Alaska Gold Rush History and Genealogy





US Geological Paper 610

The Hot Springs district is between lat 65°00' and 65°20' N. and long 149°40' and 151 °20' W. The drainages of Baker, Sullivan, and American Creeks are its major placer areas. Gold-bearing gravels were discovered in 1898 on Baker and Eureka Creeks by a group of New Englanders known throughout the area as the "Boston Boys" (Mertie, 1934, p. 165-166). When the party returned in 1899 to the new settlement of Rampart, news of their discoveries leaked out and caused a rush to the Hot Springs area. The first production reported was in 1904 (Smith, 1933, table facing p. 96) ; a town was built a few years later (Mertie, 1934, p. 166). The district maintained a steady output since mining began and was still active in 1959. Opencut, drifting, and hydraulic methods have been used in the mining. Total production through 1959 was 447,850 ounces, all from placers. As the Hot Springs and Rampart districts are separated by only a narrow drainage divide, their geology can be summarized together. Consolidated sedimentary rocks that range in age from pre-Ordovician to Tertiary and include sandstone, shale, conglomerate, chert, limestone, and coal-bearing rocks compose the bulk of the bedrock in these two districts (Mertie, 1934, p. 172-173). These are intruded locally by granite of Tertiary age. The major placer.s are along Minook Creek and its tributaries and along Quail Creek, one of the tributaries of Troublesome Creek. Several prominent stream terraces containing low-grade gold deposits occur along the Minook Creek valley, but most production has come from gravels at present stream levels along Little Minook Creek (Mertie, 1934, p. 181).
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