The Klondike Gold Rush created the town of Dyea, Alaska.
Hundreds upon hundreds of prospectors landed here to access the Chilkoot Trail which led to the gold fields, creating a briefly thriving town from about 1897 to 1903. After that, the action shifted to nearby Skagway, which became history’s winner. Dyea was empty.
When I visited in June, I found it hard to imagine that there was ever much human life here at all. It was so quiet it felt strange to speak in a normal tone — in fact, I was startled by the sound of a couple of seals or sea otters splashing in the water. They were ar enough away that it was hard to quite make out quite what they were.
Pictured above is the remains of a pier, the only real evidence of what Dyea once was. The jagged stubs are covered in bright green moss. I thought they were beautiful.
Alison J. Stein
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