History has long ignored many of the earliest female pioneers of the Far North -- the prostitutes and other "disreputable" women who joined the mass pilgrimage to the booming gold camps of Alaska and the Yukon at the turn of the century. Leaving behind their hometowns and most constraints of the post-Victorian era, the "good time girls" crossed both geographic and social frontiers, finding freedom, independence, hardship, heartbreak, and sometimes astonishing wealth. These women possessed the courage and perseverance to brave a dangerous journey of more than a thousand miles, into a harsh wilderness where men sometimes outnumbered them ten to one. Many of these women later became successful entrepreneurs, wealthy property owners, or the wives of prominent citizens; one former prostitute married the mayor of Fairbanks and hosted a visit from President Warren G. Harding. Their influence changed life in the Far North forever. Lael Morgan offers an authentic, sympathetic, poignant, and often deliciously humorous account of women who were extraordinarily independent even by today's standards. 351 pages with an index and photos.
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