Trail #1 - Klondike Goldfields, Km. 14

Cheechako Hill (Bonanza Creek Road)

Photo from Cheechako Hill (Bonanza Creek Road)

Cheechako Hill was named for the newcomer cheechakos who ignored the advice of seasoned sourdoughs and dug into the hills above the rich Bonanza and Eldorado creek beds.

Cheechako Oliver Millett sold his sawmill when he heard about the Klondike gold strike and was among the first stampeders to reach the Yukon on August 8, 1897. All the good ground was staked but Millett and two others obtained a lay, or lease, from "Big Alex" MacDonald on Claim No. 41 Eldorado. The claim proved to have no paying gold.

Millet saw a difference in the appearance of Bonanza and Eldorado gold. He thought that they might have different sources and that the Eldorado paystreak could continue high along the hill above Bonanza Creek. He started digging exploratory shafts on the steep hill across the valley from the Bonanza Discovery claim and discovered one of the richest areas in the Dawson district.

Millett recovered $20,000 (at $20/oz) that season from Cheechako Hill and sold his claim for $60,000 when he contracted scurvy and typhoid. Fully recovered, Millett joined a new gold rush to Nome in 1899.

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