Originally founded as a seasonal fishing village, when word of gold spread south in the spring of 1897, it became a popular stopover for those joining the Klondike Gold Rush. Even though only 8,000 people lived in Dyea, tens of thousands passed through. There were two ways to reach the Klondike region: either via Dyea which met up with the Chilkoot Pass or head to Skagway and take the White Pass. Two events spelled the end for Dyea: On April 3, 1889, the devastating Palm Sunday Avalanche swept through the Chilkoot Trail killing more than 70 people. The Yukon Route Railroad opened in Skagway and Dyea began its rapid decline.