Yukon Gold Fields
The history of the above named company, its energy, industry, achievements
and success, has become a part of the Klondike itself, datin from the time when
gold was discovered on Bonanza to the present, with abundant promise that it
will occupy an even more important place in the affairs of the country with the
coming years. At the time when George Carmack made his famous find in
1896, the London and British Columbia Goldfields company, whose head office was
in London, was the possessor of and engaged in operating some of the largest,
best and most profitable properties in the several great mining centers of the
globe. They at once determined to investigate the resources and conditions
of the Klondike, and selected for the important work Mr. R. B. Wood, who, at the
time, was the superintendent of the company property in British Columbia, where
some of their most important mining properties were located. Mr. Wood came
to the Klondike the following year, and as a result of his visit was founded the
Yukon Goldfields Limited, of which he has the entire management, and which he
has brought to its present influential position.
The Yukon Goldfields Limited, through Mr. Wood, at once purchased No. 4 below
discovery on Bonanza, which is one of the leading claims on that creek.
One of the finest specimens of ore yet found in the country was unearthed there
- a nugget weighing 60-1/2 ounces and containing 22 ounces of gold. In
addition to this property, Mr. Wood purchased for his company No. 50 Eldorado,
which has long been recognized as the greatest gold producing creek in the
world. Since then Mr. Wood has added to the company's Klondike belongings
a block of six bench claims on Adams Hill, being on the left limit of Little
Skookum, and opposite No. 1 below on Bonanza. The richness of the deposit
in this region has become known the world over, as is evidenced by the numerous
inquiries concerning it from abroad. The selection of this valuable block
of claims proved the unerring judgment of Mr. Wood, for it has proven to be gold
bearing throughout, with dimensions of 300x600 feet, and a pay-streak four feet
in thickness. The gold in that locality is generally coarse. From
the various clean-ups on this property over $5,000 worth of nuggets have been
obtained, ranging in value from $5 to $124.
With characteristic energy, Mr. Wood set about to develop the block with the
most approved appliances, and after well-known methods of operating cheaply and
advantageously. A tramway was built from Bonanza creek to the claims, a
distance of 400 feet, upon which to convey the pay dirt to the creek for
sluicing. Next, four tunnels were begun on the face or frontage of the
claims and are being driven to the boundary, 300 feet back, where they are
connected by a cross-cut, while another cross-cut connects them midway, or 150
feet from the front. By this method it is only necessary to remove the
four feet of pay dirt and throw the waste to one side, while the "pay" is
carried in cars over the tramway to the creeks for washing. The work of
thawing the frozen ground is done by two thawing machines - one of 23-horse
power or 20 points, and the other of 40 horse power or 40 points. The
claims employ from 50 to 60 men, working in two shifts of ten hours each.
Mr. Wood daily expects an electric dynamo capable of furnishing 75 lights of 16
candle power each; wires will be run through the tunnels and drifts and about
the ground generally, and lights will be so placed that the men will be enabled
to work during the long dark days and nights almost with the same facility that
they now work in the day time. The arrangement of the tunnels and working
appliances enable the men to take out a surprising amount of dirt, which, again
constitute a compliment to the judgment and executive ability of Manager Wood.
Naturally the home company is highly pleased with the conduct of their
affairs in the Klondike, and they extend to Mr. Wood their entire confidence,
together with full power to manage things as his judgment dictates. He is
continually purchasing new properties and generally extending the scope of the
company's operations, which means an increase in the output and earnings.
The nominal capital of the Yukon Goldfields Limited, it is learned, is 100,000
(pound sterling), divided into 97,500 ordinary and 2500 deferred shares, of
which 25,685 ordinary and the whole of the deferred shares have been issued.
The present condition of the properties here cannot fail to be a source of
satisfaction to the holders.
Of Manager Wood personally it may be said that he has been engaged in the
mining business since a youth, and has acquired his knowledge of its intricacies
in the school of practical experience. Born in Cornwall, he went to
Australia at the age of 16 and at once engaged in mining. He proved so
eminently fitted for the calling that he has followed it since, with the
greatest success, as is apparent. After a residence of some years in
Australia, he transferred his operations to the North American continent, and
became widely known in British Columbia, the scene of his operations when called
on the Klondike mission, being the famous Kootenay country, where the company
holds valuable properties. In all of these places he has been entrusted
with large responsibilities and valuable interests. Mr. Wood perfected
himself in civil engineering early in life, and to this day he does his own
engineering, laying out of claims, etc. He is the embodiment of energy,
physical and mental, a "hustler" as the term goes here, of deep discernment in
business matters, and a miner by nature.
The Klondike Nugget,
November 1, 1899.