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Eastern Alaska

Much of the gold found in Eastern Alaska has been located around Nome. In 1898, four men went to Anvil Creek in the Snake River and found gold. Intending to keep their discovery a secret, they didn’t stake a claim. They waited with the intention of returning in the spring with the outfits and provisions that they would need. However, their secret was ultimately revealed and other prospectors decided to brave storms to get to Nome. Prospectors went to Cape Nome and on Anvil Creek they discovered even more gold than the original four prospectors did. These other prospectors each staked their claim. This resulted in a great stampede from all over the area to the Anvil Creek region. By January, some 400 men traveled to Nome and lived in tents until the spring thaw. A community known as Anvil City was located at the mouth of the Snake River and several Snake River tributaries were staked.

As soon as news got to Dawson some 8,000 people rushed to Nome within a week. In North America only the Klondike and California gold rush were greater than the Nome gold rush in 1899. Because of a lack of civil authority there was general lawlessness such as claim jumping on the creeks, but this was finally relieved when gold was discovered on the beach gravels near Nome in 1899. This resulted in a daily situation of first come, first serve since claims couldn’t be staked on the beach. However, there was sufficient beach to accommodate almost everybody. The Solomon River Valley was another location in the district where extensive mining was conducted. By 1900, both deposits of lode and placer gold were being worked.

In the Nome district, bedrock is primarily Precambrian and Paleozoic that has been displaced by a minimum of two generations of faults and folds and intruded by small grantic plutons as well as now altered rock bodies of mafic. Tungsten concentrates have been developed from the residual material over the scheelite bearing lodes and antimony and gold have been produced from lode deposits near Nome.  Although none have ever been successfully worked, lodes for other metals that are possibly valuable such as zinc, lead, molybdenum, bismuth, copper and iron are known in the Nome district. The lodes, most of them probably and spatially related genetically to the younger faults and folds, are primarily quartz veinlets and vein, many of which contain calcite or feldspar that have many different combinations of scheelite, metallic sulfides, and free gold. The deposits of placer gold were the result of the lodes.

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