When I left in June, 1896.
Flour was sold in 50 pound bags at $6.00 a bag.
Fresh beef was supplied at 50 cents a pound.
Bacon was 40 cents.
Coffee was 50 cents per pound.
Brown sugar was 20 cents per pound and granulated sugar was 25 cents a pound.
Condensed milk was 50 cents per can.
Pick axes were $6.00 each.
Miners’ shovels were $2.00 each.
Lumber right at Dawson City was $130.00 per thousand feet undressed, and $150.00 per thousand feet dressed.
It is well perhaps to advise the traveller to supply himself with a small medicine box which can be purchased in Juneau, but it is not necessary if he enjoys good rugged health.
On arriving at Dawson City, luxuries will be found to be very high; what is to be considered a very cheap cigar in the United States, two for 5 cents, sells in Dawson City at 50 cents each.
Liquors command very high prices. Whisky sells in the saloons for 50 cents a glass, and fluctuates from $15.00 to $25.00 per gallon, according to the supplies received from the at present overtaxed transportation companies. There was about 12,000 gallons of whisky imported into the territory from Canada the past year. Smoking tobacco was selling at $1.50 a pound and good plug cut and fancy tobacco was selling at $2.00 a pound.
The demand for medicine is very light, but the local traders carry a small stock of patent and proprietary medicines.
The reports already received of the finds of gold seem beyond belief but the greater part of them are actual facts, and the following came under my personal observation:—
Alexander McDonald, on Claim No. 30, Eldorado, on the Klondyke, started drifting on his claim with four men. The men agreed to work the claim on shares, the agreement being that they should work on shares by each receiving half of what they could get out. The five together took out $95,000.00 in twenty-eight days. The ground dug up was found to measure but 40 square feet. This was an exceptional find. The men are of course working the claim and had 460 square feet on the claim still to work out when I left for the East.
People in the East or elsewhere can hardly realize what a small space a mining claim is in this vast and comparatively unexplored territory.
William Leggatt on Claim No. 13, Eldorado, together with William Gates and a miner named Shoots, purchased their claim from a miner named Stewart, and his partner, for the sum of $45,000.00. They did not have money to make the payment in cash but made a first payment of $2,000.00 with the agreement to pay the balance of the purchase price, $43,000.00, prior to July 1st, 1897. They sunk a shaft and commenced taking out $1,000.00 per day.
They worked the pay dirt until about May 15, 1897, when they found that they had taken out $62,000.00, and the space of the claim worked was only twenty-four square feet.