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Water Grant at Trail Gulch, Yukon, 1905


Click on the images below to greatly enlarge them.


    Of the many challenges facing placer gold miners in the Yukon, obtaining enough water to efficiently operate their claims was one of the biggest and most persistent. The documents seen to the left permit a group of men and women to divert 200 miner's inches of water to several hillside claims owned by other people, for a period of 20 years from October 25, 1905.

    A miner's inch of water, simply stated, is the amount of water that would flow through a hole one inch square in size. More precisely, as stated in Placer Mining: a Hand-book for Klondike... (1897), "an aperture 12 inches high by 12¾ inches wide, through a 1½-inch plank, with a head of 6 inches above the top of the opening, gives a discharge of 200 miner's inches."

    These documents state that the water is to be taken from above a dam built at the upper end of claim #4 on the right bank of Trail Gulch.

    The people listed as the permit holders for delivering the water are: Wilfred Weeks, Charles James Blake, George Cliff, R. Thorpe, J. Bogdan, Louis F. Cooke, George Edmund Adams, George Crummy, James F. Gill, Florence Christensen, John McKinley, Hattie R. Pomeroy, Evaline Bradford, C.R. Cameron, M. Varicle, John Cameron, H.T. Wills, E.A. Mizner, D.A. Cameron, and M. Freud.

    The people listed as owning the claims that would receive the water are: William Musso, Charles Colson, Henry Haney, James McKinley, Gustave Colson, Thomas Regan, and F.S. Biggs.

    The documents are signed by Oswald Sterling Finnie, chief mining recorder in Dawson City.

   A brief search for some of the people listed in these documents shows that Florence Christensen owned the Thistle Roadhouse at No. 79 Below on Bonanza Creek in 1902, while M. Varicle had arrived in the Klondike as head of a French balloon expedition in 1898.

    Despite the planning for this water project, it may have never been built. A report by the Commissioner of the Yukon Territory dated March 31, 1908, states that all the claims on Trail Gulch were owned by the Yukon Gold Company but were not being operated.





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