Credit Where Credit is Due Skookum Jim’s find started a major gold rush.

Skookum Jim Mason True West Magazine
Skookum Jim Mason.

Skookum Jim Mason failed to get credit for one of the great gold finds in the West.  Skookum—which means big or strong—was of the Tagish First Nation in the Canadian Yukon. For years, he helped pioneers and miners get their way through the region.  And in the 1890s, his finds helped start the Klondike Gold Rush.

The credit was originally given to his brother-in-law George Carmack.  It may have been an intentional slight against the Indian. But later researchers found that Skookum Jim at least helped in the find.

Black Hills and Gold Dust

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.