Cigar Society of Chicago

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 5:30-7:00 pm

There will be a Q&A session after the lecture. Audience participation is invited.
Be sure to have your cocktails and cigars at ready hand.
Register through EventBrite for this Zoom multimedia event.

The Klondike, a vast region of Canada’s Yukon Territory (now just “Yukon”) was home to one of the world’s largest gold rushes, which, depending on the global price of gold, continues to this day.

Experts say that more than 100,000 people attempted to reach the rugged and often frozen Klondike gold fields in The Yukon but no more than 30,000 made it to this inaccessible and inhospitable region. Those who actually worked the current and ancient stream beds in search of gold nuggets often found nothing but pain and frustration. When gold was discovered in 1896, the Klondike was so inaccessible—the Canadian government required each potential miner to travel with a year’s worth of supplies before embarking on the journey—that the gold rush didn’t really get going until 1898. By 1899, many felt the “easy gold” was gone.

Pretty rapidly technology replaced many miners—the remnants of this technological innovation can still be seen all around the Klondike and ring Dawson City. Well over a century after its founding, Dawson City (now population 1365 and the capital of The Yukon until 1952), is precariously perched on the edge of the muddy and rampaging Yukon River, but still remains the epicenter of Klondike gold mining activities.

The entire Yukon Territory is significantly larger than California, but with a population of just under 39,000 people.

Cigar Society member Adam Steele, our speaker, will guide us through the colorful history of the Klondike Gold Rush, both historically, as above, and personally.

For the personal part of the story: In the 1970s, Adam and his family, originally from England, were living in Whitehorse, now capital of the Yukon, near Dawson City. For two of his high-school years, Adam took summer jobs working in a gold mine near Dawson City, swatting mosquitoes and seeking his fortune. On Tuesday night, Adam will also reminisce about his work in that gold mine, as part of an adventure that took him from England to the Klondike, then to Montreal and finally to Chicago, where he is now a professor of computer science at DePaul University.

Adam Steele is a long-time Cigar Society and Union League Club member. He teaches computer science at DePaul University, where he specializes in human-computer interactions (user-interface design and development), software engineering, bioinformatics, and grid computing. He has a PhD in computer science from Concordia University in Montreal. He came to DePaul with several years’ industry experience, having worked at Rockwell Collins as a principal investigator on the ARL Advanced Displays Fedlab, and as a section leader in their Advanced Technology Center. Before that, Adam worked at M3i Systems in Montreal as a software specialist.

About the Cigar Society of Chicago

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the city clubs of Chicago is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits.  The Cigar Society of Chicago embraces this tradition and extends it with its Informal Smokers, University Series lectures, and Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.  To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the secretary at