The Langlow Family
in Alaska and the Yukon

Eldorado 12 and 13

The trial digging in No. 12 did not show up very well. Jens dug one hole after another. He washed out and tried here and there, but everything was useless. It was a poor comfort that it did not go any better with the neighbors. Alongside him stood a Scotchman sweating and digging, and he did not do any better, either. One day he came over to Langlow and asked him if he wanted to become part owner in his mine for $300. Langlow only laughed and said if there was no gold in No. 12, what could one expect to find in No. 13.

Christmas was approaching. J. B. Langlo found out that at a place up in Bonanza there was a unused claim that, according to mining laws, would fall back to the Canadian state when the year ended. The one who then could be at the place at the right hour, put down some sticks in the ground and hurry to Dawson to the registrar, then the property became his, if he had no claim registered in his name before. This Jens did not have, and' because of that he now would try. In case there Were others trying for the claim, it would be well to have a well-trained dog on hand, so one could arrive early enough at Dawson New Year's Day morning. Neither would it harm that one had witnesses when one staked out the claim; it was necessary to be prepared for everything.

Late New Year's Eve, Langlo drove up to Bonanza, stopped with the Karlson men (the Bobbies) and got them along as witnesses. On the trip up they met a. dog driver, but they didn't give it much thought. They kept going, looked at the clock, put the stakes deep into the frosty ground and did everything that the law required. So Langlow seated himself in his sled and drove off. It was clear and moonlight and biting cold. The dog was willing to go the way they should go, and the howling of the wolves behind them did not encourage them to stop on the way.

At the dawn of New Year's Day, Langlo rapped at the door of the gold commissioner. He was not a little surprised to find the man in his office, and he was still more surprised when he told his errand and found out that he had come too late. Finally, it dawned on Langlo that the driver they had met the evening before had started before he was supposed to start (illegally). Langlo had his witnesses, but later he came to the decision that to bring a lawsuit against one who already had his name in the registration book would only bring about inconvenience and loss. He let the whole thing sail its own way. Later he heard that it was a nonproducing mine.

But at Eldorado new things happened. The Scotchman at No. 13 was in such good humor, and he had reason for it. Seemingly, he had struck a very rich vein. Later it proved to be true; it was a million-dollar mine. Jens Langlo could only bite his lips; here he could have been part owner for a measly $300, and now... After this he had only one thing to do, to place some holes close to the boundary of his neighbor. One day, as he stood gold panning, a man came walking by and noticed that Langlo found gold. This man could not keep a secret. In this way, the report got out of a rich gold discovery on No. 12, long before Jens found it worthwhile to mention it to anyone. The rumor about the find reached Louis at Forty Mile. He had not heard a thing from his brother and wondered about it. So he sent word to his brother to hurry back and bring along a. trial sample. And now Jens could go; now he had something to bring. The diggings in the last days had been much richer than earlier. Louis Langlo found it best to move his household to Eldorado and settle there.


A similar story of the race to register a restaked claim on Bonanza is reported in Berton and also Ogilvie in Early Days on the Yukon, pages
189-191. Or, was it the same story? In the books cited, the claim is Bonanza 60, the date November 30, 1896, not January 1, 1897, and the recorder's office is at Forty Mile, not Dawson. All accounts agree the claim was worthless.

Unfortunately, there is no reference in this account how Jens lived and worked to prove up on Eldorado 12. But, from many other sources, we know how harsh living conditions would be; how laborious the thawing and removal of frozen muck to reach bedrock.

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