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Many cities in the United States have seen a temporary economic boost from the discovery of gold. Seattle, however, capitalized on the discovery of gold in a nearby location. When the 1897 discovery of gold in Alaska sparked the Klondike Gold Rush, Seattle merchants quickly moved to present the city as a center for supplies and transportation.

Seattle’s population doubled in ten years. The transformation from a timber town into a shipping center had begun, and the city soon became the economic heart of the region.