About This Lesson
The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Skagway and White Pass District" (with photographs), and other materials about the town and the Klondike Gold Rush. It was written by Ardyce Czuchna-Curl, a former 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: This lesson will help students understand the impact of the Klondike Gold Rush on the development of Skagway, Alaska. It can be used in units on western expansion, late 19th and early 20th-century commerce, and urban history.
Time period: Late 19th to early 20th 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 explain the impact of the Klondike Gold Rush on Skagway, Alaska.
2) To trace the development of Skagway from a homestead, to a gold rush boomtown, to a permanent city.
3) To describe some of the buildings in Skagway and explain what they can tell us about the people and the city.
4) To examine local buildings that help tell the story of their community's development.
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 the routes to the Klondike gold fields, and Chilkoot and White Pass Trails;
2) three readings to understand the impact of the Klondike Gold Rush on Skagway, Alaska and how buildings can help reveal the stories of a community's past;
3) a drawing of the historic development of William Moore Cabin and Ben Moore House;
4) six photographs of Skagway, Alaska and its historic buildings.
Visiting the site
Skagway is located approximately 100 miles north of Juneau, Alaska, at the northern tip of the Inside Passage in Southeastern Alaska. The Skagway Historic District, Dyea and Chilkoot Trail, White Pass Trail, and the Pioneer Square Historic District in downtown Seattle, Washington, make up Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. 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 administration building is open Monday through Friday throughout the year. 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, P.O. Box 517, Skagway, Alaska, 99840 or visit the park's Web pages.