German Traces in the Territories
Bernie Kreft - Yukon Miner and Prospector
Dawson City entered Canadian history as a gold mining town. In 1896, gold was discovered near the city. This finding triggered a veritable gold rush and lured over one hundred thousand adventurers to Dawson City from 1896 to 1899.
The small town on the Klondike and Yukon River, became a large city with about 30,000 inhabitants within a few months by the discovery of gold. This transformation was short-lived, however, with gold having been discovered in Alaska and other places in Canada in 1898. Most prospectors went on to seek their fortune there.
To this day, one stumbles upon gold diggers in Dawson City. One of them is Bernie Kreft. He no longer limits himself to the search for gold, but also excavates other metals such as copper, zinc and silver. In 1961, his father Erwin moved to Canada from Germany. He would often take little Bernie on a search for valuable metals at a young age. As a child, Bernie loved these trips and decided to follow in his father's footsteps. Today, he also enjoys taking his sons Jarret and Justin on a search for gold and tries to get them excited about his work. Bernie was named Yukon Prospector of the Year for 1998 by the Yukon Prospectors Association.
To get an insight into the everyday life of Bernie Kreft, it is advisable to watch the television series “Yukon Gold”. It shows the difficulties Bernie struggles with in his work, because only the summer months allow him to dig for the valuable metals. Bernie loves his work and he is proud to share his knowledge with his children and to be one of the last gold miners on the Yukon River.