Alaska Gold Rush History and Genealogy

 
   

Gold Rush Timeline

 

   

1850
Gold was discovered by the Russians on the Kenai Penninsula on the Russian River and near what is now Hope.

1861
Gold was discovered by Buck Choquette at Telegraph Creek near the former Russian settlement of Wrangell, gold seekers turned new attention to Alaska's mineral wealth.

1867
Alaska was purchased from Russia. American prospectors came north to explore the new territory.

1870
Gold found at Sumdum Bay, SE Alaska.

1871
Gold discovered at lndian River near Sitka.

1873
Jack McQuestern, Arthur Harper and Alfred Mayo begin prospecting along the Yukon River.

1880
Major gold strikes on Gold Creek by Joe Juneau and Richard Harris near what is now Juneau which inspired more mineral exploration in the North.

1888
Alexander King discovers gold on Kenai Peninsula.

1886
Gold found in the Fortymile River by Howard Franklin started the first rush to interior Alaska, setting the stage for further strikes throughout the region.

1893
Discoveries were made near Rampart and Hope. Gold was found on Birch Creek in '93 and in 1894 on Crooked Creek which lead to Circle becoming the supply point for the mines in that part of the Yukon River drainage.

1896 ~ 1898
The enormous Klondike strike in nearby Canada on Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Yukon River, drew thousands of new prospectors to Alaska.

1898 ~ 1899
Gold discoveries at Nome by the "Three Lucky Swedes" caused another massive rush north with prospectors continuing to search all parts of Alaska for gold. In 1899 more gold was discovered on the beaches of Nome.

Gold discoveries in the Koyukuk drainage brought prospectors to the foothills of the Brooks Range, the northern-most extent of Alaska's gold rushes. Small strikes led to short-lived mining camps at Beaver City, Dillman Creek and Coldfoot.

1902
Italian immigrant, Felix Pedro, discovered gold on Pedro Creek, which lead to the founding of Fairbanks. Gold is still being mine there today.

1903
Discoveries at Valdez Creek, near the current Denali Highway, set off a small stampede to a district that by the late 1980s and early 1990s contained the largest gold placer mine in North America, before being mined out in 1995.

1905
Tanana (Source P 266 ).

1906
Gold discovered in Chadalar District.

Ruby was initially a small rush that brought more prospectors to the area which later led to discoveries on Long Creek and Poorman. Ruby became the supply point for the area mines.

1909
Gold discoveries at Iditarod and Flat set off another rush, sometimes called "The Last Great Rush."

1910
Long Creek (Ruby mining district). New discoveries on nearby creeks continues for the next five years including Poorman area creeks in 1913.

1911
Kennicott copper mines begin production.

1913
Gold found at Marshall.

Chisana is the location of Alaska's last significant gold rush with as many as 8000 gold seekers taking part.

 


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