Getting Gold - Richardson, Alaska
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 64° 16.818 W 146° 18.838
6W E 533218 N 7128428
Quick Description: Historical marker along the Richardson Highway giving different methods of getting gold used in the area.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 4/22/2011 8:23:37 AM
Waymark Code: WMB9B3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 1

Long Description:

Text of marker:

Getting Gold

Placer mining during the Gold Rush included finding gold bearing gravels, digging them out of the ground, and separating the heavier gold from the gravel.  It was hard, back-breaking work.

Finding a Pay Streak

Placer gold can be dust, flakes, or nuggets and is found mixed with gravel in river bars, stream beds, and hillside benches.  Prospectors wash gravels in water with a pan.  Every miner hopes to find a pay streak where gold is heavily concentrated. Once prospectors find gold, they stake and file claims to protect their rights to min the discovery.

Rocking and Sluicing

Miners dug pits, known as open cuts, to extract the pay dirt that had settled just above the bedrock.  The miners shoveled the pay dirt into rockers or sluice boxes, using water to separate the gold from the gravel.  A rocker is a cradle that is shaken.  A sluice box is a long, open-ended, slightly inclined box or series of boxes.  The pay dirt is washed through the rocker or boxes and the gold is trapped in the bottom.  Within a few years, other methods replaced hand mining.  One method is hydraulic mining which uses water under pressure to thaw the gravel and push it through sluice boxes. Other methods include scrapers and large mechanical equipment such as dredges.

Burning and Drifting

In soe places placer gold is deeply buried.  Miners recovered it by underground mining.  They sank shafts through the frozen ground to bedrock, using fires or boiler-heated water to thaw the ground.  If they found gold, the miners dug horizontal tunnels or drifts to get at the pay streak.  They hoisted the pay dirt to the surface and piled in dumps.  In summer, when running water was available, miners sluiced the dump piles to find out how much gold they had found.

Marker Name: Getting Gold

Marker Type: Roadside

Addtional Information:

Date Dedicated / Placed: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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