Nome Beach Gold Miner

Meet up with Roger, a full time beach miner, and he shows us how he mines and lives homesteading on the beach of Nome, Alaska.

Nome Beach Gold Miner

Nome Beach Gold Miner - Alaska beach gold

Alaska beach gold

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Nome Gold Rush was a gold rush in Nome, Alaska, approximately 1899–1909. It is separated from other gold rushes by the ease with which gold could be obtained. Much of the gold was lying in the beach sand of the landing place and could be recovered without any need for a claim. Nome was a sea port without a harbor, and the biggest town in Alaska.

Together with the Klondike Gold Rush (1896–1899) and Fairbanks Gold Rush (1903–1911), Nome was among the biggest gold rushes north of 60 degrees latitude on the North American continent. It shared prospectors with both Klondike and later rushes like Fairbanks. It is memorialized in films like North to Alaska. Nome City still exists and the area is mined as Nome mining district and by tourists. Total production of gold from the area is estimated to be 112 metric tons.

Claim jumping was mostly a problem before the beach gold was found, since it could not be claimed and there was plenty of it. As a matter of fact, the beach gold seems to have been more important than the claimed gold in the creeks. The mining of Nome beach is a good example of gold rushes going through phases of increasing use of machinery and capital. The very first gold on the beach was found with a pan. Later in the summer of 1899 human powered equipment like sluices and rockers were present. In 1900 small machines together with hoses and pumps were seen at the beach, and finally from around 1902 big companies took over. The season wasn’t long. Due to ice, the beaches could only be worked from June to October. Local police forced people with inadequate shelter to leave for the winter.


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