Humbolt Creek Mining Camp

An aerial view of Humbolt Creek with a wooden structure on the tundra.
An aerial view of Humbolt Creek.

NPS Photo - Eileen Devinney

 

During the early part of the twentieth century, gold miners were active throughout many areas of the Bering
Land Bridge National Preserve. The miners traveled from all over the country and the world, to risk their
lives in the uncharted land of the preserve. For over forty years, miners moved mostly without interruption
into the interior of the peninsula, searching for the elusive and profitable gold mining claim. On October 8th,
1942, the War Production Board, with the intention of promoting national defense, ordered the closer of all
non-essential mines. The board allowed smaller mines to continue operating, but the war had basically
stopped most gold mining on the peninsula. Although the order was revoked in 1945, gold mining was never
able to reach the same level of importance as before the war.

The Humbolt Creek mining claim was on of the last gold mining placers in the preserve. A national park or
preserve may contain unpatented or patented mining claims from before its establishment, but no new
mining claims are allowed in any park or preserve. After the creation of the preserve, seventy-nine
unpatented and inactive claims were located within preserve boundaries. Eventually all gold mining within
the preserve ceased. Currently, the preserve does not contain any unpatented or patented claims. A cabin
built in the 1930s, still stands at the location of the Humbolt Creek Mining Camp. The abandoned camp now
sits as a small reminder of the history of gold mining in the preserve.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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