Early Mining in Alaska

One of the best examples of early mining in Alaska can be found in the following link. It is a bit of tedious reading at times I’ll be the first to admit, but well worth reading for the detailed glimpse into the early gold rush in Alaska it provides.

View paper 

Here are some excerpts from the paper:

“The port of Seattle bustled as passengers swarmed on board ships bound for the strike on August 17, 1896. Passengers included General Edward M. Carr; Captain Andrew J. Balliet and John H McGraw, governor of Washington State from 1892-1896”.

“Many people willingly gave up good jobs to seek the elusive gold. Seattle Mayor William D. Wood resigned his office to head the Seattle-Yukon Commercial Company”.


“B. W. Moore, Jr., of Montgomery, West Virginia, summed up survival lessons. He wrote his sage advice to himself in his Miller Creek diary:

Don’ts for Alaska from Observation December 13, 1897

Don’t go out without waterproof matchbox filled.

Don’t try to go out even 300 yards with wet feet in cold weather. Stop and make a fire.

Don’t take a long trip or leave the trail by yourself. Be with someone as much as possible.

Don’t try to go too far without eating and always arrange to have something to eat. Pine (W. G. Pinecoffin) says a man will die in seven hours and thirty-five minutes unless he eats.

Don’t believe everything you hear.

Don’t be too ready and willing to go in cahoot.

Don’t try to cross a mountain in winter without snowshoes.

Don’t for God’s sake, let a hungry man pass your cabin.

Don’t be stingy, selfish, or crabby. .

Don’t think for a minute you know where the gold is, for it’s just where you find it.

Don’t go out without a piece of candle in your pocket. You can always get a fire with a candle.


“He also learned the laws of the mining camp where there were no locks on doors or caches. Anyone convicted by a jury of stealing would receive a public whipping,of 100 lashes, and would be released to float downriver on a raft to an uncertain end, probably death. If a miner was away from his cabin, any other miner had a right to enter that cabin, eat food from the shelves, and sleep there, but not to remove anything from the cabin”.

“Beach described Joyce as a former Texas Ranger, seventy years old, lean, and hawk-faced. After a ten-hour workday, Joyce loped twelve miles into Rampart three times a week to be with his lady friend.

“To celebrate the conclusion of the hearings, Ramparters in the Arctic Brotherhood, Camp No. 15, initiated the senators and their staff at a smoker in their lodge. Through the senators, they invited President Teddy Roosevelt to join their camp”.

// End of excerpts //

The Alaska Mining Hall of Fame

A great website honoring the brave men and women that paved the way and played such an important role in making Alaska the great State it is today. Many of the place names we often read or hear about in Alaska have ties to the following inductee list from the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame.

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