Did you know that Dawson City, the centre of the Canadian gold rush, is named after a geological surveyor? George Dawson's exploration of the Yukon in 1887 made it easier to reach the Klondike when news of gold in 1896 set off a steady stream of gold seekers.
As early as the 1800s there had been an interest in the search for gold. People wanted to make their fortunes, but during the gold rush most people ended up spending what money they had without ever finding gold.
William Logan did not think Canadians should waste too much time searching for gold. He wanted to look for resources that were more useful in everyday life. He tried to interest people in things like slate for making fireproof roofs, flagstones to improve roads and iron ore for manufacturing.
Canada's major gold discovery did not come until the end of the 19th century in the Yukon. George Dawson (Geological Survey of Canada director from 1895 to 1901) explored the Yukon in 1887. His geological analysis and river mapping made it easier for the gold seekers to reach the region later on, when gold was found in the Klondike in 1896. Dawson also sent Joseph Tyrrell, another famous geologist, to the Klondike gold fields in 1898. Tyrrell was so excited by what he saw that he resigned from the Geological Survey of Canada and worked in the Klondike as a private geologist for the next seven years.
In his final years with the Geological Survey of Canada, Joseph Tyrrell's salary was $1,850 a year.