and difficult job, made so as much by the harsh weather conditions as by the mountainous terrain that needed to be tunneled and cut and bridged. Minter relates this undertaking with all the drama one might expect. Icing on the cake are the numerous excellent photographs included in the book. It's a most impressive book, worthy of the impressive story it tells.

Superb reading material on the Gold Rush era railroad

Having been on the White Pass Yukon Route Railway several times, I found this book to be a fantastic source of information. It proves to be well researched, easy to read and interestingly written. All major and even minors aspects of this great engineering effort lies between the two covers. Its almost defied the mind when you traveled on this railway how difficult it must have been to built this railroad. Roy Minter's book easily bring forth all the information needed to understand this endeavor. Author proves he knows his subject well, having been the railroad's vice-president before his retirement. This remains a definitive book on the history of this railroad.Built to bypassed the Chilkoot Pass trail into the Yukon's interior, the railroad was successful in its effort. Ironically in the present time, the railroad now helped support the Chilkoot Pass hikers who needs a ride back to Skagway after completing their hike.

White Pass Gateway to the Klondike

Roy Minter's The White Pass: a Gateway to the Klondike involves the development of a railway from Skagway, up the White Pass, and through to Whitehorse, connecting the Pacific to the Klondike gold rush. Competing with the Chilkoot Pass at Dyea, both routes came up with innovative methods to transport people and goods, trying to be the most efficient and profitable route. In fact, the White Pass Railway was 175 km from start to finish when completed, which defied all odds that such a venture could even be completed, a railway connecting the Pacific to the Klondike. His book does an excellent job of explaining the difficulties and methodical process of building the railroad. Roy Minter, the author, has done an excellent job considering that this is his literary debut, his first published book.In addition, the author uses a great variety of sources, which are easily identifiable by numerical notation. Each excerpt comes from separate parties, which means that there are minimal amounts of bias in the book. Any bias would have to come from some of the speculations the author makes about the excerpts, which is very unlikely.The book was enjoyable, and I would recommend this book to anyone who has the interest in the history of the gold rush in the Klondike, and, of course, the transportation to get there. It was very interesting and informative, and taught me more than I would ever need to know about building the railway to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.Since this is Roy Minter's first book, there is not much credibility, for not many people have heard his name before. However, the foreword by Pierre Burton helps a great deal, for he is a well-known historian and author of many great historic books. The name of a great historian draws extra attention and makes some of the content to be more credible, because of the approval of a brilliant historian.The book generally stays on topic, going into a great amount of detail, more than what would be expected. The author explores areas not even thought of in other books, showing thorough research, everything based on the quality, speed and integrity of the railroad and its integrity, including many measurements. The meetings, rallies for funds, surveyors, competition with Dyea, and long winters, and many more things are all explained in colossal detail unimaginable to someone new to the subject.In a few places, there are clear, legible and legitimate maps, which give an idea of the distance and the situation faced by the people building and organizing the railroad, like the distance covered. The maps also help to give a picture in the reader's mind of the problems at hand of the people trying to get to Whitehorse, with up to or more than one ton of goods.In various sections, there are several pages together of pictures, which are captioned to the side or below. The pictures also aid the reader to visualize the scene of the railroad, the daily processes of many workers, and the difficulties, such as Tu
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