National Park Service

State of the Park Reports

State of the Park Report for
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Cultural Resources

The Golden Staircase
The Golden Staircase

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Archeological Resources Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Knowledge Baseline documentation for all archeological resources within the park is complete and current Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; high confidence in the assessment. Archaeological research is conducted primarily as a result of park development actions and Section 106 compliance activities. Pedestrian (surface) surveys with limited testing have been completed for Dyea and the Chilkoot Trail. Extensive testing has been conducted on park-owned property in the Skagway Unit. Limited pedestrian surveys have been conducted in the White Pass Unit. Archaeological information would be improved through an Archaeological Overview and Assessment, and a formal research design.
Inventory Percent of park adequately surveyed Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Park-owned or managed lands have been surveyed in the Chilkoot and Dyea Units. This includes nearly all of Dyea, the Chilkoot Trail corridor, and major historic campgrounds along the trail. Very little has been surveyed of the lands within the administrative boundaries of the park but not owned by the National Park Service (a significant portion of the park). 100% of the park-owned lots in the Skagway Unit have been archaeologically tested. Funding has been received for an archaeological survey of the White Pass Unit.
Documentation Percentage of known sites with adequate National Register documentation Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. 70% of the 48 recorded sites in the park are adequately documented for National Register purposes. Fifteen (15) are listed as contributing elements in the Skagway Historic District and White Pass NHL, and 19 are listed in the Chilkoot Trail and Dyea NHL. Both nominations require updating to incorporate new information. The White Pass Unit has not been adequately documented.
Condition Percentage of archeological resources in good condition Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Forty (40) of the 48 sites (83%) listed in the NPS ASMIS database are in good condition. The park does not list subsites in ASMIS. Condition Assessments are conducted routinely in Skagway and the Chilkoot Trail and Dyea units. A condition assessment schedule will be prepared for White Pass once the initial survey is completed.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Cultural Anthropology Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Knowledge Sufficient research exists to understand the relationship of the park's ethnographic resources and the historic contexts Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. An Ethnographic Overview and Assessment (Thornton et al. 2004) was completed in 2004. The park continues to actively pursue information relating to the Gold Rush Stampeders and other stakeholders. Additional research is needed on the ethnic diversity of the Klondike Gold Rush Stampeders, and the pre-gold rush occupation of the Skagway and Taiya River watersheds by the Tlingit peoples. Recently-completed oral histories highlight the need to continue to prioritize collecting this particular category of resources.
Appropriate studies and consultations document ethnographic resources and uses with regards to the park Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The park works cooperatively with the Skagway Traditional Council, the Carcross/Tagish First Nations, the Chilkoot Indian Association, and the Chilkat Indian Village to increase our understanding of ethnographic resources and uses of the park. Funds have been requested for a cultural resources intern to document prehistoric rock shelters along the Chilkoot Trail. The park continues to consult with tribes to document grave sites along the Taiya River.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Cultural Landscapes Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Knowledge Sufficient research exists to understand the relationship of the park cultural landscapes to the historic contexts of the park Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Additional research is needed to understand the resources of the White Pass Unit. Sufficient research has been completed for all other units of the park.
Adequate research exists to document and preserve the cultural landscapes of the park Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. The park has five completed Cultural Landscape Inventories: Skagway Historic District, Moore House, White Pass, Chilkoot Trail, and Dyea. Dyea has a completed CLI with treatment plan. Chilkoot Trail CLI is partially complete and is still waiting for the treatment plan. One additional cultural landscape will be created when the Soapy Smith Parlor restoration is completed in 2016. See National Park Service (2011).
Inventory The scope of cultural landscapes in the park is understood and a determination has been made whether or not they are a fundamental resource Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. All five of the identified cultural landscapes have been determined to be fundamental resources that are important for the park to preserve. Landscapes are identified in the park's Resource Stewardship Strategy (2011).
Percentage of landscapes eligible for the National Register with accurate, complete, and reliable Cultural Landscape Inventory (CLI) data Resource is in good condition; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; high confidence in the assessment. All five (100%) of the park's cultural landscapes (Skagway Historic District, Moore House, White Pass, Chilkoot Trail, and Dyea) have accurate, complete, and reliable CLI data.
Documentation Percentage of cultural landscapes with adequate National Register documentation Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; high confidence in the assessment. Only one (Moore House) of the park's five identified cultural landscapes has adequate National Register documentation. The Dyea and Chilkoot Trail Cultural Landscape Reports are in the process of completion.
Condition Percentage of cultural landscapes in good condition Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Two of the five (40%) cultural landscapes are in good condition. Three are in stable condition and will continue to remain so. Not all cultural landscapes will be restored to good condition.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Historic Structures Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Knowledge Percentage of historic structures evaluated using appropriate historical contexts Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Historic structure reports, which document baseline condition, historic context, and architectural features, are completed for all but 5 of the park's 25 buildings. Those remaining are in draft and are expected to be completed this year. Other historic structures such as the Canyon City boiler and the tram towers on the Chilkoot Trail have been evaluated and documented.
Brief - Rapuzzi Collection
Brief - Jeff. Smiths Parlor Museum
Documentation Percentage of historic structures owned by the park with adequate National Register documentation Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The park owns 30 historic structures, 25 of which are buildings. Eighty-four percent (84%) of the historic structures have adequate National Register documentation (100% of historic buildings, and 0% of historic non-buildings).
All historic structures have been recorded commensurate with their significance and mandated purposes Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. HABS/HAER documentation, photographs, and histories have been completed for all park-owned historic buildings. Photographs have been completed for all of the park's non-building structures.
Condition Percentage of historic structures in good condition Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Twenty (20) of the 30 (67%) historic structures are listed in good condition. The remaining historic structures are either in stable condition, or are in the process of stabilization and/or restoration.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
History Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Knowledge Sufficient research is conducted to understand significance of site Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. The Klondike Gold Rush is one of the best-documented human dramas in the history of North America, and perhaps the world. Research on the Gold Rush, conducted by scholars both within and outside of the NPS, is extensive. KLGO completed a Historic Research Plan in 2011 to identify areas needing further documentation and research, such as the prehistoric period, maritime elements of the Gold Rush, historic use of the landscape, and understanding the diversity of the Stampeders and all others who took part in the gold rush.
Sufficient research is conducted to establish the reasons for park creation and site history Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Legacy of the Gold Rush: Klondike Gold Rush NHP Administrative History (Norris 1996) documents the research conducted to establish the park. KLGO Historic Resources Study (Bearrs 1970) documents discussions and rationale for park creation. The 94th Congress legislative records (in KLGO archives) document legislative intent.
Research at the appropriate level precedes planning decisions involving cultural resources Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Section 106 of NHPA needs are not always addressed ahead of funding acquisition for park projects that have the potential to impact resources. Maintenance funding is disconnected from Section 106 and NEPA compliance needs. Because of limited funding basic historical research at KLGO has been concentrated on the Section 106 needs of individual projects rather than on the overall research needs of the park.
Documentation Completeness and discoverability of historical documentation Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; high confidence in the assessment. The park has excellent historical resources, but data management for the large number of resource materials is not adequate. The quality of research already completed is good, but there are many unexplored avenues of research that would round out the park's understanding of the Gold Rush.
Completeness and discoverability of historical documentation Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The park library is an important resource for understanding the Klondike Gold Rush and the cultural and natural history of the park and surrounding area. It contains information in a wide variety of media and supports all divisions of the park in their cultural and natural resource needs. However, limited staffing makes it difficult to keep up with the growing body of Gold Rush scholarly literature or assist the library user (park staff and public) in their research needs.
National Register Documentation is up to date. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. KLGO's National Register Documentation is extensive but needs updating. For example, because of Skagway's booming tourist economy, the entire Skagway NHL is in a constant state of flux. Historic buildings have been moved, new buildings have been built, and presumed non-historic buildings are discovered to be historic due to additional research. Most of the non-park owned contributing resources to the NHLs have only minimal documentation.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Museum Collections Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is improving; medium confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Inventory Objects in the museum collection fit within the park's Scope of Collection Statement. All resources have been surveyed to determine their appropriateness for inclusion in the museum/archive collection Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. To ensure that acquisition of museum objects is consistent with park purpose, the park is currently revising its Scope of Collection Statement and expects to finalize the new document in 2013. Completion of the Rapuzzi Collection inventory is scheduled by the end of 2013. An archival survey of the park's records, including the park's digital records, is needed to ensure adequate long-term storage of administrative records.
Brief - Skaguay Street Car
Brief - Heirloom Workshop
Percentage of objects accessioned and cataloged Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is improving; medium confidence in the assessment. 22% of the museum collection has not been cataloged. The park's archives are individually cataloged as museum objects and need to be properly cataloged in the archives module of ICMS (the park's museum collection database) to ensure they are fully retrievable in the future.
Documentation Completeness of baseline documentation (plans and procedures) Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Funding requests have been submitted to update four primary museum management documents that are obsolete or non-existent, including the Collection Management Plan. Though it is not currently required, the park needs a digital curation plan to ensure these records are adequately protected and are retrievable.
Needs Assessment Museum collections are appropriately addressed in park planning Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Preservation and protection of museum collections requires integration with other programs. Funding requests for natural and cultural resource projects need to include provisions for curation of resulting documents, artifacts and specimens.
Condition Overall condition of the collection based on condition survey and improvements to storage Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The park's only collection condition survey was completed in 1997. Funding requests have been submitted for collection condition surveys specific to the archaeological, archival, and historical collection. Preventive conservation of objects could be improved by storing objects according to material type to optimize use of controlled environments (temperature and humidity).
Public Access to Resource Museum collections, including archives, are made available to the public Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is improving; medium confidence in the assessment. Many historical documents are not easily accessible due to conservation concerns and cataloging backlog. The park is seeking funding for long-term storage. Additional online resources are needed to increase access for academic researchers and family genealogists.

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Last Updated: June 25, 2014 Contact Webmaster