Going for the Gold

Silver dollar propped up against a large gold nugget, which at date of photograph was "A $1500 gold nugget"
Image credit: From the Alaska State Library Historical Collections. Silver dollar propped up against a large gold nugget, which at date of photograph was “A $1500 gold nugget”

The 91st annual Academy Awards were held Sunday night, with its gold Oscar statuettes handed out to a number of talented individuals in the motion picture industry.

Alaska has its own history of gold, as can be found in countless articles in historic newspapers. Take a look at the following news items of those who hit the mother lode- and photographs from the Alaska State Library Historical Collections of some valuable gold nuggets:

A $335 Nugget Found On Anvil: A New Cut of No. 1 Below Shows a New Paystreak, Which Runs Into Adjoining Benches. On No. 1 below on Anvil creek a $335 nugget was found on Tuesday. A new cut has been opened up on the left limit, and it has been found that the paystreak runs into adjoining benches. Work has not been fully started up on any of the Anvil claims, but in a few days more it will be in full blast, and the yield from this creek this year will be fully up to the average. Jafet Lindeberg thinks that the gold output of this section will be fully up to last year, when it reached $5,500,000, according to the Seattle assay office report. Mr. Lindeberg says that the season of 1899 was similar to the present one, working commencing on the Pioneer Company's claim, No. 1, on July 24. G.W. Price, however, began work on No. 8 on June 2, but he did not make much headway until later in the season.
Image credit: From the July 12, 1901 issue of the Nome Nugget. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections.
Artist's rendering of a gold nugget showing its dimensions with text that reads: Largest Nugget Ever Found in Alaska. The Above cuts represent the actual outlines of the nugget found last Thursday on Jarvis Bros.' fraction, between Discovery claim and No. 1 below on Anvil creek. The nugget is a trifle less than 6 1/4 inches long, 3 1/4 inches wide, 1 1/2 inches thick at one edge and a half inch at the other, weighs 45 ounces, and is worth about $800. Two small seams of quarts run through the nugget as shown in the cut.
Image credit: From the September 10, 1901 issue of the Nome Nugget. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections.
A $750 Nugget: The Largest Ever Found in This Section. On Anvil Fraction; Between Discovery Claim No. 1 Above, the Place Where it Was Found, on the West Bank of the Creek-- A Rich Piece of Ground. The largest nugget ever found in this section of Alaska was uncovered yesterday about noon on a fraction between discovery claim on Anvil creek and No. 1 below. The nugget was almost immediately taken to discovery claim and weighed. It was found to be worth $701. The fraction, which is the shape of a flat iron, is owned by the Pioneer Mining Co. At the west side of Anvil the strip is 60 feet wide, and it narrows down to a rather sharp point on the east side, or towards Anvil mountain. The nugget, however, was not found on the east side, where the best pay is found on the creek, but on the west side. The fraction has already yielded a large amount of dust, last Wednesday's cleanup having, it is said, amounted to $5,000.
Image credit: from the September 6, 1901 issue of the Nome Nugget. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections.
Nugget found at 9 Below Upper Discovery, Dominion Creek; weight - 126 and 60/100 ounces. Two miners, seated in front of canvas tent in camp, hold a gold pan containing large nugget.
Image credit: From the Alaska State Library Historical Collections. Nugget found at 9 Below Upper Discovery, Dominion Creek; weight – 126 and 60/100 ounces. Two miners, seated in front of canvas tent in camp, hold a gold pan containing large nugget.
Basket of Nuggets; Brought Down From No. 2 Alder Creek. One Worth $282.50; Ninety Pounds of Dust, Worth Nearly $20,000, Were Also Brought Down From the Same Claim Bluestone Country Better Than Expected. Ninety pounds of gold dust, worth $10,380, and about $2,000 worth of nuggets were brought down from No. 2 Alder creek, Port Clarence district, yesterday morning by M. J. Sullivan, one of the owners of the claim. Among the nuggets was a huge chunk of gold, which is worth $282.50. It is almost solid gold, only a couple of specks of quartz being visible. It was picked up in a sluice box last Monday by Mr. Sullivan. It was, when found, very dark in color, and its surface is exceedingly rough. The rest of the collection of nuggets range in the value from $5 to $65.
Image credit: From the August 30, 1901 issue of the Nome Nugget. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections.
"Sample of gold from Nugget Gulch, Susitna Country, tributary to Seward, Alaska. Mined by Herndon, Jacobs & Morris, 1906. Value over $3,600.00."
Image credit: From the Alaska State Library Historical Collections. Caption reads: “Sample of gold from Nugget Gulch, Susitna Country, tributary to Seward, Alaska. Mined by Herndon, Jacobs & Morris, 1906. Value over $3,600.00.”
Artist's rendering of a gold nugget with a text box that reads "Weight 97 ozs, Value $1552." Text beneath illustration reads: "The above is an excellent cut of the nugget found last Saturday morning on Discovery claim on Anvil creek. It was found about five feet beneath the surface by a workman who was digging a post hole. It weighs 97 ounces and at $16 and ounce is worth $1552. It is the largest chunk ever found in the Northland."
Image credit: From the September 17, 1901 issue of the Nome Nugget. Courtesy of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections.
Photograph of a large gold nugget with the text beneath reading: "The largest gold nugget found in Copper River country; weight 51 oz. 4 DWT; value $900.00; property of Oregon-Shushitna Mining Co.; found by Dan S. Kane on Lucky Gulch, a tributary to Valdez Creek, Aug. 15, 1907"
Image credit: Alaska State Library Historical Collections. “The largest gold nugget found in Copper River country; weight 51 oz. 4 DWT; value $900.00; property of Oregon-Shushitna Mining Co.; found by Dan S. Kane on Lucky Gulch, a tributary to Valdez Creek, Aug. 15, 1907”

Stay golden, readers!

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