This book presents the fascinating experiences of multiple women who travelled to the Gold strikes in Alaska at the turn of the century. Not only were conditions harsh and primitive, but the women endured hardships all their own based on their gender. For some, the risks and sacrifices paid off enormously when they, with their husbands, struck it rich. Others fell into the wrong company and suffered as the result. More than a few fell in love with the stark and beautiful, though punishing landscape and made Alaska their home.
This is a small book that gives two or three pages each to some of the more renown/unknown women of the gold rush. I truly enjoyed that they included several native women. There are some great pictures of the women, except for one gal, and numerous pictures of the settlements at that time. It makes for an informative and entertaining read, especially if you are interested in that time frame, late 1800s-early 1900s. To imagine that women back then could traverse in those elements and treacherous routes, and make it to some of these very difficult places was amazing. Talk about Spirit and Stamina! Even ones who did not get rich managed to survive by serving home cooked meals and providing rooms. If you like adventure stories, give this one a try. It is only 118 pages but quite fascinating! And I learned that Wyatt Earp and his wife, Josephine, were some of those touched by the gold fever!
This book is a ball! If you like true tales of feisty women, if you have any sort of connection to the history of Alaska, if you just love history, get this one. The biographies and photos are far more interesting than fiction, women who went to the gold fields of Alaska in the late 1800's and early 1900's -- 25 unforgettable tales.
In order to get a feel for the American history that our ancestors lived, I ordered about 10 books related to women in the West. This is the third one Ive read and it is wonderful. I am in awe of the women who made the almost impossible trip to the Yukon area (many men and women turned back).
When they arrived in the Alaska-British Columbia region, there were no homes waiting for them with a warm light in the fireplace; they had to cut a home from the wilderness and plant extensive gardens (if they planned to eat anything other than wild game). The odds against being successful in this endeavor were staggering and yet many women prevailed.
If you are facing an impossible task, this is the book to read to inspire yourself to get going! If the stories are amazing, the photos and maps selected are often priceless. They show in unvarnished black-and-white how difficult life was for everyone.
There are individual vignettes of famous and not-so-famous men and women who made a difference in this frozen land. Because there were so few in the region, people helped each other to survive and thrive.
Some stories are about women who struck it rich quickly; see Ethel Berrys story (the lady tipping her hat on the cover). She and her new husband were able to leave the Icebox-of-the-North in a year with unbelievable riches! Did you know that Josie and Wyatt Earp (yes, THAT Wyatt) went to the Yukon as gamblers? Their unusual story is included here.
The early men adventurers came alone. They married native women who taught them important skills so they could survive. This book does a lovely job of highlighting these Athabascan ladies.
I DO, I DO, I DO by Maggie Osborne is a fictional account of three women who braved the Yukon (it is one of the funniest books Ive read this year). Now that Ive read this book (GOLD RUSH WOMEN), I plan to reread the book. GRW offers maps and information that will add greatly to my understanding of the difficulties encountered in I DO X 3.
This is a treasure of a book that helps to explain the pioneering spirit of our ancestors in the 1800-1900s. 5 stars