1897- the Klondike gold rush began with the arrival of the treasure ships Portland and the Excelsior at Seattle, Washington bearing miners from the Yukon, who carried suitcases and boxes full of gold. Thousands began to book passages north after the miners spread tales of fortunes waiting to be made. The gold had been discovered in August 1896 on a tributary of the Klondike River later named Bonanza Creek. News of a strike in Nome, Alaska, ended the stampede in 1898. It’s estimated that by then prospectors had spent $50 million reaching the Klondike, about the same amount taken from the diggings in the five years after the first strike.