Alaska Gold Rush History and Genealogy



The Hope district comprises the area drained by streams flowing into Cook Inlet from a point midway between Kenai and Salamatof to Portage and the area drained by the Kenai River above Skilak Lake. The eastern boundary is the divide between Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound.
Gold in many of the placer deposits of the Hope district was derived directly from nearby auriferous quartz veins, many of which were sites of lode mining. Some productive placers were in stream and bench gravels in which at least a portion of the heavy minerals was reconcentrated from glacial and glaciofluvial deposits derived from areas in which gold-bearing lodes are known or might reasonably be.
Although gold was discovered on the Kenai River in 1848, large-scale placer mining in the Hope district did not begin until nearly 50 years later. By 1900, most of the streams that ever became productive were being mined. Mills (17, fig. 10) and Canyon (17, 18, fig. 10) Creeks were the most productive streams in the district. On both creeks, bench gravels as well as the pres¬ent stream beds were mined, mainly by hydraulic methods. Mills Creek was worked as recently as 1961, the last year in which a placer operation larger than a small drift mine was reported from any part of the Kenai Peninsula. Small dredges were used on the Kenai River (7, fig. 10) and on Sixmile (11, fig. 10) and Resurrection (9, 10, fig. 10) Creeks, but the results evidently were not satisfactory, as other mining methods supplanted the dredges after a year or two of operation on Sixmile and Resurrection Creeks. All mining on the Kenai River ceased with the abandonment of the dredge in 1913.
Few data are available on the minerals, other than gold, in concentrates from placers in the Hope district. Native silver was reported from Bear Creek (9, fig. 10), native copper from Lynx Creek (21, fig. 10), and a few sulfide minerals from other streams. In 1966 Jasper (1967a) collected concentrate samples along highways on the Kenai Peninsula as part of a regional geochemical study and reported scheelite, gold, or various sulfide minerals from many localities. Of particular interest was cinnabar from Bertha Creek (22, fig. 10) and from a gully (8, fig. 10) near Cooper Creek, as no lode occurrences of mercury have been reported within 50 miles.
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