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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marketing Gold Fever in Portland 1897

When Portland doctors Esther Clayson Pohl and Emil Pohl went to Skagway (he in 1897 and she in the spring of 1898) they didn't leave the world behind. As Kathryn Morse observes in her book The Nature of Gold: An Environmental History of the Klondike Gold Rush (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), those who participated in the gold rush were part of a chain of connections among gold, the Alaska/Yukon landscape, and the products of the industrializing economy.

Five years earlier, Esther Clayson worked for Lipman and Wolfe department store in Portland to pay her way through medical school. Now the Pohls and other Portlanders, as this ad in the Oregonian (July, 30, 1897, 5) illustrates, could take advantage of the store's stock of merchandise for the "Clondyke."

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