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Gold In Tenderfoot - Richardson, Alaska
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 64° 16.818 W 146° 18.838
6W E 533218 N 7128428
Quick Description: Marker giving the history of mining in the area located along the Richardson Highway.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 4/22/2011 10:39:21 AM
Waymark Code: WMB9BQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 0

Long Description:

Gold in the Tenderfoot

After the Klondike rush, prospectors searched many other places for gold.  They made rich discoveries near Fairbanks and many smaller discoveries in the upper Tanana Valley.  The Tenderfoot discovery near here in 1905 led to a small stampede.

Making the Discovery

Two miners from the Fortymile District found gold flakes on Tenderfoot Creek in 1888.  The site was too far from a supply camp, so they abandoned it.  Seventeen years later, after gold was discovered near Fairbanks, prospector E.H. Luce found gold on Tenderfoot Creek.  New of his discovery attracted about a thousand people to the area.  Between 1905 and 1995 the Tenderfoot Mining District produced 120,770 ounces (3.77 tons) of placer gold.  Its most productive years were 1905 to 1916.

Gold is Tough to Get

The gold bearing gravels in the district were 40 to 100 feet below the surface.  Miners spent their winters in drift pits, bring gold bearing gravels to the surface.  Water, necessary for sluicing the gravel, was often in short supply in the summer.  Many miners got discouraged and left.  Their unworked gravel piles were later used by the Alaska Road Commission to improve the Richardson Highway.  This led to a story that the road was "paved with gold."

Town of Richardson

Riverboats brought supplies from Fairbanks to the Tenderfoot District  A town at the mouth of Manner Creek, about a mile west of here, became the area supply depot.  It was named for Wilds P. Richardson, head of the Alaska Road Commission.  In 1907, the town had 500 people, four stores, four hotels, four saloons, a sawmill, a post office and a telegraph station.  Tanana River bank erosion forced residents to move the town twice.  Mining declined during the 1920s and the town slowly died.   The Richardson Highway now cuts through the former town site.

Marker Name: Gold in the Tenderfoot

Marker Type: Roadside

Addtional Information:
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Date Dedicated / Placed: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Preferred would be to post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alaska history please include that in your log.
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