Tanana Valley Gold - Salcha, Alaska
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 64° 20.399 W 146° 51.904
6W E 506519 N 7134907
Quick Description: Marker giving history of gold mining in the area. Located on pull off on the Richardson Highway.
Location: Alaska, United States
Date Posted: 4/22/2011 12:45:54 PM
Waymark Code: WMB9C1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 0

Long Description:

Text of marker:

Tanana Valley Gold

The gold deposits found in 1902 north of present-day Fairbanks proved to be the richest in Alaska.  Prospector Felix Pero and trader E.T. Barnette played key roles in the discovery and initial rush.  A second strike made the following summer catapulted a temporary trading post into the largest city in the territory.

A Prospector and Trader Meet

Felix Pedro, an Italian immigrant, claimed he made a rich gold strike in 1898 in the Tanana Valley foothills.  While trying to find it again in 1901, he purchased supplies from E.T. Barnette's temporary trading post on the Chena River.  The post was nearly a hundred miles from the nearest trail or gold strike.  Barnette had been left at the site by the riverboat captain he had hired to take him to the upper Tanana River

A Premature Stampede

Pedro returned to Barnette's post on July 28, 1902 to announce a new gold discovery.  Barnette sent word of the strike to nearby gold camps, exaggerating its richness.  Seven hundred people then stampeded to the Tanana Valley.  These rushers found the nearby creeks already staked, a few claims being worked and Barnette's trading post charging high prices for supplies.  With no money and no jobs, the stampeders camped near Barnette's trading post convened a miners' meeting in January 1903. They considered hanging the promoters of the new camp.  Before there was any blood shed, Barnette agreed to lower his prices.

Striking it Really Big

In the fall of 1903, miners on Cleary, Fairbanks and Ester creeks in the Tanana foothills announced rich gold discoveries. Another rush occurred and 1,500 people were mining in the area by Christmas.  The camp Barnette named Fairbanks grew into a city of saloons and two-story buildings.  The amount of good mined increased from $40,000 in 1903 to $9.6 million in 1909.  The Tanana gold fields were Alaska's richest, and within a few years Fairbanks became the territory's largest city.

Marker Name: Tanana Valley Gold

Marker Type: Roadside

Addtional Information:

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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