Golden Places
The History of Alaska-Yukon Mining
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Highlights of Alaska-Yukon Mineral Mining History

1862Rush up Stikine River—first Cassiar discovery
1870Gold discovered at Sumdum Bay, southeast Alaska.
1871Stampede to Cassiar, British Columbia; Wrangell, Alaska becomes base for Stikine River route to the gold fields.
1872Gold found at Sitka.
1873 or 1874First prospectors go into Alaska interior.
1880Major gold strike leads to founding of Juneau; gold found in beach sands of Yakutat.
1886First major gold strike in interior made on Fortymile River. Several hundred stampeders cross the Chilkoot Pass.
1892Birch Creek discovery which leads to founding of Circle City on the Yukon River.
1893Other interior placer gold strikes on the Yukon River near Circle and Rampart and in the Koyukuk River region.
1894First mining of beach sands at Lituya Bay.
1896Klondike gold discovery.
1897-98Klondike stampede.
1898Placer gold discoveries on Porcupine Creek near Haines, Seward Peninsula, and Kobuk River.
1899-1900Stampede to Nome.
1899Nabesna gold strike. First gold dredge at Nome.
1899-1902Extensive prospecting for copper in Copper River Valley.
1901Nizina gold strike. First gold dredge at Dawson.
1902Tanana Valley placer gold discovery near Fairbanks. Iliamna Lake (Lake Clark) gold discovery.
1903Placer gold strikes at Kantishna and Valdez Creek.
1905Gold discovery at Yentna; gold lode located on Chandalar.
1907Stampede to gold placers of Innoko; start of construction of Copper River and Northwestern Railway.
1908Gold strikes on Kuskokwim.
1910Stampede to Iditarod
1910Placer gold finds in Koyukuk (Hughes) and Chisna.
1911With completion of Copper River and Northwestern Railway the first shipment of Kennecott copper is shipped to Cordova, then by sea to Tacoma, Washington.
1913Gold found at Marshall and Chisana.
1914Gold discovered at Livengood and Tolovana.
1916First gold dredges operate in interior.
1937Kennecott shuts down.
1940Peak year of gold production.
1942-45Most mining shut down during World War II.
1955Peak post-World War II year of Fairbanks region gold dredging operations.
1959Alaska becomes state.
1966Gold mining hits low; total productions under $1 million.
1968Fixed gold price ended.
1975Federal ban on private ownership of gold ended.
1970sMineral mining and exploration revive.
1970s-80sEnvironmental concerns affect costs and future prospects of mineral mining industry.

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Last Updated: 01-Oct-2008