In 1898 men and women from all over the world converged on Alaska. Gold had been discovered. In the Yukon Territory, all winter long eager gold seekers struggled over the mountain passes connecting Canada with the United States. A small group of photographers chronicled this epic, creating images of men and women laboring through blinding snowstorms over the windswept, ice-covered mountains. One of that group was a young Swedish immigrant by the name of P. E. Larson.
Frozen in Silver documents how this man used the recent medium of photography to earn a living as a merchant and tradesman. From the relative tranquility of a Minnesota photographic studio, he moved westward. And, like thousands of others, he made his way to the Klondike Gold Rush, although with camera in hand.
In addition to preserving the rich photographic record of the Great Stampede to the Klondike, Larson recorded contemporary Western life and culture, including that of the hard rock mining community of Goldfield, Nevada. Frozen in Silver is a riveting story of one man's trek through a time and place that have been captured on film and now in print.
Ronald T. Bailey is Planning Director for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A photographer and historic interpreter of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, he is involved in natural resource conservation and historic steam railroad preservation.
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