About This Lesson
The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Pioneer Square Historic District" (with photographs), and other sources on Seattle and the Klondike Gold Rush. It was written by Marc K. Blackburn, park ranger at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson will help students understand how Seattle exemplified the prosperity of the Klondike Gold Rush. It can be used in units on western expansion, late 19th-century commerce, and urban history.
Time period: Late 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To list several impacts the Klondike Gold Rush had on Seattle.
2) To examine why people came to Seattle to purchase their supplies and transportation to the gold fields.
3) To evaluate methods used to entice stampeders to outfit in Seattle.
4) To describe some of the difficulties stampeders encountered on their journey from Seattle to the Klondike.
5) To determine the effect of a dramatic event on their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) two maps of Seattle and the route to the Klondike gold fields;
2) three readings that outline the role Seattle played in the Klondike Gold Rush;
3) articles and partial transcripts from a special edition of the Seattle-Post Intelligencer;
4) five photographs Seattle's Pioneer Square and stampeders on the Chilkoot Trail.
Visiting the site
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is divided into two units--Skagway, Alaska and downtown Seattle, Washington in the Pioneer Square Historic District. The Seattle unit is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The Skagway unit Visitor Center is open - June, July, August: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily , May - September: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Winter: variable open hours. The Trail Center is open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily, mid-May to September. For more information write to the Superintendent, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, 319 Second Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104 or
visit the park's web pages.