Happily Ever Afters: The Gold Rush Christmas

pioneer Gold Rush

Did the folks in The Gold Rush Christmas live happily ever after?

In the Pioneer Christmas Collection story, twins Samantha and Peter Harris journey to Skagway, Alaska at the height of The Yukon Gold Rush in search of their missing missionary father.

Joined on the trip by the boy next door, Miles Parker who is determined to win Samantha’s heart, they encounter a host of unusual characters causing Samantha to dress as a boy for safety.

When they meet a bevy of sporting women grieving the loss of a friend, Miles preaches a sermon that changes hearts.

Eventually, they follow a lead and discover Missionary Harris finishing his carving of a totem pole based on the nativity story. There, Samantha realized Miles has grown into the man she had always hoped for and . . . Missionary Harris gives his blessing.

What happened next?

The Gold Rush Christmas ends on Christmas day 1897 when Miles Parker, a seminary dropout, proposed to Samantha Harris, a teacher, in the Tlingit long house where her missionary father had built a Christmas totem pole.

The Parkers return to Skagway, where they lived for several years—Miles preaching at the church and Samantha teaching school Somehow, children didn’t come along.

Samantha’s twin brother Peter climbed Chilkoot Pass to the Yukon gold rush country in spring 1898, and made his fortune. He lived in Dawson Creek for fifteen years, eventually coaxing Miles and Samantha to join him and his family. Always out for adventure, he convinced Miles to learn to fly the rickety bi-planes developed in the early years of the 20th century.

Peter funded Miles as he flew their plane to remote sections of Alaska, but was shocked when his sister and brother-in-law decided to join the YMCA during WWI and serve in France.

Biding Alaska goodbye, they headed across the Pacific Ocean in 1916 and rode the Trans-Siberian Express train all the way to Moscow, where they traveled through Scandinavia and thence to Great Britain. They were assigned to YMCA work in Paris at first, and eventually ran huts along the Western Front.

They preached the gospel everywhere, sometimes even using words.

In 1919 they returned to Alaska, bringing a family of four orphans with them. They joined Peter and his family in Anchorage where they ran a church, flew to remote areas to provide preaching and Sunday school, and recalled with gladness the folks they’d known during the Alaskan gold rush.

They were still alive and grandparents many times over, when Alaska became a state in 1961 and always celebrated Christmas with a miniature Christmas totem pole.

You can photos of The Gold Rush Christmas environment on Michelle’s Pinterest board here.

What’s happened to Michelle Ule?happily ever after

Michelle Ule has spent the last two years working on two projects: a World War I novel about a journalist coming of age spiritually, emotionally and professionally over the course of the war; and a biography of one of the marquee characters from her novel. She’s also written for The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection (The Yuletide Bride this Christmas) and its sequel the upcoming 12 Brides of Summer (The Sunbonnet Bride; summer, 2016) which are two stories connected to each other using the same characters.

She continues to blog twice a week at this website and occasionally sits in at Books & Such’s blog and Novel Pastimes.

Merry Christmas.


How do you top a gold rush? World War I? Click to Tweet

The Chilkoot Pass was nothing compared to the Tran-siberian Railroad! Click to Tweet

Gold Rush, War and they all lived happily ever after in Alaska. Click to Tweet


It’s the Advent season and Michelle has written an ebook called Reflections on Advent, available to subscribers to her newsletter. If you’re interested in obtaining this free Advent gift, click on the link here.

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