Kathleen Eloisa Rockwell

Happy Birthday to “Klondike Kate” born on October 4, 1876 in Junction City, Kansas. She came to Skagway about 1899 and worked here and in Bennett before going to Dawson.

When Kate first came to Alaska she was not well known. She was just another actress. What made Kate famous was her flame dance. For this dance she would come on stage wearing an elaborate dress covered in red sequins and an enormous cape. She took off the cape revealing a cane that was attached to more than 200 yards of red chiffon. She began leaping and twirling with the chiffon until she looked like fire dancing around. At the end she would dramatically drop to the floor. The miners loved it. She was a hit and was named “The Flame of the Yukon.”

Klondike Kate traveled all over, doing her dancing routines. She boasted later of wearing $1500 Paris gowns and bracelets of purest gold. It was said she mesmerized the men she entertained.

Many books have been written about her including Klondike Kate The Queen of the Yukon and the Last and Mightiest Frontier Gold Rush by Ellis Lucia.
She died in her sleep in 1957 in Sweet Home Oregon.



2 Replies to “Kathleen Eloisa Rockwell”

  1. When was a kid in Sisters, Oregon, we owned a variety store. One of our more colorful customers was Klondike Kate. I spent a lot of hours listening to her stories.

    1. I’m tryiing to do some research on Kate for a project. And I really want to ‘do right by her’ and portray an accurate and complimentary depiction. Would you be interested in sharing some of the stories she told you either over the phone or via email?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *