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    Additional Alaska Geographical Items

    Encyclopedia Arctica 12: Alaska, Geography and General

    001      |      Vol_XII-0310                                                                                                                  

            Ruby Collins

    November, 1948 AGIAPUK RIVER, ALASKA

    760 wds - Text

    15 wds - Bibl

            AGIAPUK RIVER, western Seward Peninsula, Alaska, drains

    an [ ?] rea of 700 to 800 miles north of Grantley Harbor and Imuruk Basin,

    and empties into the Basin about wenty-four miles from Teller, at about

    65° 12′ N.Lat., 165° 40′ W. Long.

            Rising in the limestone hills fifteen or twenty miles

    northwest of Grantley Harbor, the Agiapuk flows first southward then

    eastward along a lowland basin, approximately parallel with the Harbor,

    for about [ ?] wenty miles to its junction with American River (q.v.), its

    main tributary. American River is, in reality, larger than the Agiapuk.

    Throughout the east-west part of its course, the Agiapuk drains a broad,

    gravel-filled lowland, but, in the vicinity of its head [ ?] aters, the valleys

    are narrow and the gravel deposits are of small extent.

            Collier gives a good description of this [ ?] lowland

    section of the Agiapuk: "Having an area of about 60 square miles ... it

    is dotted over with many lakes, and, from the surrounding hills, it has

    the appearance of a filled lake or estuary. As they approach the plain,

    the tributaries of the Agiapuk River have broad valleys and flood plains.

    A mining sh [ ?] ft has been sunk on Allene Creek, one of the tributaries

    from the south, and is said to have failed to reach bed rock at a depth

    of 65 feet. Below a sur acelayer of gravel, blue clay containing bark

    and other driftwood was found. Mammoth bones are reported to be common

    within this basin."

            Previous to its confluence with American River, the

    Agiapuk receives Sunrise, and North Creeks from the south, and innumerable

    smaller affluents.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0311                                                                                                                  

            North Creek , itself , is joined by Allene, Swanson, John, North,

    Nickle, and Saturday Creeks, all of which rise in the mountains only a

    few miles north of Grantley Harbor. Swanson Creek drains from the south–

    eastern flank of Mukacharme Mountain, which, [ ?] with its associated hills,

    forms the divide between streams flowing northward into the Agiapuk and

    those flowing southward into Grantley Harbor.

            After meeting American River, the Agiapuk bends more and

    more southward until it is flowing almost directly south toward Imuruk Basin.

    Here the Agiapuk makes many meanders on the broad flood plain, from which

    the upland rises by gentle slopes to flat-topped hills with elevations of

    600 to 800 feet. For this last twenty-mile stretch, [ ?] it is joined by several

    unnamed streams as well as by Mitchell, and Flat Creeks.

            Collier gives the following description of the Agiapuk in

    the first decade of this century: "Being easy of access and supporting a

    large Eskimo population, the Agia puk was one of the first streams of Seward

    Peninsula to receive attention from prospect [ ?] rs, but up to the present time

    no rich or extensive deposits of auriferous gravels have been discovered in

    its basin. Colors of gold have been found in many of its tributaries and

    nearly all of them have been st [ ?] ked and prospected. Small amounts of gold

    have been produced on Allene Creek...In general the rocks of the Agiapuk

    basin are less metamorphosed than the gold-bearing rocks in other parts

    of the peninsula. They consist mainly of Silurian limestones that are re–

    garded as equivalent to the Port Clarence member of the Nome group and gen–

    erally have not been so productive of gold as the lower members of that

    group. United States Geological Survey parties traversed part of the

    Agiapuk basin in 1901, and again visited the region in 1903, but very few

    prospectors were seen on either trip, though prospect holes, claim stakes,

    and other evidences of white men were everywhere abundant."

    003      |      Vol_XII-0312                                                                                                                  

            The Agiapuk was not destined to develop into a gold–

    producing stream. As a waterway to the richer deposits on American River,

    it was important in the [ ?] development of this part of Seward Peninsu–

    la, but, although as late as 1930 there was a renewal of gold mining

    interest along the Agiapuk, [ ?] no placers of commercial value

    were ever found on it.

            Except for the scattered native population, there have

    never been any settlements on the Agiapuk.

            Beechey was the first white man to record the name of

    this river, which, in 1827, he wrote Agee-ee-puk. It has also been

    written Ageepuk, Agiopuk, and Ahgeeapuk. The persistent last syllable,

    puk, probably means big .

    004      |      Vol_XII-0313                                                                                                                  




            U.S. Geological Survey. Water Supply Paper Water Supply Paper No.314. Plate I.

    Washington, D.C., 1913.

            Collier, Arthur J., and others. Gold Placersof Parts of Seward Gold Placersof Parts of Seward

    Peninsula, Alaska. Peninsula, Alaska. Washington, 1908. (U.S. Geological

    Survey. Bulletin, No.328)

            Brooks, Alfred H., and others. Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and

    Norton Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Norton Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Washington, D.C., 1901.

            Collier, Arthur J. Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion of

    Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Washington, D.C., 1902.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper No.2)

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington,

    D.C., 1906. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin No.299)

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0314                                                                                                                  

    23 April 48


            ALAGNAK RIVER, ALASKA (Alaganak; Aliknuk; Lockenuck), in the northern part of the Alaska

    Peninsula, drains from Kukaklek and Nanwhyenuk Lakes (q.v.) between 59° and

    59° 10′ N. Lat. and 155° and 156° W. Long. The Alagnak takes a

    generally westerly course across the coastal lowland for about 50 miles and

    joins the Kvichak River (q.v.) at its mouth just north of 59° N. Lat.

    Tebenkof reported the name in 1849.

            The Alagnak is one of the many Bristol Bay rivers reported by the

    U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1938 to be poorly surveyed and dangerous

    to navigate. These rivers are characterized by a tidal rise at the mouth

    of from 15 to 24 feet, by the appearance of shoals and banks at low

    tide not only at the mouth but often for [ ?] everal miles outside, and by

    strong tidal currents running as high as 6 knots. Recent maps show no

    settlements on the banks of the Alagnak, although there is a salmon cannery at

    its mouth.

    13 12 ﹍ 26 13 ﹍ 6

    Sources: VS GB; Baker; U.S.C.P & Suppl.

    [ ?] in Colby; Sundborg

    001      |      Vol_XII-0315                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    February, 1949 AMERICAN RIVER, ALASKA

            1415 wds - Text

    50 wds - Bibl

            AMERICAN RIVER, sometimes called the North Fork of the Agiapuk

    River (q.v.), western Seward Peninsula, Alaska, drains a large area west of

    the Kougarok Basin. The American rises in the mountains about forty miles

    north of Grantley Harbor (q.v.) and flows in an easterly direction for about

    fifteen miles, then t [ ?] rns and flows nearly southward for about thirty more

    miles to its junction with the Agiapuk. The upper reaches of the American are torrential, but, for these

    last thirty miles, the river meanders torturously across a comparatively

    broad, gravel-filled valley. It is navigable for small boats and canoes

    for about thirty miles above the mouth.

            No ¶ The upper reaches of the American are torrential, but, for these

    last thirty miles, the river meanders torturously across a comparatively

    broad, gravel-filled valley. It is navigable for small boats and canoes

    for about thirty miles above the mouth.

            Along its early east-west course, the American is joined by many

    unnamed streams, but, starting with its southward bend, the tributaries become

    larger and can be identified. The first of these is Portage Creek, coming

    in from the north. This river rises in the divide separating the American

    from [ ?] Shishmaref Inlet and the Arctic Ocean drainage systems. Below this

    point, Burke (with its affluent Fisher Creek), Goldrun, Budd, Dome, Camp,

    and Igloo Creeks enter the American from the east. Newton Creek, just north

    of Camp Creek, is the only named western affluent, but there are a great many

    unidentified streams entering from this direction.

            Of the eastern affluents, Budd Creek is the most complicated

    and economically the most important. About fifteen miles long, it is joined,

    three miles from its mouth, by Windy Creek, which itself receives Trilby

    Creek a few miles above its junction with Budd. About ten miles above its

    mouth Budd Creek forks, the two parts coming from the north and the south, [ ?]

    their direction being determined by the strike of the bed rocks. This

    south fork is called Eldorado Creek. According to Collier: "Below the forks

    the creek sinks, leaving its bed dry except in times of high water. After flowing


    002      |      Vol_XII-0316                                                                                                                  

    underground for about two miles, the creek rises again in a number of

    springs. This sink occurs where a massive bed of limestone, dipping downstream

    at a small angle, cuts across the creek."

            Kougarok (Kugruk) Mountain rises up 2,787 feet only a few miles

    from the northern headwaters of Budd Creek.

            Windy Creek enters Budd from the south about five miles from its

    mouth and is it [ e ?] self about five miles long. Collier notes that "near the head

    of the creek its bed contains many bowlders of greenstone, which are derived

    from sills intruded in the limestone near its head. The valley of Windy Creek

    is broad and gravel filled. Along the sides of the valley, back from the

    creek bed, the gravel extends up the slopes, forming some well-marked gravel

    benches. A cut bank of the creek shows 6 feet of muck overlying 6 feet of


            Igloo Creek, also called Lewis Creek, enters the American only a

    few miles above its junction with the Agiapuk. Again accordin g to Collier,

    "this creek, like Budd Creek, flows west across the strike of the bed rock,

    which, as on Budd Creek, consists of limestones, calcareous and graphitic

    schists, with some intruded sills of greenstone, which are highly altered.

    Like Budd Creek, Igloo Creek sinks for about a mile of its course, probably in

    crossing the same bed of limestone that causes the sink on Budd Creek. In

    its lower course Igloo Creek meanders over a broad flood plain, from which

    the hills rise by very gentle slopes to the flat-topped upland. Practically

    all of Igloo Creek and its tributaries have been staked, but little evidence

    of prospecting or asse [ n ?] ssment work and no active mining was being done. (i.e.

    in 1901) Colors of gold have been found on the creek, but the exact localities

    are not known to the writer. Igloo Creek, except where it sinks in passing

    over limestone beds, carries a large amount of water, which is ample for min–

    ing the creek bed on a large scale at all seasons."


    003      |      Vol_XII-0317                                                                                                                  

            Igloo Creek has a complex system of tributaries, including Yale,

    Magnolia, Mascot, and Blackcrook from the north, and Caribou, Louisville,

    Kentucky, Virginia, Ruby, and Lone Creeks from the south. A group of hills

    well of over 1,000 feet high separates the headwaters of these northern tributaries

    to the Igloo from the headwaters of Trilby and Dome Creeks.

            The entire course of American River lies within the permafrost zone.

    The ground remains frozen the year around in the mountainous sections of the

    upper river, but thaws for a few feet below the surface along the lower flats

    section. This area is also beyond the timber line, but small willow and

    alder, sometimes measuring only one inch thick, grow along the banks of the

    more southerly streams in the system. These can be [ ?] used for fuel. The

    lowland flats are, during the summer, thickly overgrown with moss, grasses,

    and shrubs. These supply forage for pack animals, although summer overland

    travel is very difficult because of the thick layer of h a lf-frozen mud over–

    laying the frozen sub-soil.

            Here, as elsewhere on Seward Peninsula, the best weather comes dur–

    ing the long, cold, dark winters. Travelling southward in August from the

    Kugruk and over the divide to the headwaters of the America, Collier, in the

    company of others from the U.S. Geological Survey, was held up much more by

    heavy rain and fog than by the difficulties of the terrain. He mentions low

    clouds and heavy fogs again and again, and then, on August 22, while in camp

    on Igloo Creek, re p orts that one inch of snow fell followed by "several days

    of bad weather." Describing their trip across the lowland flats, he adds, "In

    places it was so marshy that the horses would have been lost but for the

    solid ice which was found to overlie the moss as a depth of about 2 1/2 feet."

            Considering all this, it can be easily understood why the eraly early

    miners to American Creek transported equipment almost exclusively by water

    in preference to bringing it in directly overland.


    004      |      Vol_XII-0318                                                                                                                  

    Mining The first reports of gold along American and its associated rivers

    appears in Brooks, who recorded that Ernest [ ?] G. Rognon, the U.S.

    Commissioner for the Port Clarence Mining District at Teller, knew of strikes

    on Budd and [ ?] Burke Creeks in September, 1900. Brooks adds: "Since then

    there have been rumors of further discoveries in this drainage basin. Colors

    are said to be found on many other creeks. What little information we cou [ ?] d

    gather about [ ?] the bed rock would lead us to believe that the same rock se [ ?] ies

    occurs on the Agiapuk that is found on the Kugruk. What we know of the trend

    of the beds on both sides of this basin would tend to confirm t is view. If

    the region becomes a gold producer, it will be found to be easily accessible

    from Port Clarence either by boat or by pack train."

            Collier, who [ ?] rev isited this region in 1901, writes as follows: " [ ?] long

    the upper parts of Budd Creek many claims have been staked, and assessment work,

    consisting of prospect pits and c or ro sscut ditches, has been done in a number of

    places. Windy Creek is staked by one company for about 3 miles of its length.

    No prospectors were seen on Budd Creek or its tributaries, and no active mining

    has been done. This creek carries sufficient water for sluicing, except at the

    places where it sinks in passing over limestone. The same is true of Windy

    Creek, the large southern tributary."

            But this early [ ?] show of promise was not destined to develop into

    anything significant. After a brief mention, in 1908, of a ditch on Windy

    Creek, American River and its tributaries drop out of the story of gold

    mining on Seward Peninsula until about 1929, when one company again investigated

    the value of the deposits on that stream. These could not have been hopeful

    since the creek does not again appear in the mining history of this part of


            Due, no doubt, to the failure of prospectors to find gold in


    005      |      Vol_XII-0319                                                                                                                  

    paying quantities anywhere along American River, no settlements have ever

    grown up on its banks or on any of its tributaries.

            There is now a winter trail running from Teller across Grantley

    Harbor and so overland to American River and northward to Shishmaref Inlet.

    Via Teller, points on American River are connected with Nome and other towns

    on the coast of Norton Sound, with Tin City, and with Shelton, on the [ ?] uzitrin,

    from which places trails run northward to Kotzebue Sound. There is an 800-foot

    landing strip on Windy Creek, but no other airplane facilities in the Americ [ ?] n

    River system.

    006      |      Vol_XII-0320                                                                                                                  


            Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton

    Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Washington, 1901.

            Henshaw, F.F. Surface Water Supply of Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Surface Water Supply of Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Washington,

    1913. (U.S. Geological Survey. Water-Supply Paper Water-Supply Paper 314)

            Collier, Arthur J. (and others) Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula, Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska. Alaska. Washington, 1908. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin


            Collier, Arthur J. Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion of Seward Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion of Seward

    Peninsula, Alaska. Peninsula, Alaska. Washington, 1902. (U.S. Geological Surv [ ?] y.

    Professional Paper Professional Paper No.2)

            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin No.299)

            U.S. Geological Survey. Alaskan Mineral Resources Alaskan Mineral Resources , 1907. Washington, 1908.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0321                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins 1,755 wds-Text ANIKOVIK RIVER, ALASKA

    February, 1949

            50 wds-Bibl.

            ANIKOVIK RIVER (Anakovik) western Seward Peninsula, Ala ks sk a,

    empties into Bering Sea a few miles west of Cape York and south of Cape Prince

    of Wales.

            Of the section of coast enclosing the Anikovik, Captain F.W.

    Beechey wrote, in 1827: "To the southward of Cape Prince of Wales the coast

    trends nearly due east, and assumes a totally different character to that which

    leads to Schismareff Inlet, being bounded by steep rocky cliffs, and broken by

    deep valleys, while the other is low and swampy ground. The river called

    by the natives Youp-nut (the present Anikovik) must lie in one of these valleys;

    and in all probability it is in that which opens out near a bold promontory,

    to which I have given the name of York, in honour of his late Royal Highness.

    On nearing that part of the coast we found the water more shallow than usual."

            Lutke recorded the name of this river as the Up-nut, but, since

    Brooks' U.S. Geological Survey report of 1900, this the Eskimo name has, with great

    consistency, retained its present form.

            The Anikovik rises in the York Mountains about fifteen miles from

    the coast, leaves these mountains by a westerly course and then flows almost

    directly south into the sea. Throughout the greater part of its length it

    flows across the York Plateau, in which it has cut a comparatively broad

    valley. The lower river has a broad , flat flood plain from one hundred y ards

    to one-half a mile in width. The gravels here measure several feet deep

    and from two to three hundred feet wide.

            Writing in 1900, Brooks remarks: "In the upper part of its course

    the river flows in greenstones, but below its bend to the south it cuts the

    phyllites and slates which have already been referred to. It carries colors

    for the lower 10 miles of its course, but no paying claims have yet been devel–

    oped on it. On some claims about 2 miles from the sea a little prospecting has

    been done, and it is claimed that the yields show 10 to 15 cents to the pan.


    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0322                                                                                                                  




    NEW YORK 14

    002      |      Vol_XII-0323                                                                                                                  

    The nugge st ts are sometimes chunky and sometimes flat. The former are probably

    from the quartz-calcite blebs and the latter from the mineralized slates. The

    gold is usually rounded and well polished. Much magnetite occurs with the gold.

    A rough estimate of the fall of Anakovik River makes it about 15 to 18 feet

    per mile."

            The main tributaries to the Anikovik are Ishut, Buhner, and Deer

    Creeks from the west, and Moonlight, Banner, and Flat Creeks from the east.




            Estimating the gold-bearing potentials of these streams, Brooks

    felt that the basin-shaped valley of the upper Ishut, Buhner, and

    Deer Creeks offered the best pooepots prospects , since they all ran over bed-rock slates

    which had proved to be mineralized elsewhere in the district. The original

    discovery of coarse gold in the York district was made on Buhner Creek, but at

    the time of Brooks' report (1900) little prospecting had been done there.

    Collier reports, in 1901, that the entire season for that year probably produced

    only about $200 in gold.

            In 1903, only one party of prospectors mined the gravels of the

    river and they earned only $600 for one month's work. About half a mile from

    the coast, the river water was diverted by a ditch so that the river bed was

    exposed. The gravels here contained small amounts of gold, but could have be en

    worked profitably only by a large company owning several [ ?] miles of


            Nothing more is heard of the Anikovik placers until 1914, when

    the American Gold Dredging Company put two dredges there and operated for both

    tin and gold at the same time. One of these dredges had formerly been used

    on Peluk Creek, near Nome. After being towed along the shore of Bering Sea

    to the mouth of the Anikovik, it d ug its own way across the bar and into the

    river. But gold was never to prove a large source of income in this part of

    Seward Peninsula. Here, contrary to other districts on all sides, tin becamse promised to become


    003      |      Vol_XII-0324                                                                                                                  

    the most important product.


    It was Alfred H. Brooks, while on a U.S. Geological Survey recon–

    naissance of Seward Peninsula, in 1900, who first recognized

    evidences of stream tin (cassiterite) on Buhner Creek and Anikovik River.

    This tin, ignored by the prospectors in the region, was found associated with

    the gold in these two streams. With characteristic modesty and caution, Brooks

    remarks, "It is worth while to call the attention of the prospectors and miners

    to the desirability of being on the lookout for stream tin, and, if possible,

    of tracing it [ ?] to its source in the bed rock. From the description of the

    occurrence which has been given it is plain that its source can not be far


            When Collier visited this region during the summer of 1901, the

    prospectors had only just receive d the bulletin in which Brooks described his

    findings. Up to this time they had ignored this heavy metal which they found

    associated with garnets, magnetite, and gold in the sluice boxes. Subsequent

    to Collier's departure , considerable prospecting for tin was done with the result

    that it was found on the Anikovik and all its tributaries, as well as on

    Baituk Creek and other streams flowing into Bering Sea. It was also found

    on Grouse, Buck, Yankee, Mint, and other waterw a ys flowing northward from the

    other side of the York Mountains into the Arctic Ocean.

            Collier explains the presence of tin in these streams in the

    following manner: "The region about York in which the Anikovik River and other

    tin-bearing streams are located has, in recent geologic time, been reduced to

    a plain, possibly in part by wave action and in part by subaerial erosion. At

    this time a considerable thickness of rock strata was undoubtedly removed by

    erosive agencies, and the heavier constituents of these rock masses must have

    been more or less concentrated upon the plain surve surface . Subsequent to this base–

    leveling the York p lain has been elevated to a plateau, which has been dissected


    004      |      Vol_XII-0325                                                                                                                  

    by the creeks and rivers of the region. That t he elevation of this plateau

    is an occur r ence of comparatively recent geologic time is shown by the fact

    that the smaller creeks flow in sharply cut V-shaped canyons, and have scarcely

    begun to broaden their valleys. As these valleys and canyons are developed,

    the heavier materials of the surface are naturally reconcentrated in them. If

    during the base-leveling period the heavier concentrates of the erosive agencies

    were transported to any extent from their original sources, and if they are again

    concentrated in subsequent creek beds, they may be found removed some distance

    from their original sources. It is possible that the rocks from which they came

    may in some instances have been wholly removed, leaving no evidence in the present

    bed rock to show what they may have been.

            "Waterworn pebbles and bowlders of [ ?] gabbroic greenstone of the

    type which forms large masses about the head of the Anikovik River are common

    in the beds of the Anikovik River and Grouse Creek. These bowlders are frequent

    along Buhner Creek, where the tin was first found. No rock of this character

    has been found in the bed rock within the Buhner Creek Basin, or indeed within

    5 miles of Buhner Creek. There is no evidence that these bowlders were trans–

    ported to their present place otherwise than by being rolled along with currents

    of water. The possibility of their being floated on shore ice at some time of

    submergence must be considered. The wide distribution of the stream tin in

    this region, together with the fact that pebbles and bowlders of known origin

    have been widely distributed independently of the present drainage, suggest

    at least that the original source of the stream tin may be some distance from

    the present deposits, and is not necessarily to be found within the present

    drainage of the streams where it occurs. Acid igneous intrusions, such as

    Cassiterite veins, are usually associated with, are found in Cape Mountain and

    Brooks Mountain. The slates of Brooks Mountain have suffered great metamor–

    phism. The York River, which is reported to be very rich in tin, heads in this

    mountain and carries granite pebbles and bowlders, which suggests that the tin


    005      |      Vol_XII-0326                                                                                                                  

    had its origin near the granite contact. The wide distribution of this mineral

    in the creeks of the York district justified the belief that the veins from

    which it is derived will yet be discovered."

            With the discovery of lode tin on Cassiterite Creek, in 1903,

    interest in tin mining grew. Much prospecting and mining were done throughout

    the York district. By 1905 a reported 130 tons of tin ore concentrates had been

    shipped to the States. These concentrates averaged 65% tin, or 1,300 pounds

    of tin to the ton. With tin selling at 29-30 cents per pound at that time,

    the value of these shipments can easily be estimated. However, the cost of

    transporting them Outside and, in several instances, to Europe, plus the cost of

    smelting, probably ate up most of the profit. Although the United States was and is the

    largest consumer of tin in the world, this was the first discovery of that

    metal in the United States or its possessions with the result that smelters

    in the United States were not equipped for reducing tin ores. This lack of

    smelting equipment worked an early hardship on the new industry and has con–

    tinued to do so ever since.

            In 1905, Harrison wrote: "Considered in the light of all available

    data I believe that tin mining in Seward Peninsula is a very promising industry.

    Any person [ ?] familiar with quartz mining knows that a great deal of expense is

    connected with the development of ledges, and money nust be expended in order to

    develop the tin ledges of this part of Alaska. Transportation facilities

    must be provided so that the ores can be transported from the mines to the sea–

    board, and thence to a smelter conveniently and favorably situated. It is the

    general opinion that this smelter should be const ur ru cted somewhere on Puget

    Sound. The large quantity of fuel required for smelting ores makes it apparent

    that the tin ore can be concentrated and the concentrates shipped to a smelter

    on Puget Sound and reduced there at a less cost than fuel [ ?] can be shipped to

    Alaska and used by a smelter to secure the same results at the mines. The


    006      |      Vol_XII-0327                                                                                                                  

    development of the tin mines of Alaska is simply a question of time and the

    intelligent use of capital."

            For an explanation of the failure of these high hopes for the

    Alaskan tin industry see the article on Tin City York mountains.


    007      |      Vol_XII-0328                                                                                                                  


    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin No. 299)

    Beechey, F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait .

    London, 1831.

    Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Mineral Resources of Alaska. Report on Progress Mineral Resources of Alaska. Report on Progress

    of Investigations in 1914 of Investigations in 1914 . Washington, 1915. (U.S. Geological

    Survey. Bulletin 622 Bulletin 622 )

    Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton

    Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900 Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900 . Washington, 1901.

    Collier, Arthur J. Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion of Seward Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion of Seward

    Peninsula, Alaska. Peninsula, Alaska. Washington, 1902. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Professional Paper Professional Paper No.2)

    Harrison, E.S. Nome and Seward Peninsula Nome and Seward Peninsula . Seattle, 1905.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0329                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins ANIUK RIVER, ALASKA

    May, 1949

    350 wds

            ANIUK RIVER, northwestern Alaska, one of the major northern

    tributaries to the Noatak (q.v.), heads in the vicinity of Howard Pass, in

    the Brooks range, and flows in a generally southwesterly direction to the


            Many of the tributary valleys of the Aniuk have the open U–

    shaped formations typical of valleys previously occupied by glaciers.

            Fauna Creek, one of the early tributaries to the Aniuk, rises

    on the south side of a 4,680-foot peak in the Range, and the first several

    miles of the main river pass [ ?] between mountains attaining ever higher

    elevations that this. Soon, however, the Aniuk plunges down upon the broad

    lowland , to which it gives its name , and across which it works a widely

    meandering course for about twenty-five miles. Many travelers have note d

    that the Aniuk adds a large amount of clear water to the Noatak.

            The entire lowland section and all but the steepest and

    highest parts of the mountainous section of the Anuik [ ?] valley are

    covered with an unbroken growth of grasses, sedges, mosses, lichens, and stunted

    bushes. Where this growth is thick, it retards the thawing of the underlying

    permafrost layer (q.v.) and absorbs great quantities of moisture. Thereby

    is formed the spongy cushion of low-growing vegetation so characteristic

    of arctic and sub-arctic regions. Summer travel across such terrain is accutely

    exhausting since, with every step, the entire foot and sometimes much of the

    leg punches through the surface growth and into the underlying half-frozen

    gravels beneath.

            Although the winter trails which lace most of Alaska do not

    reach up the Noatak and its tributaries, the pass, mentioned above, from the

    headwaters of the Aniuk to the Ipnavik, a tributary to the Colville (q.v.),

    is much used by the Eskimos living on both sides of the Brooks R ange.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0330                                                                                                                  

    Stoney mentions a settlement on the Aniuk, named for the river, but this

    would seem to have disappeared sometime during the last fifty years.


            Smith, P.S. Geology and Mineral Resources of Northwestern Alaska Geology and Mineral Resources of Northwestern Alaska . Washington,

    1930.(U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 815)

            Smith, P.S. Noatak-Kobuk Region, Alaska Noatak-Kobuk Region, Alaska . Washington, 1913. (U.S. Geological

    Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 536)

            Stoney, G.M. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Annapolis, Md., 1900.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0331                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins 120 wds ARCTIC LAGOON, ALASKA

    February, 1949

            ARCTIC LAGOON, on the northwestern shore of Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska, appears as such on Gibson's 1908 map of the Peninsula, but is uniden–

    tified on more recent maps.

            This shallow body of water, which is separated from the Arctic Polar

    Ocean Sea by a narrow sandspit, receives many of the streams in the northern

    drainage system of the York Mountains. These include the Pinauk, Nuluk, and

    Kugrupaga rivers (q.v.), and Trout Creek. Several other tributaries to this

    lagoon are unnamed.

            The lagoon, which lies between Lopp Lagoon and Shish [ ?] maref Inlet,

    is about twenty-four miles long and about four miles wide at the widest greatest . The

    Eskimo village of Sinrazat lies on the sandspit at a point where it is

    interrupted, a few miles from the northern end of the lagoon.

    Source: Gibson, Arthur. Map of Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Nome, Alaska, 1908.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0332                                                                                                                  

    July, 1948

            456 wds

            AROLIC RIVER, southewestern Alaska, enters Kuskokwim Bay via

    two channels, North Mouth and South Mouth, about midway along the

    eastern side of the bay just north of 59° 40′ N. Lat.

            The Arolic is formed by the junction of two streams, South Fork

    and East Fork. South Fork is fed by streams rising in a chain of peaks

    of the Ahklun Mountains which forms the divide between its waters and

    those of the Goodnews River. South Fork receives many unnamed tribu–

    taries all along its course which trends northward along the valley

    east of Island Mountain and so to its junction with East Fork. This

    fork drains from a mountain lake which lies in the Ahklun Range at about

    59° 25′ N. Lat., [ ?] 161° W. Long. and trends in a westerly direction

    for about 8 miles. to its [ ?] confluence with South Fork. A few miles

    south of this junction Dear and Fox Creeks enter from the south,

    and in the same vicinity an unnamed tributary, fed by Tyone, Keno, and

    Flat Creeks, which rise in the vicinity of Thumb Mountain, and another

    shorter stream, Snow Creek, enter from the north.

            Another group of streams in the Arolic system flows down from

    the eastern slopes of the chain formed by Figure Four Mountain, Yoke Moun–

    tain, and Yukon Hill, just east of Jacksmith Bay (q.v.). These, from

    south to north are: Domingo, Lucky, McLane, Red Lodger, Canyon,

    Minnesota, and Boulder Creeks. These flow in a generally northeasterly

    direction to the stream which trends northward along the valley floor to

    join the Arolic about 5 miles southeast of Yukon Hill. Another group

    of streams rises in the vicinity of Island Mountain on the eastern

    side of the valley. These from south to north are: Faro, Dry, Kowkow,

    Trail, and Butte Creeks, all of which flow in a generally northwesterly

    direction to the main river of the valley.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0333                                                                                                                  

            After this junction the Arolic receives no tributaries and flows

    in a northwesterly direction for about 8 miles at which point it

    divides and follows two channels, North Mouth and South Mouth, to

    Kuskokwim Bay. South Mouth, for part of its length, itself divides

    in two, but it joins again about two miles from the bay. Measuring

    from the confluence of South and East Forks the Arolic is about 30

    miles long.

            Since the discovery of gold near Butte Creek in 1900

    small-scale mining has been carried on in the vicinity north of Island

    Mountain. In 1939 the Goodnews Bay Mining Co. transferred a dragline

    from Platinum Creek, Goodnews Bay, to an unspecified point near

    Butte Creek on the Arolic River. Wilson & Horner [ ?] were reported in

    1947 to be working a gold placer, with a crew of four, on Canyon Creek.

            The only settlement on the river is Arolic on the North Mouth

    near the Bay.


    Sources: Tewkesbury; VSGB

    ° in Baker; USCP; Colby

    001      |      Vol_XII-0334                                                                                                                  

    March, 1949



            BALDWIN PENINSULA is an irregular extension of the northwest–

    ern part of Alaska separating Selawik Lake and Hotham Inlet from Kotzebue

    Sound, an arm of the Polar Sea.

            This peninsula is nine or ten miles wide at the point at which

    it leaves the mainland. About fifteen miles northwest of this point the pen–

    insula forms Atti [ n ?] nuk Point, the southern entrance point in to Selawik Lake, (q.v.)

    while at the same time the southern side of the peninsula forms the northern

    shoreline of Eschscholtz Bay (q.v.) In this vicinity, A a finger-like extension of the southern side

    of the peninsula at this point is called Choris Peninsula, which extends

    southward toward Chamisso Island (q.v.) and separat ing es Eschscholtz Bay from

    Kotzebue Sound. Here the main body of the peninsula resembles an isosceles

    triangle, but almost immediately the apex of this triangle stretches northwest–

    ward in a thin neck of land which, after about fourteen miles, widens to form

    the square, club-like head of the peninsula. Th is e head is about nineteen

    miles long and about twelve miles wide at the greatest. The final two-thirds

    of the peninsula forms the southern shoreline of Hotham Inlet, and the

    northern shoreline of Kotzebue Sound.

            The promontories on the head of the peninsula are: Pipe Spit,

    near the entrance to Hotham Inlet; and Nimiuk Point, about midway of the

    northen side of the peninsula; and Cape Blossom on the Kotzebue Sound,

    side, approximately opposite Nimiuk Point.

            Throughout it area Baldwin Peninsula is spattered with

    tiny lakes and laced with equally small streams.

            Choris Peninsula has two 300-foot hills separated by a low,

    sandy neck of land. For some distance N n orthward of this point, Baldwin Peninsula is low

    but then rises into low bluffs. These bluffs, which continue across to

    Hotham Inlet, are the most unusual feature of the peninsula, since they are

    002      |      Vol_XII-0335                                                                                                                  

    composed of ice and frozen mud. The bluffs are gradually melting and sliding

    down into the Inlet. The bluffs on the Kotzebue Sound side of the Peninsula

    are highest in the vicinity of Cape Blossom, where a flashing light is shown

    from a small white house about 200 feet above the water.

            Capt. F.W. Beechey, R. N., in H.M.S. Blossom , explored this

    part of Alaska in September, 1826. He named this promontory after his ship.

    After examining the icy bluffs in the vicinity of the cape, he wrote:

            "In another excursion which I made along the north side of the sound [ Kotzebue

    Sound ] , I landed at a cape which had been named after the ship, and had the

    satisfaction of examining an ice formation of a similar nature to that in

    Escholtz Bay, only more extensive, and having a contrary aspect. The ice

    here, instead of merely forming a shield to the cliff, was imbedded in the

    indentations along its edge, filling them up nearly even with the front. A

    quantity of fallen earth was accumulated at the base of the cliff, which

    uniting with the earthy spaces intervening between the beds of ice, might lead

    a person to imagine that the ice formed the cliff, and supported a soil two or

    three feet thick, part of which appeared to have been precipitated over the

    brow. But on examining it above, the ice was found to be detached from the

    cliff at the back of it; and in a few instances so much so, that there were

    deep chasms between the two. These chasms are no doubt widened by the tendency

    the ice must have towards the edge of t h e cliff; and I have no doubt the beds

    of ice are occasionally loosened, and fall upon the beach, where, if they are

    not carried away by the sea, th e y become covered with the earthy materials

    from above, and perhaps remain some time immured. In some places the cliff was

    undermined, and the surface in general was very rugged; but it was evident in

    this as in the former instance, that the ice was lodged in hollow places in

    the cliff. While we continued here we had an example of the manner in which

    the face of the cliff might obtain an icy covering similar to that in Escholtz

    003      |      Vol_XII-0336                                                                                                                  

    Bay. There had been a sharp frost during the night, which froze a number of

    small streams that were trickling down the face of the cliff, and cased those

    parts of it with a sheet of ice, which, if the oozings from the cliff and the

    freezing process were continued, would without doubt form a thick coating to


            "Upon the beach, under the cliffs, there was an abundance of

    drift birch and pine wood, among which there was a fir-tree three feet in

    diameter. This tree, and another, which by the appearance of its bark had

    been recently torn up by the roots, had been washed up since our visit to this

    spot in July; but from whence they came we could not even form a conjecture, as

    we frequently remarked the absence of fl o ating timber both in the sound and

    in the strait."

            In contradiction to Beechey's findings, is the statement

    from the report of the 1881 cruise of the Corwin , under Captain C. L. Hooper,

    which reads in part: "Cape Blossom is the northwestern termination of the

    peninsula between Hotham Inlet and Seolowick [ Selawik ] Lake on one side and

    Kotzebue Sound on the other. It presents seaward a sheer cliff, which was

    described by Beechey as having an ice formation similar to that at Elephant

    Point, to be described hereafter. Although I visited this place several times

    during my two cruises, yet I saw no signs of ice against the face of the cliff

    like that at Elephant Point, which remains the same from year to year. Cape

    Blossom is highest at its western extremity and gradually becomes lower to the

    eastward, until it forms only a low narrow neck, across which the natives easily

    draw their boats. To the northwest of the cape a shoal extends eight miles

    from the shore, and as it shoals up suddenly inside the seven-fathom curve,

    it is [ ?] very dangerous and should be approached, even in clear weather,

    with great caution."

    004      |      Vol_XII-0337                                                                                                                  

            There must have been some kind of ice formation in this area,

    however, for as late as 1901, Mendenhall gives what he feels is the definitive

    explanation of these cliffs: "Many writers since Kotzebue have discussed the

    origin of these ice cliffs, but the explanation given by Mr. L. M. Turner,

    Messrs. E. W. Nelson and C. L. Hooper, and Prof. I.C. Russell seems to be

    entirely adequate. It is that many of the numerous lakelets scattered about

    over the tundra are gradually buried by the advance of their mossy borders

    toward the center. After their burial they are frozen, as is the entire tundra,

    a few inches below its surface and are later revealed by lateral river cutting,

    as in the Kowak delta, or by the work of waves, as at Elephant Point, and

    appear as masses of comparatively clear ice in the general deposit of frozen

    mud, sands, and vegetable matter."

            Kotzebue (q.v.), the only named town on Baldwin Peninsula,

    occupies very nearly the same site as the former native settlement of

    Kikiktak Kikiktak , which Stoney recorded as Ki-ra-targ-ga-roak Ki-ra-targ-ga-roak in 1886. As early

    as 1880 , this settlement had a known summer population of two hundred or more,

    and has remained an important trading and distribution point ever since.

            The coast northward from Cape Blossom to the mouth of

    Hotham Inlet is still the summer gathering place for the natives of this

    entire region. For the purpose of trading and fishing they come down the

    major rivers of the mainland on the east, from as far west as Cape Prince

    of Wales, the Diomedes, and King Island, and from as far north as Point

    Hope, one hundred and fifty miles up the coast of the Polar Sea.

            A northern [ ?] branch of the winter trail around Norton

    Sound and across Seward Peninsula connects Baldwin Peninsula with settlements

    to the south. Branches of this trail lead eastward up the Kobuk River, and

    northward along the Polar Sea to Barrow.

            Several herds of reindeer graze on Baldwin Peninsula,

    and meat in any quantity may be obtained there.

    005      |      Vol_XII-0338                                                                                                                  


    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin No. 299)

    Beechey, F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait ...

    in the Years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Strait ...

    in the Years 1825, 26, 27, 28.
    London, 1831. 2v.

    Hooper, C.L. Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Thomas Corwin,

    in the Arctic Ocean, 1881
    Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Thomas Corwin,

    in the Arctic Ocean, 1881
    . Washington, 1884.

    Mendenhall, W.C. Recon n aissance from Fort Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound, Alaska Recon n aissance from Fort Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound, Alaska .

    Washington, 1902. Washington, 1902. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional


    Stoney, G.M. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Annapolis, Md., 1900.

    United States Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part II United States Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part II . 5th (1947) edition. Washington,


    VS Guidebook for Alaska VS Guidebook for Alaska

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0339                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins BATTLE LAKE, ALASKA

    22 April 48

            60 w

            BATTLE LAKE, ALASKA, in the northern section of the Alaska Peninsula,

    is a narrow, spoon-shaped lake, about 9 miles long, lying in a valley southeast

    of Lake Kukaklek (q.v.) and about 5 or 6 miles north of Lake Kulik (q.v.), near

    59° N. Lat. and 155° W. Long. Battle Lake is surrounded on all sides by

    mountains 2,000 to 3,000 feet high from which several small stream flows into

    the lake.

    Sources: VS GB: Baker; Aeronautical Chart No.136

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0340                                                                                                                  

    21 April 48


            BECHAROF LAKE, ALASKA (Becharoff, Betchareff, Bocharof, Bochonoff)

    the largest lake on the Alaska Peninsula, extends northwest-southeast across

    58° N. Lat. from about 155° 55′ to 156° 53′ W. Long. The lake is roughly

    rectangular in shape except for a tail-like extension from its southeastern

    corner. The main body of the lake is about 15 miles wide and 36 miles long,

    to which the southeastern extension adds approximately 19 miles of varying

    widths. Severson Peninsula extends about 7 miles straight into the lake from

    its southeastern shore, leaving only a two-mile entrance to the southern

    arm. The farthest tip of this arm is only a scant five miles from Portage

    Bay, Shelikof Strait, on the northeastern side of the Alaska Peninsula. The

    Kejulik River has its source in the mountains northeast of Becharof Lake.

    It follows a winding, southwesterly course, and is fed by Gas Creek,

    Margaret Creek, Catrine Creek, and several unnamed tributaries. Kejulik

    River runs into the eastern and of Becharof Lake just above Severson Peninsula.

    The Egegik River (q.v.) drains from the northwestern end of the lake. A

    winter trail connecting Kanatak (q.v.), on Portage Bay, with Egegik, Naknek,

    and Koggiung (q.v.), on Kvichak Bay, runs along the south shore of

    Becharof Lake.

            Becharof Lake was named after a master in the Russian Navy who was

    at Kodiak Island in 1788.

    18 12 ﹍ 36 18 ﹍ 216

    Sources: Baker; U.S.C.P.: VS GB

    + suppl

    001      |      Vol_XII-0341                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins BESBORO ISLAND

    August, 1948

            192 w. Text

    25 Bibl

            Besboro Island, Norton Sound, about 11 miles off the

    west coast of Alaska, is really the top of a mountain protruding 1,012

    feet above the sound. Although the western side of western side of

    the island is bold-to, a shoal extends for about two miles in a

    northeasterly direction from the northern end. Sailing south from

    Cape Denbigh, Captain James Cook, who named this island, was

    deflected by this same shoal on September 17, 1778. "At seven we

    were abreast of Besborough Isle," wrote Ellis, assistant surgeon to

    the Cook expedition, "between which and the main we proposed going,

    but in the space of ten minutes we shoaled our water from ten to four

    fathoms and a quarter, so of course tacked ship and stood SW our distance

    form the island being three-quarters of a mile s ." In 1870 Dall reported:

    "When the snow melts and the ice goes out of the small rivers ...

    myriads of water-fowl arrive, and breed on the steep cliffs of

    Besboro Island." There are no settlements on Besboro Island, but

    it is an important landmark, since it can be seen from St. Mich ea ae l

    Island (q.v.) on a clear day.

    192 wds

            Ellis, W. Authentic narrative of a voyage performed by Captain Cook and Authentic narrative of a voyage performed by Captain Cook and

    Captain Clerke ... during the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, Captain Clerke ... during the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779,

    and 1780; in search of a North-West Passage. and 1780; in search of a North-West Passage. London,

    G. Robinson, 1782.

            Dall. Alaska and its resources. Alaska and its resources. Boston, Lee & Shepard, 1870.

    U.S.C.P. & Suppl.

    50 wds bibl.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0342                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins BETHEL, ALASKA

    14 July 1948

            BETHEL, ALASKA, about 65 miles up the Kuskokwim River, is

    the center of trading, religious, and education al activities for the entire

    lower Kuskokwim Valley. It was founded in 1885 as a Moravian Mission by

    William H. Weinland and John H. Kilbuck.

            Bethel, with a reported 376, but an estimated population of 450,

    of [ ?] which about one-third is white and two-thirds are Eskimo, is the

    metropolis for this section of Alaska. During the summer season of naviga–

    tion freight and passenger vessels make regular trips between Seattle and

    Bethel. Bethel is the head of deep water navigation up the Kuskokwim

    and therefore the point at which cargoes are transferred to lighters for

    the remainder of their journey to Akiak, Napamiute, Sleitmut and McGrath,

    to name only a few of the many towns and villages along the more than 500–

    mile course of the Kuskokwim. Bethel has one lighterage and two river

    transportation companies to handle this traffic , but T the airplane however

    is fast replacing this slower method of freighting. Bethel has a new two

    airfields , a 2,800 - foot airfield on the town on west side of the river and a 5,000–

    foot hand-surfaced landing area on the east side directily across from the town Bethel receives

    airmail service from Anchorage, and mail, express, and

    passenger air service from Fairbanks. There are two post office s one

    a third-class Government office and another run by the U.S. Army.

    Regular mail deliveries arrive monthly by way of the Yukon and Holy Cross

    Mission. From the Mission it is carried over the Portage to the Kuskokwim

    and then down the Kuskokwim in small boats as far as Kinak on the west

    side of the mouth. The Alaska Communications System of the U.S. Army

    maintains a telegraph and radio station in Bethel, several airlines

    maintain radio stations, and, in [ ?] 1940, the Moravian Mission Orphanage

    was operating station KEP. Despite the fact that swamps and marshes border

    both sides of the lower Kuskokwim, Bethel is connected by road with

    Tuluksak, 40 miles up the river, and with Kwinhagek, 90 miles to the south,

    002      |      Vol_XII-0343                                                                                                                  

    at the mouth of the Kanektok River (q.v), Kuskokwim Bay.

            The Moravian Mission runs an orphange which housed 33 children

    in 1947 and maintains a training school each year from January 1 to

    March 15. In December, 1947, there were at least three members serving

    the mission. This mission owns a reindeer herd which, in 1942, was

    estimated to have increased beyond 4,000 head. Bethel also has a

    Native school, a Territorial school, a modern $250,000 Government

    hospital for Natives, and a resident Deputy Marshal.

            The chief activities of the area are fishing, fur trading, and

    placer gold mining. In 1947 Bethel had 5 licensed fur dealers and one

    fur farmer. That same year three companies, Marvel Creek Mining Co.,

    Peandori Placer Mining Co., and Wilson & Horner were operating gold

    placers on Marvel, Cripple, and Canyon Creeks, respectively. These

    streams lie southeast of Bethel between it and the most northerly of

    the Tikchik Lakes (q.v.). The placers are equipped with draglines,

    bulldozers, and hydraulics. Marvel Creek Mining Co. operated during 1945

    although many other mines throughout Alaska shut down during World War II

    because of the shortage and the high cost of labor.

            Bethel is seriously endangered by the storms which accompany the

    spring break - up each year. These storms cause the [ ?] Kuskokwim to erode

    its banks at the Mission end of the town. In 1947 the river cut into

    the graveyard, opened graves , and caskets, and carried away bodies.

    A store and several houses have been moved away from the banks along

    Front Street, but the Territorial and Federal Schools, and the airport

    are threatened unless more permanent protective measures are taken. Nels

    Anderson, Chairman of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, recommended in 1939

    that the entire town be moved back from the river to higher ground. In

    1946 this had not yet been done, and the Deputy Marshal, although

    003      |      Vol_XII-0344                                                                                                                  

    approving the idea, explained that since the town lay between the river

    and a swamp, the evacuation would be extremely difficult. In February,

    1947, Bethel citizens were recommending that a road be built over this

    swamp before the spring breakup and the entire town moved to the ridge

    beyond it, a safe mile from the river. This mass movement would have

    been easier before Bethel had reached its present proportions. By

    1947 the town had two private air carriers, 6 general stores, 2 liquor

    stores, 3 restaurants, a water, light, and power company, a theater,

    bakery, book dealer, and billiard parlor. Provisions and gasoline may

    be obtained in the town as well as limited supplies of coal although

    the price of coal is very high. Because of the number and size of the

    reindeer herds in the vicinity, deer meat is available and reasonably


            The territory around Bethel is swamp and treeless tundra.

    Caribou abound and hundreds of thousands of geese and ducks of many

    varieties breed in the lake-studded area northwest of the town. The

    peninsula between the mouths of the Kuskokwim and the Yukon Rivers is

    the breeding ground for the game fowl not only of western Alaska but also

    of western Canada and the United States.

            The weather is characterized by a high relative humidity,

    strong winds, a comparatively light snowfall and temperatures ranging

    from the mid-seventies to the sub-zero fifties. The following chart

    reproduces in part the 1947 U.S. Weather Bureau Report for Bethel:


    Sources: VSGB; USCP; Tewkesbury; Colby; Sundborg; Annabel; Tuttle

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0345                                                                                                                  


    Bethel Weather Report -1947 T-Trace


    Temp. of the Air Mean Relative Humidity l Precipitation Tota in Inches Wind Clear Days Cloudy and Partly Cloudy Days Snow fall Total in Inches
    Maximum Velocity Aver. Hourly Velocity MPH Prevailing Direction.
    Max. Date Min. Date MPH Direct.
    Jan. 36° 5 ࢤ52° 25 87 2.10 - - 10.5 N 16 15 20.2
    Feb. 47° 8 ࢤ45° 2 83 0.34 - - 12.4 NE 11 17 2.9
    Mar. 39° 18 ࢤ27° 13 84 14.00 24 NE 0.8 NE 11 20 1.5
    Apr. 49° 27 ࢤ4° - 85 0.13 - 34 - 10.2 N 8 22
    May. 74° 31 21° 1 77 0.62 34 - 8.6 S 0 31 2.3
    June. 73° 17 37° 2 76 2.64 40 - 8.9 S 0 30 0
    July. 75° 19 42° 11 86 2.23 - - 9.3 S 2 29 0
    Aug. No Report
    Sept. 56° 10 25° 25 82 1.52 40 S 10.0 NW 2 28 T
    Oct. 52° 6 19 87 0.95 34 - 11.0 NE 3 28 4.9
    Nov. 45° 21 ࢤ5° 16 94 1.32 38 - 11.0 NE 2 28 9.2
    Dec. 38° 3 ࢤ26° 29 92 0.83 36 - 10.2 NE 3 28 4.5

    001      |      Vol_XII-0346                                                                                                                  

    November, 1948

            1,000 wds-Text

    50 wds - Bibl

            BLUESTONE RIVER, western Seward Peninsula, Al a ska, was the site of

    an initially rich but later disappointing gold strike in 1900, and was

    named by Barnard, of the U.S. Geological Survey, that same year.

            The Bluestone rises south of Grantley Harbor (q.v.) and southeast

    of Port Clarence (q.v.), in a basin-shaped valley in the foothills of

    the Kigluaik Mountains, and flows in a generally northeasterly direction

    to Tuksuk Channel. This is the channel which connects Grantley Harbor with

    Imuruk Basin (q.v.).

            From the one thousand-foot heights overlooking the Bluestone

    Basin, several small streams flow down into the Bluestone. Travelling

    down-stream these are: Alder, Right Fork, Ruby, Lucky Strike, Leroy, and

    Gold Creeks.

            Right Fork is joined by Ring, Eagle, and Windy Creeks. None of

    these streams is more than ten miles long, and [ ?] most of them are consider–

    ably shorter.

            Brooks points out that, while the small streams in this vicinity

    have comparatively straight valleys, the larger waterways, of which the

    Bluestone is a good example, twist and turn most unexpectedly. "The

    Bluestone," he continues, "... flows through a broad, flat valley nearly

    east, then turning northward at an angle of 80° continues in this direct–

    tion with the same character of the valley for about 4 miles, then, turn–

    ing northeasterly, enters a narrow rock canyon. On emerging from the

    canyon, about 5 miles below, it enters a broad valley again, and after

    two more right-angle bends flows into Tisuk [Tuksuk] Channel. These irregularities [ ?]

    [ ?] ... are due...to change of


    002      |      Vol_XII-0347                                                                                                                  

            In 1900, Brooks, continues, reported " P p lacer gold has been reported from

    many creeks of the district, but so far the only claims that have been

    worked are on Gold Run, a name given to the Upper Bluestone, and on

    Alder Creek, a tributary of Gold Run. At a number of other creeks suffici–

    ent prospecting has been done to show the presence of placer gold. The

    placers which have thus far produced gold in the region all lie immediately

    above the canyon on Gold Run and its tributaries...The gravels are coarse

    and frequently contain large bowlders, which suggest ice transportation.

    The surface indications are usually not particularly favorable, though

    as high as 50 cents to the pan has been obtained. On bed rock fabulously

    rich pans have been reported, and $2 to $3 pans are no uncommon.

    The largest nugget which had been found at the time of the writer's visit

    was worth somewhat under $100. The gold is, as a rule, coarse, dark

    colored, and of irregular outline."

            From this account, report it can readily be understood why hopes ran so

    high for the Bluestone District directly after the 1900 strike. This

    enthusiasm persisted for about ten years, by which time most claims had

    been worked out, and mining activities gradually decreased.

            In 1908 these was a town a t the mouth of Alder Creek called Sullivan.

    This could be reached by wagon road from Teller, eighteen miles away.

    There was also a road leading across [ ?] a low divide to the head of

    Tisuk Creek, then down the Feather River, to Norton Sound and Bering Sea. During the

    summer months stages ran daily from Sullivan to both these points.

            In addition to the richness of the original strikes in the Blue–

    stone are a , one of the reasons for the optimism of the stampeders to the dis–

    trict was the anticipated ease with which supplies could be brought in.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0348                                                                                                                  

    Many of the original claim holders had come from Nome (q.v.). They

    knew from experience of the disadvantages and dangers of the Nome road–

    stead; they had probably waited for supplies to be lightered ashore at

    Nome, and had perhaps lost some much-needed equipment in the storms

    which sweep the Nome beach every summer. Port Clarence was known to be

    the deepst and safest harbor anywhere on the coast of Seward Peninsula , and

    T the Bluestone miners expected that cargoes could easily be landed at

    Teller. However, this expectation was short-lived. Shoal water also

    edges Port Clarence, as well as Norton Sound so that, although it has a safer roadstead, Teller

    is no more accessible to deep-water vessels than is Nome.

            This fact, combining with the speedy depletion of th

    Bluestone deposits, doomed the hopes of the first miners in that region.

    From about 1910 to 1930 there was little mining activity along the

    Bluestone, but the reduction of the gold content of the dollar in 1933,

    which had the effect of increasing the value of gold, gave new impetus

    to mining here, as elsewhere in the Territory. By 1936 the U.S.

    Geological Survey reported: "Placer mining in the Port Clarence dis–

    trict was decidedly on the upgrade in 1936, owing principally to the

    highly successful operation of two dredges. These were situated on

    Gold Run, a tributary of the Bluestone River, and on Dese Creek, which

    flows directly into Grantley Habor." The latter dredge was worked by

    N.B. Tweet and Sons. In 1939 production for the Port Clarence area

    was below that for the previous few years, but only because the largest

    dredging company at work there, the Bartholomae Oil Corporation, had

    restricted mining operations so as to recondition the plant and equipment.

    Hopes were, then, again running high when the World War II restrictive

    order making gold non-essential went into effect in 1942. This put

    an end to almost all gold mining in the entire Territory, and killed

    004      |      Vol_XII-0349                                                                                                                  

    new-born enthusiasm of the Bluestone operators. As of this writing

    (1948), gold mining in Alaska has not recovered from the effect of this

    ruling. (See Bluff and Nome articles.) By 1947, three men still held

    titles to gold property on Gold Run Creek, but the amount of actual

    mining activity was negligible.

            The town of Sullivan, as such, has disappeared,

    although most recent maps indicate that there are mining camps in the

    vicinity of its former site.

            A winter trail now runs along the same route as was

    taken by the stage-coaches leaving Sullivan daily for Shea's Roadhouse,

    and a road leads from the camps in the Sullivan area to Teller.


            Collier, Arthur J. (and others). Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Penin- Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Penin-

    sula, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, sula, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok,

    Port Clarence, and Goodhope Precincts. Port Clarence, and Goodhope Precincts. Washington,

    D.C., 1908. (U.S. Geoloigal Survey. Bulletin , No. 328)

            Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton

    Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Washington, D.C., 1901.

            Brooks, Alfred H. Report on Progress of Investigations of Mineral Re- Report on Progress of Investigations of Mineral Re-

    sources of Alaska in 1908. sources of Alaska in 1908. Washington, D.C., 1909.

            Smith, Philip S. Mineral Industry of Alaska in 1936. Mineral Industry of Alaska in 1936. Washington, D.C.,

    1938. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 897-A)


    001      |      Vol_XII-0350                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins BLUFF REGION

    September, 1948

    2100 wds

    100 wds - bibl

            The BLUFF REGION lies midway of the a deep bite in the

    southern coastline of Seward Peninsula , Alaska, which extends from Rocky Point to

    Cape Nome in the northern part of Norton Sound. Topkok Head, a promentory at

    the mouth of the Topkok River midway of this bite, is the coastal extremity

    of a series of high bluffs which skirt the shore for a distance of about 30

    miles northwestern from Golovnin Bay (q.v.). Beyond Topkok Head and Cape Nome, 32 miles away these

    highlands trend inland leaving an ever-widening stretch of moss-covered sand

    and gravel along the coast between it and Cape Nome, 32 Miles away Westward from Cape

    Nome the highlands once more crowd closer to shore, although they leave a

    4 to 6 mile fringe of plain for the remaining 12 or 13 miles to Nome, itself (q.v.).

            Although the coastline in this area is edged by a narrow shoal,

    the water one mile or more from shore is deep and the bottom regular. Topkok

    Head rises abruptly 586 feet out of the water on its seaward side, and is

    the most conspicuous landmark in the vicinity. A 572-foot yellow bluff about

    6 miles east of Topkok Head is likewise conspicuous, but is not so

    prominent as the Head itself.

            From east to west the rivers of the Bluff Region enter Norton

    Sound in the following order: Koyana, Daniels, Eldorado, Ryan, Silverbow

    (Little Anvil) Creeks, and the Topkok River, which is the largest of the group.

    None of these streams is very long, however, because the watershed for the

    entire area rises not more than 4 miles from the coast. From north to south

    the tributaries to the Topkok are California Surprise, Allen, and Rock

    Creeks, all from the west.

            There are only two towns in or near the Bluff area: Chiukak,

    halfway between Rocky Point and Daniels Creek, and Bluff, at the mouth of

    Daniels Creek. These towns are connected by the winter trail which runs

    from Golovnin Bay around the southern shore [ ?] of Seward Peninsula and then

    northward to Kotzebue Sound.


    002      |      Vol_XII-0351                                                                                                                  

            Chiukak is an Eskimo village called Chiokuk by Petrof in 1880

    and Seookuk by Jarvis in 1898.

            Bluff, on the other hand, is a white mining

    settlement on the si te of the gold strik e made by William Hunter and Frank

    Walter in September, 1899, one year after the Anvil Creek strike in the Nome

    district. Although Hunter and Walter found placer gold at the mouth of Daniels

    Creek in September, the first c a l aims were made by J.S. Sullivan, George

    Ryan, and others in December of the same year. In January, 1900, Hunter

    returned to Daniels Creek with H.C. Malmquist and three other partners who and staked

    5 five tundra claims along the beach adjacent to the creek. These men bought

    Discovery Claim at the mouth of the creek and organized the Black Chief

    Mining Co.

            Alfred H. Brooks writing in 1901 describes what happened immediately

    thereafter: "The find on the creek was kept secret for a time, but by the middle of

    March the rush from Nome began and soon many people were on the ground. A

    miners' meeting decided that 60 feet back from high water belonged to the beach

    and, as such, could not be claimed. The crowd worked on this ruling, every man

    where he could, until July 8, when United States troops under Lieutenant Erickson

    stopped work on the claim at the mouth of Daniels Creek pending litigation. During

    the few months of work it is estimated that nearly three-quarters of a million

    dollars were taken from a strip of beach less than 1,000 feet long and 50 feet

    wide. Two men on an area of 27 square feet reported taking out $37,000. It is

    said that three men took out $10,000 in five days. It was common for rockers

    to make from $100 to $300 a day. These extraordinary returns were of short

    duration, for the richest part of the small strip of beach was soon exhausted. The

    first week of August, when Mr. Richardson visited the camp, called Bluff, about

    200 men were present. There was little inducement for them to stay, however,

    for the rich beach had been gutted, and the whole region had been staked."


    1908 Brooks wrote again: [ ?] "It is estimated 23

    003      |      Vol_XII-0352                                                                                                                  

    that the gold tenor of much of the pay streak must have averaged $150 to the

    cubic yard, or about $1 to the pan. This is far richer than the best part of the

    Nome beach sands, and, in fact, is the richest marine placer ever found. In

    gold content it has been equaled by only a very few claims in the peninsula."

            ¶ In 1900, only $200,000 was taken from the old beach which stretches across the present

    mouth of Daniels Creek, although the lower part of the creek continued to be

    exploited until 1902. Most of this gold came from Discovery Claim which,

    by this time, was being worked with the aid of a gasoline engine which pumped a

    sluice head of water from the sea. Between 1900 and 1902 gold was discovered

    on Eldorado and Ryan Creeks and on Swede Gulch, but lack of water impeded

    their development.

            Brooks continues: "In 1902 a strong company called the Topkok

    Ditch Company began the construction of a waterway from the head of Klokerblok

    River to Daniels Creek. This work was completed late in the summer of 1903,

    and sluicing began. In 1904 the company had about 16 miles of ditch in operation,

    and in 1906 extended the conduit about 4 miles. This enterprise is a most success–

    ful hydraulic mining operation and demonstrates what can be done under favorable

    conditions and with intelligent and economical management. When the heavy

    gravel deposits of Daniels Creek have been sluiced off, the water of the Topkok

    Ditch Company can be utilized to mine the shallower deposits of Eldorado, Ryan,

    and other smaller creeks." It is remarkable that a stream less than one mile

    long could be put to such hard work.

            By 1905 the Topkok Ditch Company

    owned 35 miles of ditch and 5,000 feet of 28 -30″ pipe, as well as a [ ?]

    tunnel a quarter of a mile long connecting the headwater s of Daniels Creek with

    the Klokerblok River and Skookum Creek. In 1906 an ancient beach deposit

    below sea level was discovered near Bluff giving new impetus to the production

    of the area, but despite this development only one man was working there in 1913,

    and Topkok Ditch was dry. Within the next few years lode deposits were found

    near Bluff and a gold mill was set up there. By 1920 a fairly thorough 27 [!?]

    004      |      Vol_XII-0353                                                                                                                  

    U.S. Geological Survey examination of the zones of mineralized schist had

    revealed rich lode deposits on Daniels Creek and many other streams nearby,

    and the Bluff area again became the scene of energetic activity.

            Brooks visited

    the region and reported in 1920: "... the deposits adjacent to and just east of

    Daniels Creek are the most valuable of the region. Here the mineralized schist bands

    in the limestone were staked as lode claims soon after the Daniels Creek placers

    were discovered. The original locators have carried on development work on these

    claims in a small way for some 20 years. Three lodes are recognized from Daniels

    Creek eastward, the Sea Gull, Idaho, and Eskimo lodes. They trend in a general

    northerly direction and except where they crop out on the cliff face are concealed

    by the tundra vegetation and exposed only by mining operations...Four claims

    are staked along the strike of each of the three lodes, extending from the sea

    cliff nearly to the head of Daniels Creek valley. The most southerly claim on

    the Eskimo lode is held by John Corrigan; the remaining eleven claims by Charles

    Megan, Henry Megan, and W.J. Somerville. The schist zones have been traced by

    pits and shafts and are said to contain gold wherever prospected. Most of the

    work has been done about three-quarters of a mile from the beach, where fourteen

    shafts, ranging in depth from 30 to 100 feet and aggregating 657 feet were

    pointed out to the writer...The shafts have been sunk chiefly for prospecting

    purposes, and it is said that no shaft failed to find gold-bearing quartz in

    sufficient quantities and rich enough to mine. The present mill equipment will

    handle, efficiently, only the oxidized surface portion of the lodes. There is

    no timber in the vicinity of Bluff, and mine supports are difficult to obtain. As the

    lode material is soft no considerable depth can be reached without danger from

    caving. Only the present working shaft is timbered; all the others are caved

    and inaccessible...Four men were employed in mining at the time of the writer's

    visit. Dumps are taken out during the winter, and the ore is milled [ ?]

    in the summer." Some cinnabar was discovered in the lodes although not in 27 [ ?]

    005      |      Vol_XII-0354                                                                                                                  

    commercial quantities.

            We have seen the town of Bluff expand to a high of 200, shrink

    to one, and slowly grow again. The 1939 population was 14, and gold placer,

    gold quartz, and cinnabar were still being removed from the area. The village

    is was still strictly a mining community, without a post-office or a school,

    although it does have a landing strip of unspecified length.

            H. Foster Bain in his report for December, 1946, covered the

    past, present, and future of the gold mining in Alaska. He writes in part:

    "The outlook for lode mining is obscure, despite the fact that scouts have been

    maintained in the Territory for a number of years by several of the larger

    mining interests...So far as Alaska gold mining is concerned, it is a further

    fact, probably of considerable significance, that so large a proportion of the

    output has been and continues to be from the placers. This, coupled with the

    further fact deduced from the observation and experience of geologists in many

    lands, that big placers are seldom if ever derived from big lodes but rather come

    from the break-down of country rock cut by many little stringer lodes, is discourag–

    ing to the search for profitable lode mines...It may well prove that in Alaska,

    as in California, any really important lode mines found in the future will have

    no significant relation to the placers. It may also prove that there are no

    big ones to be found." Discussing Juneau mining developments in particular,

    but telling a story which relates to all Alaska gold mining, he goes on to

    explain the virtual shut-down of the industry throughout the Territory over

    since the beginning of World War II. "It will be noted that there were no profits

    from the operation through a term of years while the mine was being built up and

    equipped or, again, after 1941, when war conditions affected operations adversely.

    It was not only that prices of supplies and labor rose in these later years; but,

    perhaps more importantly, shortage of manpower reduced output and increased unit

    costs. The management struggled to keep the operation going, but the decision 27 [ s. ?]

    006      |      Vol_XII-0355                                                                                                                  

    of the War Labor Board decreeing an increase in wages with retroactive

    payment finally made it cheaper to pay shut-down expenses than to continue to

    operate at a deficit...It is to be expected that the company, with its heavy

    investment and large remaining ore reserve, will make every effort to resume

    operations as soon as possible; but the whole wage pattern in Alaska has been

    so distorted by the war that resumption will be extremely difficult, and delay is

    to be expected. It is to be remembered that gold miners operate against a fixed

    price for their output and have no way to compensate for higher costs by increasing

    the sale price of their product. In 1932, for the first time in many years, the

    price of gold, in terms of United States dollars, was increased substantially,

    but it is considered that since then the cost of taxes, supplies, and labor have

    increased so much as to wipe out the margin of profit so created...The record

    shows clearly that the mine can only be operated profitably [ ?] by mass production

    methods and on a large scale. There is no way to run...a small mine, and this

    fact also precludes resuming operation on a small scale and building up the

    tonnage gradually...Any consideration of possible increase in price of g l o ld

    involves to many factors of national policy and of politics that the subject

    is hardly worth discussing. Meanwhile, one of the largest inudstrial units in

    the Territory, with abundant raw material and complete and proved equipment,

    remains idle." This story has been repeated in big and little throughout

    Alaska, and it is only to be expected that relatively small operations like

    those at Bluff will be slower to recover than the Juneau giant.

            22 [ s. ?]

    007      |      Vol_XII-0356                                                                                                                  


    U.S.C.P. & Supplement





            Harrison, E.S. Nome and Seward Peninsula; a book of information about Nome and Seward Peninsula; a book of information about

    Northwestern Alaska. Northwestern Alaska. Seattle, Wash., Metropolitan Press, c1905.

            Bain, H. Foster. Alaska's Minerals as a Basis for Industry. Alaska's Minerals as a Basis for Industry. Wash. D.C.,

    Bureau of Mines, 1946. (U.S. Bur. of Mines. Information Circular Information Circular

    7379. December, 1946)

            Brooks, Alfred H. (and others). Redonnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton Redonnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton

    Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900 Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900 . Washington, G.P.O., 1901.

    (U.S. Geological Survey)

            Collier, Arthur J. (and others). GoldPlacers of Parts of Seward Peninsula, GoldPlacers of Parts of Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port Clarence, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port Clarence,

    and Goodhope Precincts and Goodhope Precincts . Wash. G.P.O. 1908. (U.S. Geological

    Survey. Bulletin No.328)

            Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Mineral Resources of Alaska, report on progress Mineral Resources of Alaska, report on progress

    of investigations in 1905, 1907, 1909, [ ?] 1913, 1917, of investigations in 1905, 1907, 1909, [ ?] 1913, 1917,

    1920. 1920. Wash. G.P.O. 1906-1922. (U.S. Geological Survey.

    Bulletins Bulletins No.284, 345, 442, 592, 692, 722)

            Henshaw, F.F., and Parker, G.L. Surface water supply of Seward Peninsula, Surface water supply of Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska Alaska . Wash. G.P.O. 1913. (U.S. Geological Survey. Water- Water-

    Supply Paper Supply Paper 314)

    001      |      Vol_XII-0357                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins BRISTOL BAY, ALASKA

    26 May 48


            BRISTOL BAY, ALASKA, the center for the red salmon canning

    industry [ ?] of sou thern Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula, may be said

    to include all that part of Bering Sea east of a line dra wn from Cape

    S arichef, Unimak Island, northeastward to Cape Newenham, the tip of the

    peninsula which separates Bristol from Kuskokwim Bay (q.v.). Bristol Bay

    is cut off from the Pacific Ocean on the south and east by Unimak Island

    and the Alaska Peninsula, and is bounded on the north and northwest by

    the territory around Kvichak, Nushagak, Kulukak, and Togiak Bays (q.v.),

    all northerly arms of Bristol Bay. Naknek River, a tributary to Kvichak

    Bay, is the head of deep water navi [ ?] ation in Bristol Bay, although

    small cannery vessels proceed up the several arms of the bay and, in

    some cases, to the head of the rivers which flow into them. The waters

    along the northeastern and northern coasts of Bristol Bay are shoal

    sometimes for as many as 6 miles offshore and are dangerous to navigate

    except in daylight on a rising tide and then only with constant use

    of the lead. Available surveys of this area are old, and it is felt that

    considerable change in the channels has taken place since they were made.

    Because of the funnel-shaped configuration of the mouths of the

    Ugashik, Egegik, Naknek, Kvichak, and Nushagak Rivers, and of the bays

    into which they flow, tidal currents are strong and run as fast as 6 knots.

    In addition, the tidal range in these bays and rivers is sometimes as

    much as 26 feet. The currents in Bristol Bay are therefore considered

    to be partly tidal, although the bay is also thought to form the eastern

    part of a permanent eddy which flows eastward past Cape Newenham and dis–

    charges along the north shore of Unimak Island flowing westward.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0358                                                                                                                  

            The shores of Bristol Bay are mostly low, lake-studded, treeless

    tundra, but the high, volcanic mountains along the central parts of

    Unimak Island, and the Alaska Range which borders the southern side of

    the Alaska Peninsula, would serve as [ ?] unmistakable land marks except

    for the fog which prevails throughout the area during the season of

    navigation. Fog persists from spring through fall, although it is

    heaviest during the summer months, so that only what low landmarks are

    visible beneath the fog may be used as guides to navigation. Very little

    is known about ice conditions in Bristol Bay. It is probably free from

    heavy ice sometime between mid-May and mid-June, and there is reason

    to believe that it is occasionally open to navigation the year around,

    although the rivers and bays associated with it are always closed from

    late in the fall to May or June.

            Water transportation to Bristol Bay Points is supplemented by

    overland and air carriers. Although the flat, marshy tundra is impassable

    in summer, it is excellent terrain for winter travel by dog sled. Two

    trails running from different points on Shelikof Strait and over the

    Alaska Range connect settlements along the northern coast of the

    Alaska Peninsula with points on Lake Clar k Iliamna Lake and the Kvichak

    River with Dillingham, Togiak, Goodnews, and other settlements to the

    west and northwest. It was reported in 1940 that a new airline, called

    Naknek Airways, was opening in Koggiung, near the head of Kvichak Bay [ ?] ,

    which would serve all Bristol Bay points. Dillingham, the largest settle–

    ment on Nushagak Bay, had six air carriers in 1947 and was reported to

    be constructing an airport with a 2200-foot runway. Besides these local

    services, planes from Anchorage and Fairbanks make regular stops at most

    Bristol Bay settlements.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0359                                                                                                                  

            The shallow waters of Bristol Bay, which nowhere exceed

    300 feet and which receive so many lake-fed rivers and their associated

    bays, offer an ideal habitat for the red salmon, or sockeye, which spawns

    only in river systems containing lakes. The canning season runs from

    mid-June to mid-July during which time not only the men employed [ ?]

    [ ?] and brought in by the canneries but also almost the entire popula–

    tion of the towns of Egegik, Naknek, Koggiung, Nushagak, Dillingham,

    and other smaller villages along the northeastern coast of Bristol Bay

    turn fisherman for a month. Workers are in such demand and the pressure

    of the short season is so great, that the canning companies not only

    pay the citizenry for their catch but also supply them with boats, nets,

    and credit in the company stores. [ ?]

    [ ?] Cannery buildings, wharves, fresh-water pipe lines, cranes,

    [ ?] marine railways and other company installations in the Bristol Bay

    area represent an investment of more than $20,000,000. To balance this,

    the red salmon sells for $15.00 or more per case, the annual catch is

    worth about $12,000,000, and the industry gives employment to over 8,000

    men. In order to protect this valuable industry themselves the canneries have

    insisted on certain restrictive regulations. Traps are illegal; all

    fishing must be done with gill nets and from small boats fitted only

    with oars and a sail. The catch must be returned to the cannery or to

    a tally scow anchored on the fishing grounds within 24 hours, and many of

    the companies have a much shorter time-limit. Because buoys would

    catch and tear the nets, no such markers are maintained in Bristol Bay,

    a condition which adds considerably to the difficulty of navigating

    these waters. All cannery operations must be based on the tidal intervals,

    since low tide exposes bars, shoals, and mud flats all along the shores

    of Bristol Bay and its tributaries. Most cannery vessels are specially

    004      |      Vol_XII-0360                                                                                                                  

    constructed so that they will not be damaged when they lie high and dry

    at low tide. After the middle of August, when the hundreds of cannery

    vessels and their thousands of workmen depart, Bristol Bay is quiet and

    little frequented. For the remainder of the year the chief activities

    are hunting and trapping.

            Bristol Bay was named by Cook in 1778 in honor of the Admiral,

    Earl of Bristol.

    82 12 ﹍ 164 82 ﹍ 98 4

    Sources: Colby; Sundborg; Baker; USCP & Suppl; VSGB; Allen,Edward W. North


    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0361                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    21 April 48 BROOKS, LAKE, ALASKA

            70 wds

            BROOKS, LAKE, ALASKA, in the northern section of the Alaska

    Peninsula, lies midway between 58° and 59° N. Lat. on 156° W. Long. It is just

    south of Naknek Lake (q.v.) from which it is separated by a high mountain.

    A short, swift river connects it with Iliuk Arm, a southeastern extension

    of Naknek Lake, and it is fed from the east and south by several small

    streams rising in the foothills of the Aleutian Range, which borders the

    eastern side of the Alaska Peninsula.

    Sources: VS GB

    001      |      Vol_XII-0362                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins


            Text - 770 words

    Bibl - 100 "

            BUCKLAND RIVER, is the largest tributary to Eschscholtz Bay, an

    arm of Kotzebue Sound, which indents the northeastern side of Seward

    Peninsula, Alaska. The Eskimo name for this river has been recorded variousl y

    as Kaniek Kaniek , Kotsokotana Kotsokotana , Kunguk Kunguk , Konguk Konguk , and Kongak Kongak , but it was Beechey

    who, in September, 1826, gave it its present name.

            "Having now the assistance of the barge," Beechey wrote, "I

    e mbarked in her to examine narrowly the shores of Kotzebue Sound. Proceed–

    ing to survey the head of Escholtz Bay, shallow water obliged the boat to

    anchor off Elephant Point, where I left Mr. Collie with a party to examine

    again the cliffs in which the fossils and ice formation had been seen by

    Kotzebue, and proceeded to the head of the bay in a small boat. We landed

    upon a flat muddy beach, and were obliged to wade a quarter of a mile before

    we could reach a cliff for the purpose of having a view of the surrounding

    country. Having gained its summit we were gratified by the discovery of a

    large river coming from the southward, and passing between our station and a

    range of hills. At a few miles distance the river passed between rocky

    cliffs, whence the land on either side became hilly, and interrupted our

    further view of its course. The width of the river was about a mile and a

    half; but this space was broken into narrow and intricate channels by

    banks — some dry, and others partly so. The stream passed rapidly between

    them, and at an [ ?] earlier period of the season a considerable body of

    water must be poured into the sound; though, from the comparative width

    of the channels, the current in the latter is not much felt.

            "The shore around us was flat, broken by several lakes, in which

    there were a great many wildfowl."

            Beechey called this river the Buckland, "in compliment to Dr.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0363                                                                                                                  

    Buckland, the professor of g eology at Oxford, to whom I am much indebted

    for the above mentioned description of the fossils, and for the arrangement

    of the geological memoranda attached to this work."

            The Buckland rises about 75 miles southeast of Eschscholtz Bay

    and opposes the drainage flowing on the one hand into Norton Bay and on

    the other into the lower Koyukuk, in the Yukon River system. Dead water

    extends about 30 miles from the mouth and there are no serious rapids

    for another 30 miles upstream.

            Speaking of one of the few ascents of this [ ?]

    river by the white man, Mendenhall writes:"On the 9th of September, 1849,

    Capt. Henry Kellett, commanding H.M.S. Herald Herald , at that time in Kotzebue

    Sound, started with several boats' crews to visit the natives reported to

    live some distance up the Buckland River. Captain Kellett himself ascended

    the stre a m about 30 miles, until a rock obstruction which prevented the

    passage of the heavier boats was encountered. He then returned and Command–

    [ ?] er Moore, of the Plover Plover , and Lieutenant Maguire, of the Herald Herald , with

    lighter boats ascended about 30 miles farther, passing several rapids en

    route. These officers reported that the river contained several obstruc–

    tions within the 60 miles explored by them, and at the head of this

    stretch a strong rapid, half a mile in length, through which they could not

    pass. Pine (spruce) trees were reported as occurring sparingly in the Buck–

    land Valley, and an account is also given of the presence of fine basaltic

    columns along the river.

            Only the last thirty miles of the Buckland, and the entire course

    of its main tributary, West For k may be said to be on Seward Peninsula

    proper. The upper Buckland system fans out far to the southeastward to

    the highland which marks this part of the interior of [ ?] northwestern

    Alaska. The data on the territory surrounding the upper reaches of the

    main river [ ?] are still incomplete, and the many tributaries to the Buckland

    003      |      Vol_XII-0364                                                                                                                  

    in this section are unnamed.

            West For k , which enters the main stream from the south

    about 35 miles up from its mouth, and soon after the Buckland bends

    sharply to the west, rises in an irregular group of hills north of the

    Koyuk (q.v.) and east of the Kiwalik (q.v.) Rivers.

            Although there are a few mining camps on West Fork, the only

    settlement in this vicinity is Buckland (65° 59′ N.Lat., 161° 10′ W.Long.)

    about fifteen miles above the mouth of the river.

    004      |      Vol_XII-0365                                                                                                                  


    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Beechey, Capt. F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Strait ... 1825,26,27,28. Strait ... 1825,26,27,28. London, 1831. 2v.

    Collier, A.J. (and others) Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula, Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska. Alaska. Washington, 1908. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin


    Mendenahall, W.C. Reconnaissance from Fort Hamlin to [ ?] Kotzebue Sound Reconnaissance from Fort Hamlin to [ ?] Kotzebue Sound

    Alaska Alaska . Washington, 1902. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Professional

    Paper Paper No.10)

    Moffit, F.H. Fairhaven gold Placers, Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Washington, Fairhaven gold Placers, Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Washington,

    1905 1905 . (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin No.247)

    Henshaw, F.F., and Parker, G.L. Surface Water Supply of Seward Peninsula Surface Water Supply of Seward Peninsula ,

    Alaska Alaska . Washington, 1913. (U.S. Geological Survey. Water-Supply Water-Supply

    Paper Paper 314)

    001      |      Vol_XII-0366                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins


            115 wds

            CALIFORNIA RIVER, western Seward Peninsula, Alaska, drains an area

    between the Agiapuk and the Don Rivers, flows almost directly southward to empty

    into a lagoon on the north side of Port Clarence. California is a prospector's

    name, first reported by Gerdine, in 1901.

            The upp e r four miles of this river work s a southeasterly course

    out of the mountains, after which it turns due south and continues in this direc–

    tion to its mouth, a few miles west of Teller Mission. A narrow s and spit

    cuts the lagoon into which the California empties off from the Port proper.

    This lagoon is extremely shoal and is [ ?] navigable to only the smallest


    Sources: Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d. ed. Washington, 1902.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0367                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    July, 1948 CARTER BAY, ALASKA

            372 wds

            CARTER BAY, a small eastern arm of Kuskokwim Bay, indents the

    mainland about 15 miles north of Goodnews Bay (q.v.). This bay is

    about 6 miles long on its north-south axis and is separated from Kusko–

    kwim Bay on the west and south by Carter Spit, a low sand spit from 50

    to 300 yards wide. Carter Bay is protected, therefore, on all sides

    except the north. It is shoal and dotted with mud flats although the

    channel around the point of the spit offers anchorage to launches and

    small craft. Indian River, from which fresh water can be obtained by

    boats at high tide, enters the eastern side of Carter Bay. This river is

    formed by the confluence of North Fork and South Fork a few miles

    inland from the bay. North Fork rises in the Ahklun Range northeast

    of the bay and flows in a southwesterly direction to the valley separat–

    ing Cot Mountain from Tooth Mountain, where it is joined by Nautilus

    Creek. It then turns westward to follow a meandering course to its

    junction with South Fork. South Fork rises in Explorer Mountain,

    a 3,000-foot peak in the Ahklun Range northward of Goodnews Bay,

    and takes a westerly and northwesterly course around Tooth Mountain

    to its meeting with North Fork. Tooth Mountain has a sharp, rocky

    pinnacle on the northern edge of its summit and is easily recognized

    from Carter Spit. A few cabins grouped around the mouth of the

    Indian River form the village of Carter which lies on the long winter

    trail leading eastward to Dillingham and other Bristol Bay towns and

    northward to Eek and Bethel (q.v.) on the Kuskokwim.

            An inland branch of the main winter trail which runs along

    the shore of Kuskokwim Bay leads from a point midway of the north side

    of Goodnews Bay, northward between Explorer Mountain and Carter Bay,

    across South Fork and North Fork, past Island Mountain to a placer

    mine on the Arolic River (q.v.) a few miles inland from Jacksmith Bay (q.v.).

    002      |      Vol_XII-0368                                                                                                                  

            The vicinity around Carter Bay, with the exception of the

    peaks mentioned above, is low, treeless tundra, which, although

    unsuitable for agricultural purposes, is covered with moss and many

    kinds of wild flowers during the summer months.


    Sources: VSGB; USCP & Suppl

    Baker; Colby

    001      |      Vol_XII-0369                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins


            Text - 910 wds.

            CHAMISSO ISLAND (66° 14′ N.Lat., 161° 49′ W.Long.) at the

    entrance to Eschscholtz Bay, Kotzebue Sound, off the north shore of Seward

    Peninsula, Alaska, was discovered and named by Kotzebue in August, 1816.

            "The land that lay to our right," Kotzebue reported, "in sailing

    up, was an island, seven miles in circumference. The open sea, indeed, lay

    before us; but my hope of penetrating far in that direction was diminished,

    when the boat that was sent out to sound, nowhere found the depth above five

    or six fathoms...We took an excursion to the island, which I called after our

    naturalist, Chamisso...We had an extensive prospect from the point of this very

    high island; the land to the south seemed to join every where; in the north,

    nothing was to be seen but the open sea: on the east, Chamisso Island is

    separated from the continent by a channel, which is five miles broad in the

    narrowest part. The surrounding land was high and rocky. Snow was no where

    to be seen; the mountains were covered with moss; and the shore was clothed

    in luxuriant verdure. Chamisso Island was of the same nature, where we had

    now chosen a green spot, on which we intended to drink tea. I readily confess,

    that I seldom felt myself happier, than on this spot; to which the idea of being

    the first European that ever put his foot on this land, may have greatly con–

    tributed. The weather was at 12° heat, (a height that the thermometer never

    arrived at without the sound,) and extremely fine. We found in our tongue of

    land, under ground, several store-rooms, lined with leaves, and filled with seals'

    flesh. Probably, therefore, the Americans in their hunting parties, have their

    station here; and to mark the place, have erected a small ill-built stone pyramid.

    The island, which has only a small landing place, rises almost perpendicularly out

    of the sea; the rocks round about, and the islands to the west, are inhabited by

    numerous puffins; and the many egg-shells which we found on our way, were an

    002      |      Vol_XII-0370                                                                                                                  

    indication that foxes destroyed the nests: hares and partridges were here in

    plenty; and cranes, on their passage, rested on this island. On places pro–

    te [ ?] ted against the north wind, grow willows from two to three feet high, and

    these are the only trees that we saw in Beering's Straits. We perceived also

    seals as we returned to our ship, which had taken their station on some large

    stones on the west side of the island."

            Chamisso Island has a grassy hill about 231 feet high, and its

    shores are rocky everywhere except at the north [ ?] ast end, which extends into a

    low sand spit. Shoals extend half a mile or less from the north and east


            Puffin Islet, just west of Chamisso Island, which is probably one

    of the outlying islands mentioned by Kotzebue, is [ ?] itself rocky and has two

    conspicuous rocks southward of it. The water separating it from Chamisso

    Island, is shoal and rocky, but the water off the north and west sides is deep.

            Before being driven out of this region by the oncoming winter,

    Beechey left instructions and supplies for the Franklin Expedition, w h ich he had

    hoped to find along this coast. Beechey writes: "It now remained for me to

    consider how Captain Franklin could be most benefited in the event of his

    party arriving after our departure. It was evident that we could do no more

    than put him in possession of every information we had obtained, and leave

    him a temporary supply of provisions and bartering articles, with which he could

    procure others from the natives. To this end a barrel of flour was buried for

    him upon the sandy point of Chamisso, a place which, from the nature of the

    ground, was more likely to escape observation than the former one, where the

    newly turned turf could not be concealed. A large tin case, containing beads

    and a letter, was deposited with it, to enable him to purchase provisions from

    the natives, and to guide his conduct. Ample directions for finding these were

    both cut and painted on the rock; and to call the attention of the part y to the

    003      |      Vol_XII-0371                                                                                                                  

    spot, which they might otherwise pass, seeing the ship had departed, her

    name was painted in very large letters on the cliffs of Puffin Island,

    accompanied with a notice of her departure, and the period to which she had re–

    mained in the sound. Beneath it were written directions for finding the cask of

    flour, and also a piece of drift-wood which was deposited in a hole in the cliff."

            Between Choris Peninsula and Chamisso Island, and immediately to

    the north of the island, is Chamisso Anchorage, the only place on the arctic coast

    of Alaska which can be called a harbor. Good shelter from all winds will be

    found here. The deepest water is close to Puffin Islet. Finding almost

    everywhere else in this region only shoal water, Kotzebue gratefully recorded

    his discovery of this anchorage. "We found," he writes, "at fifty fathoms

    from shore, from two and a half to three fathoms depth, on a very good bottom.

    Ships may lie at anchor, and undertake repairs as safe here as in the best

    harbour, particularly as the depth in many places permits them to lie almost

    close to the shore."

            Early in the season fresh water will almost alw a ys be found on

    Chamisso Island. The mean rise and fall of the tide here is four feet,

    and the maximum range is five feet.

    004      |      Vol_XII-0372                                                                                                                  


    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Kotzebue, Otto von. Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Beering's Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Beering's

    Straits ... in the years 1815-1818. Straits ... in the years 1815-1818. Translated by H.E. Lloyd.

    London, 1821. 3v.

    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Pt.II. Alaska. Pt.II. Fifth (1947) Edi [ ?] tion.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0373                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    November, 1948 CLARENCE, PORT, ALASKA

            2,425 wds - Text

    50 wds - Bite

            CLARENCE, PORT, Alaska, the only good harbor along the west shore

    of Seward Peninsula, and one of the earliest rendezvous for the whaling

    fleetings of the mid-nineteenth century, lies south of Cape Prince of Wales

    and north of Cape Douglas.

            The west side of the Port is formed by a narrow sand spit which

    extends northwestward from the mainland for about eight miles, just north

    of Cape Douglas, and then [ ?] bends northward for another nine or so

    miles to Point Spencer, the southern entrance point to Port Clarence.

    [ ?] Therefore, starting at Point Spencer, the shores of Port Clar–

    ence run southward and then eastward to the mainland and so northward

    to Cape Riley and Teller. Across the entrance to Grantley Harbor [ ?] from

    Teller, the northern shoreline of the Port runs slightly north of west to

    Point Jackson, the northern entrance point to the Port.

            In addition to the Point Spencer formation, several other sand

    spits characterize Port [ ?] Clarence. One of these, a few miles

    below Cape Riley, extends southwestward from the mainland into the

    Port itself and terminates with Jones Point. Another forms most of the

    north side of the Port and separates its waters from several shallow,

    coastal lagoons. Point Jackson is on one of the arms of this north-side


            Port Clarence, unlike other arms of Bering Sea, is a good harbor,

    free from ocean swell. The four-mile wide entrance is clear of danger and

    carries 42 to 54 feet. A shoal, which widens as it continues southward,

    runs along the west side of the Point Spencer sand spit, but the point

    itself is bold, with depths of over forty feet less than one-quarter

    mile offshore to the north and east. There is a safe, well p - protected

    anchorage of twenty-five feet or more just inside the Point.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0374                                                                                                                  

            Southward , along the east side of the Point Spencer spit , another

    shoal mak e s out into the Port itself, completely filling in the south [ ?]

    end of the Port and enclosing Jones Point. Along the east side of the

    Port, above the Jones Point sand spit, and all along the north side, relatively

    deep water is found quite close to shore. The deepest water is [ ?]

    generally found in the northern part of Port Clarence, where an average

    of forty-two feet reaches to within a mile of the shore. The bottom is

    regular throughout the Port, shoaling very gradually toward shore in

    all directions.

            Point Spencer is marked with a flashing light, and there is also

    a light on the north side of the entrance to Grantley Harbor.

            The only navigational dangers in this area are not in

    Port Clarence itself, but in the approach to the Port. A ledge, with a

    reported least depth of only about ten feet lies nearly five miles offshore,

    about halfway between Cape Douglas and Point Spencer. Vessels approaching

    Point Clarence from the south must give this ledge a berth of at least

    five miles before hauling in for an entrance.

            Fog in this vicinity is frequent and particularly dense r during

    the summer. Port Clarence is free from ice from the last part of June to

    the freeze-up in October.

            Port Clarence leads into Grantley Harbor (q.v.), which in t e u rn

    leads, by way of Tuksuk Channel, into Imuruk Basin (q.v.).

            Surrounding Although the sand spits forming so much of the shoreline

    Country of Port Clarence are low, highlands approach the Port

    fairly closely in those sections where the mainland forms the shoreline.

    All along the east side of the Port, above the Jones Point sand spit, the

    foothills of the Kigluaik Mountains, which in some cases rise to over

    1,000 feet, begin to appear less than one mile from shore. Again, between

    003      |      Vol_XII-0375                                                                                                                  

    the northern entrance point to Grantley Harbor and Point Jackson, on the

    north side of the Port, the highlands associated with 1,527-foot

    Mukacharni Mountain crowd close to the shore. Westward of this point the

    foothills of the York Mountains rise several miles north of Port Clarence.

            Captain Frederick William Beechey, who visited and named Port Clarence,

    in September, 1827, describes the surrounding countryside as follows:

    "The northern and eastern shores of Port Clarence slope from the mountains

    to the sea, and are occasionally terminated by cliffs compo a sed of fine

    and talcy mica slate, intersected by veins of calcareous spar of a [ ?]

    [ ?] pearly lustre, mixed with grey quartz. The soil is covered

    with a thick coating of moss, among which there is a very limited flora: the

    valleys and hollows are filled with dwarf willow and birch. The country

    is swampy and full of ruts; and vegetation on the whole, even on the north

    side of the harbour, which had a southern aspect, was more backward than

    in Kotzebue Sound; still we found here three species of plants we had not

    seen before. Plants that were going to seed when we left that island [Kotzebue Sound] were

    here only just in full flower, and berries that were there over ripe were

    here scarcely fit to be eaten...We saw several reindeer upon the hilly

    ground; in the lakes, Wild ducks: and upon the low point of the inner harbour,

    golden plover, and sanderlings, and a gull very much resembling the

    larus sabini."

    003a      |      Vol_XII-0376                                                                                                                  
    Clarence, Port

    Tributaries As would be expected, these various mountain systems

    send streams into the Port. Four unnamed streams enter

    south of Jones Point sand spit, and tiny Fox Creek enters just north of

    this spit. Yellowstone and Willow Creeks drain into the east side of the

    Port below Cape Riley. Along the north side, Mission Creek flows down

    from the Mukacharni group, and California, Thompson, and Don River, from

    the York group. These last three streams enter the lagoon inside Point

    Jackson, but, since their waters do finally contribute to Port Clarence,

    they may be spoken of as tributaries to the Port.

            Fresh water may be obtained at the Teller Reindeer Station, at the

    mouth of Mission Creek. Except during the dry season, it may also be

    obtained from Yellowstone and Willow Creeks, below Cape Riley.

            Settlements The only existing settlement on the shores of Port

    Clarence is Teller (65° 15′ N.Lat., 166° 21′ W. Long.)

    on the sand spit forming the southern entrance point to Grantley Harbor.

    Teller, with a 1939 population of about 118, has a post office, a Territorial

    and Alaska Native Service school, two general stores, a fur dealer, an

    oil station, a light plant, a U.S. Commissioner, and a reindeer unit manager.

    It is the seaport for Imuruk Basin, and the Kuzitrin, Kruzgamepa, and

    Kougarok Rivers, all of which streams drain areas rich in gold, tin,

    graphite, and copper. Teller is fortunate in having one of the finest,

    natural harbors in [ ?] northwestern Alaska. Lighterage facilities are

    available. Much of the Hollywood moving-picture The Eskimo was filmed

    at Teller.

    004      |      Vol_XII-0377                                                                                                                  

            There is a Moravian Mission on the north shore of the Port.

    According to latest information (1947), the reindeer station nearby is not

    in operation. Bering City, which had a population of about 200 at the

    height of the Bluestone Gold Rush in 1900, has now disapp [ ?] ared.

            There are several landing strips in the Port Clarence area: one

    at Point Spencer, 8,500 foot long; and two at Teller, 1,000 and 1,400

    feet long respectively. Port Clarence receives monthly air mail service

    from November 1 to May 31, and semi-monthly water-borne mail service during

    the rest of the year.

            Trails Several well-developed winter trails meet at Teller. From

    Nome, one trail cuts overland northward and westward to Teller,

    and the other follows the coast to Cape Douglas, and then takes a direct

    northeasterly route first overland and then across part of Port Clarence

    to Teller. At Iron Creek, the overland trail from Nome is joined by

    several others from Solomon, Council, Golovnin, and points to the east.

    Just above Pilgrim Springs, this same trail from Nome is joined by others

    from the Kotzebue District, to the north and northeast, Another trail

    runs overland and almost directly southward from Shisharef Inlet, while

    yet another branch follows the coast down from the Inlet, passing around

    Cape Prince of Wales and so eastward to Teller.

            History Port Clarence was known to the early Russian explorers

    as Kaviaiak Bay .

    005      |      Vol_XII-0378                                                                                                                  

    Insert 1.

            In 1827, Beechey wrote in part: "Having passed the night off Cape York on the

    31st, we steered to the eastward, and shortly discovered a low spit of land

    [ Point Spencer ] projecting about ten miles from the coast, which here

    forms a right angle, and having a channel about two miles wide between its

    extremity and the northern shore. We sailed through this opening, and

    entered a spacious harbour, [ Port Clarence ] capable of h l o lding a great

    many ships of the line. We landed first on the low spit at the entrance,

    and then stood across, nine miles to the eastward, and came to an anchor

    off a bold cape, [ Cape Riley ] having carried nothing less than five and

    a half fathoms water the whole of the way...To the outer harbour, which for

    convenience and security surpasses any other near Beering's Strait with

    which we are acquainted, I attached the name of Port Clarence, in honour of his

    most gracious Majesty, then Duke of Clarence."

            The town of Bering, on the eastern shore of Port Clarence, was recorded

    by Brooks [ ?] in 1900.

    005a      |      Vol_XII-0379                                                                                                                  

            Beechey gives the following description of the native settlement

    of Nooke, which existed at one time grew up on the present site of Teller: "Upon the low point

    at the entrance of the inner harbour, [ Grantley Harbor ] called Nooke by

    the natives, there were some Esquimaux fishermen, who reminded us of a

    former acquaintance at Chamisso Island, and saluted us so warmly that

    we felt sorry their recollection had not entirely failed them. They appeared

    to have established themselves upon the point for the purpose of catching

    and drying fish; and from the number of salmon that were leaping in the

    channel, we should have thought they would have been more successful. They

    had, however, been fortunate in taking plenty of cod, and some species of

    salmon trout: they had also caught some herrings."

            As late as 1870 Dall identified this settlement as Nookmut, and

    reported it as being one of the principle villages of the Kaviagmuts. In July,

    1892, Sheldon Jackson brough 171 reindeer to this spot and established

    a reindeer station there. He named the station Teller after Henry Moore

    Teller, then

    006      |      Vol_XII-0380                                                                                                                  

    Secretary of the Interior, who had helped him with his reindeer project.

    The station later moved to the north shore of Port Clarence, while the

    settlement was officially established and given a post office in April,

    1900. Beechey, in 1827, called this place Nooke, and I t is still known

    locally as The Nook , although designated officially as Teller.

            Mining & Port Clarence District, the largest mining district of

    Commerce Seward Peninsula, with a recording office at Teller, includes

    the former Port Clarence, Blue Stone, Agiapuk, York, and Good Hope Districts.

            The Gold Run, or Blue Stone Country, so called after streams of

    the same name, promised in 1900 to become the richest gold mining section

    in all the Peninsula. The diggings, however, proved to be spotty, and,

    although $20,000 was removed from the mouth of Alder Creek, a tributary

    to the Bluestone, and, although the gold was coarse and several large

    nuggets were found, subsequent developments proved disappointing.

            T he greatest single mining problem in this area has been that of

    maintaining a reliable water supply. Early in the season the streams

    do not supply enough water for mining operations; then, with the arrival

    of the spring rains, these same streams turn into torrents which break

    through any dams previously designed for their control. Harrison writes:

    "When water is utilized by means of ditches and made available for all

    parts of the open season, this region will produce its quota ofgold."

            Early in the [ ?] century, a great many people had faith

    in a bright future for Teller. It occupies what has been called "the

    best townsite in the peninsula," since the ground on which it is built

    is dry, and since it faces the best harbor for hundreds of miles around.

    Realizing the extreme disadvantages and dangers of the Nome roadstead

    (see Nome article), it was even planned to build a railroad across the

    sixty or so miles of grassland between Teller and Nome, so that all

    007      |      Vol_XII-0381                                                                                                                  

    cargoes might be unloaded at Teller and carried overland to Nome.

    However, it was soon discovered that the deep water of Port Clarence did

    not extend as far as Teller, any more than did the deep water of Norton

    Sound reach to Nome, with the result that all cargoes had, at both

    places, to be lightered ashore over one or two miles of shoal water. More–

    over, it [ ?] soon became clear that the Nome roadstead was free of ice

    several weeks before Port Clarence was open to navigation.

            Up to 1906, all supplies for the Kougarok District were sent

    via Teller. From there they were brought by small steamer through Grantley

    Har b or and Imuruk Basin, and so up the Kuzitrin River to Igloo, fifty

    miles inland, at the head of steamboat navigation on the Kuzitrin. At Igloo

    cargoes were transferred to flat-bottomed river boats and towed up the

    Kuzitrin and its tributary, the Kougarok. With the completion of the

    Seward Peninsula Railroad, no w called The Pupmobile, to Lanes Landing on

    the Kuzitrin, about halfway between [ ?] gloo and the mouth of the Kougarok

    River, most supplies for the interior were brought in by rail rather than

    by water. This development was a serious economic blow to Teller.

            Bering City, a gold rush boom town just below Cape Riley on the

    east side of Port Clarence, offered vessels some advantages over Teller.

    Deep water steamers could approach much nearer to the shore and the

    harbor was better protected from easterly and northeasterly winds.

            Soon after the discovery of gold in the Bluestone District in

    1900, Teller had a population of over 1,000 people, and Bering City

    had 200, but, by 1908, Teller had shrunk to 100 and Bering City had


            In 1927, although five individuals still held gold property near

    Teller, the actual mining going on in the district was negligible.

    Teller still has the only good harbor anywhere along this coast and may,

    008      |      Vol_XII-0382                                                                                                                  

    sometime, be developed as a port through which trade with Asia can be

    carried on.


            USCP. Alaska. Pt.II, 1947

            VSGB; Colby; Baker; Tewkesbury; Sundborg

            Dall, William H. Alaska and its resources Alaska and its resources . Boston, 1870.

            Harrison, E.S. Nome and Sew [ ?] rd Peninsula. Nome and Sew [ ?] rd Peninsula. Seattle, Wash., 1905.

            Collier, Arthur J. (and others) Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula, Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula,

    Including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Including the Nome, Council, Kougarok,

    Port Clarence, and Goodhope Precincts Port Clarence, and Goodhope Precincts .

    Washington, D.C.,1908. (U.S. Geological

    Survey. Bulletin Bulletin , No.328)

            Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton

    Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Washington,

    D.C., 1901. (U.S. Geological Survey)

            Alaska Life, Alaska Life, May, 1945

    Greely, A.W. Handbook of Alaska. Handbook of Alaska. 3d ed. N.Y., 1925.

            Beechey, Capt. F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Str a it ... in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28 Str a it ... in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28 . London, 1831. Vol.II

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0383                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins COVILLE, LAKE, ALASKA

    23 April 48

            50 wds

            COVILLE, LAKE, ALASKA, in the northern part of the Alaska

    Peninsula, lies about midway between 155° and 156° W. Long. just northwest of Lake

    Grosvenor (q.v.) with which it is connected by a short stream. It is

    a narrow lake about 9 miles long and is fed by streams rising in the

    foothills of the Alaska Range to the northeast.

    Sources: US CP: World Aer onautical Chart No. [ ?] 136;

    ° in VS GB

    001      |      Vol_XII-0384                                                                                                                  

    October, 1948 285wds.

            CRIPPLE RIVER, southwestern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, the site

    of considerable gold mining activity subsequent to the Nome Rush, empties

    into Norton Sound about twelve miles west of Nome at the mouth of the Snake


            Cripp o l e River drains an area of about ninety square miles and

    has an average fall of twenty feet to the mile.

            The headwaters of the Cripple are cut off from the Kigluaik

    Mountains by the broad basin of the upper Sinuk River (q.v.), and its

    tributaries. Rising in a broad basin and then flowing between heights of

    1,000 or more feet, the Cripple flows in a generally southwesterly direction

    for about ten miles, and then, veering sharply, follows a southeasterly

    course for about ten miles more to Norton Sound.

            From North to south the tributaries to the first half of its

    course are: Gold Run (with its affluent, Slate Creek) Aurora, Oregon

    (which receives Short Gulch, Nugget Gulch, Hungry c C reek, and Mountain

    Creek), Cleveland, Willow, Stella, Elizabeth, and Fox Creeks.

            After turning to the southeast, Cripple River is joined by Sidney,

    Arctic (with its tributary Buff Creek), Edward, and Bowhead Creeks.

            Where it crosses the coastal plain, here three miles wide, Cripple

    River s becomes deeply entrenched and meandering with banks thirty or

    more feet high.

            Although never equall y ing the gold mining activity on the Snake,

    an estimated $50,000 in gold had been removed from the Cripple River region

    by 1900. There are now no settlements along the river, the old mining

    camps having almost completely disappeared.


            VSGB; USCP & Supplement; Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome & Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome &

    Norton Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900. Norton Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900.

    Washington, 1901.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0385                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins DEERING, ALASKA

    March, 1949

            Text - 575 wds.

            DEERING (66° 04′ N.Lat., 162° 44′ W.Long.) is a post office

    and settlement at the mouth of the Inmachuk River, northern Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska. The 1939 population was estimated at 230, and the town then had a

    general store, a licensed fur dealer, an Alaska Native Service School, and

    a Friends' Mission.

            Deering has lighterage service and telephone communication with

    Candle (q.v.). There is a 2200-foot landing strip. Wheeled plane landings

    can be made on the beach. Sea plane facilities are poor, but ski landings

    are reasonably safe. Emergency anchorages, one immediately offshore from

    the town, southeast of Cape Deceit, and one inside Kugruk Lagoon, a few miles

    southeast of the town, are available. There are known to be several herds of

    reindeer in this vicinity.

            Deering is only about 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The

    Eskimos, who comprise a large percentage of the population, spend the long

    winter months carving beads and other ornaments from walrus ivory. The

    Eskimos of this part of Alaska are famous for the artistry of their products,

    although they have e xchanged the tools of their ancestors for modern files,

    hack saws, and steel drills. During the summer, the Eskimo men work for the

    various gold mining companies in the district.

            Gold was first discovered in this region by miners who left Nome,

    in 1900, for less crowded areas parts of the Peninsula. (See Inmachuk River

    article.) As Mendenhall reported, in 1902: "Lat e in the fall of 1900 a

    movement began from the Nome region towar d the shore of Goodhope Bay and

    adjacent parts of Kotzebue Sound, and as soon as navigation opened in July,

    1901, the supply station of Deering was established at the mouth of the

    Ipnechuk River [the present Inmachuk] . Many prospectors and miners came in from the more southerly

    areas at this time and the Fairhaven mining district was created, and so

    002      |      Vol_XII-0386                                                                                                                  

    defined as to include Goodhope, Cripple, Sullivan, Ipnechuk, Kugruk, or

    Swan, and Kewalik rivers, together with the northwestern P p ortion of the

    Buckland drainage system."

            From the white miners' point of view, Deering is a mining town,

    as is proved by the fact that it [ ?] has the offices of the gold mining com–

    panies now active on the Inmachuk River, as well as the offices of George Wallin's

    coal company on the Kugruk River.

            The Deering Eskimos serve as good examples in refutation of the

    popular conception of the lives of these people. Unless they have heard them

    mentioned by the white man, these Eskimos have no knowledge of snowhouses. They

    themselves, with very few exceptions, live in houses built of shipped-in

    lumber and of standard design. Those few who do not own a frame house have

    dwellings of drift-wood and sod. Most of the young Eskimos of this generation

    have attended the Government school in Deering and are well educated. They

    know their native tongue but speak English in their homes. They still eat

    dried fish occasionally, but in all basic respects their diet is exactly the

    same as that of the average family in the States. They all have radios,

    all listen to the world news reports, and dance to the popular dance bands.

    In other words, except for the skill with which they carve in ivory, and

    the assurance with which they handle small boats, a nd firearms, they are

    indistinguishable from the younger generation in any small Stateside town.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0387                                                                                                                  


    Alaska Life Alaska Life . August, 1944; May, 1945.

    Mendenhail, Walter C. Reconnaissance from Fot Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound Reconnaissance from Fot Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound ,

    Alaska. Alaska. Washington, 1902. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional



    Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska and Alaska Business Index. Tewkesbury's Who's Who in Alaska and Alaska Business Index. 1947 ed.

    U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. Aeronautical Chart Aeronautical Chart No.76.

    VS Guide book for Alaska. VS Guide book for Alaska.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0388                                                                                                                  

    March, 1949

            Text - 1,105 wds.

    Bibl - 50 wds.

            DEVIL MOUNTAIN is the only prominent feature of the bro [ ?] d, blunt

    peninsula which separates Shishmaref Inlet (q.v.) from Kotzebue Sound (q.v.),

    on the northern shores of Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Kotzebue named this

    880-foot peak Teufelsberg Teufelsberg , in August, 1816. "The summit, "wrote Kotzebue,

    "looks as if the fragments of a ruined castle stood on it, of which some

    towers were still remaining. These, however, I afterwards recognized to be

    stone pillars, resembling those which Saritscheff found on the coast of the

    Icy Sea. I called this mountain, Devil's Mountain." This peak has appeared

    as Chortof (devil) Mounta i n on some Russian charts.

            Kotzebue noted that Devil Mountain is about 15 miles inland from

    Goodhope Bay and that "the land is everywhere green, but has not a single bush

    on it." The mountain itself is a basaltic lava mass m a ntled on all sides

    by the gravels of the coastal plain. Collier reported, in 1908, that these

    gravels are not known to be auriferous and that the streams are sluggish and

    [ ?] follow meandering courses across the marshy, lake-strewn grasslands

    of the plain.

            Several unnamed streams drain the southern flanks of the mounta in

    while Cowpack, Kalik, and Espenberg Rivers flow northward into the Polar Sea.

    Nugnugaluktuk, Lane (Kugachuk), and Pish (Kutuk) Rivers flow eastward from

    the southern foothills of Devil Mountain into Goodhope Bay, Kotzebue Sound.

            Although there are no named towns along this stretch of coast,

    it is the home of several hundred Eskimos who make their living hunting, fish–

    ing, and trapping. Cape Espenberg, on the northeastern tip of the peninsula,

    is marked by a flashing light. A shoal fringes the san d bars south of Cape

    Es p enberg. It was probably this same shoal which gave Kotzebue considerable

    trouble one night in August of 1816.

            Telling of his trip in a small boat northward from [ ?] Goodhope

    Bay, he writes: "We had scarcely rowed half an hour, when we struck upon a

    002      |      Vol_XII-0389                                                                                                                  

    shoal; it was the time of ebb, and all the places which we had previously

    navigated with ease, were now changed into sand banks, and we heard the

    breakers roaring round us. We therefore rowed in another direction; but it was

    not long before we were again on a shoal, where the breakers threatened to

    swallow us up. A violent wind rendered our situation still more dangerous,

    our boat drew much water, we were all exhausted by labour, a nd I saw no means

    of escaping death, as we had every moment to expect that the boat would be

    seized by the breakers and overturned. The baydare in which our scientific

    gentlemen were, had got on before us, and some shots as signals of distress

    horible, as - in original which proceeded from them rendered our situation horible. We answered them

    with a musket shot, but were not able to go to their assistance. At last the

    dawning day relieved us all, we could observe the way we had to take to

    avoid the breakers...At last...after inconceivable difficulties, we reached the

    Rurick on the morning of the 13th." This night journey back to the mother

    ship was instigated by the arrival of eight native boats, each carrying twelve

    men and numberless dogs. "Such neighbors," Kotzebue had instantly decided,

    "might really prove dangerous to us, as my whole company on this excursion

    consisted of only fourteen men, and the loss of some of my sailors would have

    made it impossible for me to complete the expedition." However, since these

    natives had merely landed nearby and peacably set up camp, Kotzebue's decision

    to exchange their company for the dangers of stormy and unknown waters would

    seem unduly precipitous. One is forced to the suspicion that some former

    action of his own might have given hi [ ?] cause to fear reprisal on the p a rt of

    these natives.

            Kitzebue gives what is probably still the best general description

    of this part of Seward Peninsula. "As far as the eye could reach, " he

    wrote, "everything was green; here and there were flowers in blossom, and

    no snow was seen but on the tops of the mountains at a great distance; yet

    003      |      Vol_XII-0390                                                                                                                  

    one had to dig but half a foot deep to find nothing but frost and ice under

    this verdant carpet." Of the Eskimos, or, 'Americans', as he quite correctly

    calls them, he wrote: "They are of a middle size, robust make, and healthy

    appearance; their motions are lively, and they seemed much inclined to sportive–

    ness; their countenances, which have an expression o f wantonness, but not of

    stupidity, are ugly and dirty, characterised by small eyes and very high

    cheek-bones; they have holes on each side of the mouth, in which they wear

    morse-bones, ornamented with blue glass beads, which gives them a most

    frightful appearance. They hair hangs down long, but is cut quite short on

    the crown of the head. Their head and ears are also adorned with beads.

    Their dr e sses, which are made of skins, are of the same cut as the Parka in

    Kamtschatka; only that there it reaches to the feet, and here hardly covers

    the knee; besides this, they wear pantaloons, and small half-boots, of seal–


            Elsewhere he remarks: "They are very expert traders, haggle obstinate–

    ly, always consult together, and are infinitely happy when they fancy they

    have cheated any body. Some old women, who were in their baydares, understood

    bargaining still better. There was so much laughing and joking during the

    trading, that it appeared as if we were surrounded by the lively South Sea

    islanders, instead of the serious inhabitants of the north. Their arms

    consist of lances, bows, arrows,and a knife, two feet long, in a sheath;

    this military equipment, which they never lay aside, proves that they are in

    constant wars with other nations. Their lances, which are of iron, very well

    wrought, resemble those which the Russians have sold to the Tschukutskoi; the

    glass beads, also, with which they adorn themselves, are of the same kind as

    those worn in Asia, which proves that they must be in commercial intercourse

    with that continent."

            It does did not occur to Kotzebue that natives who live solely by

    004      |      Vol_XII-0391                                                                                                                  

    hunting, fishing, and trapping might keep their equipment with them at all

    times for other reasons than for making war on their neighbors. Neither

    does did it occur to him that these natives might be genuinely happy and satis–

    fied with their lot in life, and that, having made an almost perfect adjust–

    ment to their environment , they no longer felt "serious" about living in

    the north.

    005      |      Vol_XII-0392                                                                                                                  


    Alaska Life , May, 1945.

    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska. 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Collier, A.J. Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula, Alaska Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsula, Alaska . Washington,

    1908. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 328)

    Collier, A.J. Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion of Seward Peninsula,

    Reconnaissance of the Northwestern Portion of Seward Peninsula,

    Washington, 1902. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional



    Brooks, A.H. Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Norton Bay Regions,

    Alaska, in 1900. Washington, 1901.

    Kotzebue, Otto von. Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's

    Straits...in the years 1815-1818.
    Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's

    Straits...in the years 1815-1818.
    Translated by H.E. Lloyd.

    London, 1821. 3v.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0393                                                                                                                  

    24 May 48

            450 wds

            DILLINGHAM, ALASKA, strategically situated between the mouths

    of the Wood and Snake Rivers on the western side of Nushagak Bay (q.v.),

    Bristol Bay, is the largest village in this vicinity. It was established

    in August, 1905. Although the offical 1939 Census figure showed a

    population of 278, the settlement had grown to an estimated 450 by 1947.

            Dillingham, like all the other settlements on Nushagak Bay,

    is most active from mid-June to late July when several large red salmon

    canneries operate in the Nushagak and Wood Rivers, at the head of the

    bay, and in the Snake and Igushik Rivers which enter it from the west.

    The Bristol Bay Packing Co. and Pacific American Fisheries maintain

    canneries in Dillingham. The second of these companies has a 178-foot

    wharf. This wharf has a depth of 2 feet at low tide and can be used

    only by lighters even at high tide. Like other salmon companies in

    the area, the cannery maintains a radio station and its own supplies of

    gasoline and oil. The wharf is fitted with a marine railway capable

    of hauling 100 tons.

            According to 1947 reports Dillingham has several other

    facilities including a Territorial school, a high school, 5 restaurants,

    4 taxicabs, 2 hotels, 5 licensed fur dealers, 3 general stores, 5 transfer

    and storage companies, 2 literage services, a saltery, a light plant,

    one aircraft and one electrical supplies and service store, a beauty

    shop, gift shop, theater, and attorney at law. Two labor unions, the

    Alaska Fishermen's Union (CIO) and the International Union of Fishermen

    and Allied Workers of America, Local 46, (CIO) have representatives in

    Dillingham. Two U.S. Commissioners are stationed in the town, one with

    full powers and one acting as Justice of the Peace and coroner. Although

    there are no dentists in the town, there is a large hospital staffed with

    5 nurses and attended by a doctor from Bethel.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0394                                                                                                                  

            Since the waters of Nushagak Bay are too shallow for large

    vessels, and since the territory around Dillingham is low, marshy tundra

    making summer travel impossible, air service is especially important.

    Six air carriers were in operation in 1947, one of which was certified

    by the Civil Aeronautics Board. It was reported in November of the same

    year that the local merchants had appointed an Airport Committee and

    were sponsoring the construction of a 2200-foot runway. Work on

    this project had been renewed after a summer delay during which most of

    of the volunteer workers were off fishing or busy on Alaska Road

    Commission jobs. Everyone in the Nushagak Bay area turns fisherman

    during the canning season. The canneries supply boats, nets, and

    credit to anyone who wants to fish so that other activities come to an

    abrupt however brief hault. The chief activities for the remainder

    of the year are hunting and trapping.

            Dillingham is on the long winter trail which connects points

    on Kvichak Bay and Iliamna Lake (q.v.) with Owens, Togiak,and Goodnews

    (q.v.) to the west.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0395                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins DIOMEDE ISLANDS, Alaska

    February, 1949

            565 wds.

            DIOMEDE ISLANDS, Bering Sea, Alaska, comprise Big and Little

    Diomede. The former belongs to the U.S.S.R., and the latter is a possession

    of the United States. The internationl boundary is the meridian which passes

    between Big and Little Diomede Islands.

            Vitus Bering would appear to have described one or more both of this

    group pair on August 16, 1728. There is some doubt as to whether [ ?] he named

    his discovery after the holy martyr St. Diomede, who, according to the church

    calendar, is was honored on August 16, or whether he named it after St. Demetrius,

    whose day was August 14. The name Demetrius appears on some early maps,

    but usage has established Diomede. Michael Gvozdef, a surveyor, who explored

    Bering Strait in 1730, called these islands after himself, but this name was

    used only briefly. Some recent maps id [ ?] ntify Big Diomede as Rotmanov Island.

            The cliff-like sides of the Diomede Islands rise abruptly out

    of the water. There are no beaches, and their tops are a broken table-land.

    Big Diomede is about three miles long by one mile wide and rises to a height of

    1,758 feet, while Little Diomede is about one-third that area and about 1,200

    feet high at the apex. Although the water in this vicinity is deep, the bottom

    is rocky and the anchorage poor. There are some exposed rocks off the western

    side of Big Diomede, and there is a flashing light on the northwestern corner

    of this island.

            The villages on these two islands perch on the rocky slopes well

    above the high water level. The chief settlement on Big Diomede is Nunebruk,

    and Ignaluk is the principal village of Little Diomede. Ignaluk is constructed

    on the steep hillside just above the sand spit which extends from the western

    shore of the island. Vessels approaching the village from the [ ?] south and

    east will find deep water and good anchorage off the southern side of this

    002      |      Vol_XII-0396                                                                                                                  

    sand spit. From the end of the spit, however, a shoal and reef extend an

    unknown distance toward Big Diomede Island. Small vessels may pass between

    these islands, but large vessels are warned against the attempt.

            The Diomede Eskimos are Innuits. The y [ ?] are famous for their

    seamanship and for their skill in hunting whales, walrus, and seal, and are

    equally well-known for their carving of walrus ivory into beads and other items

    of adornment. However skilled and courageous in the management of their tiny kayaks, these Innuit hunters are known

    to be in the management of their tiny kayaks, they are not foolhardy, as is

    clearly shown by the following quotation from Hooper's report of 1881: "Although

    the passage from Siberia to America and back is made many times each year by the

    natives in their skin boats, and is not considered by them to be attended with

    any unusaual amount of [ ?] ager, I could not learn that it is ever made over the ice

    during the winter. The natives say the ice is always broken and subjected to

    great and sudden changes, rendering any attempts to cross it extremely hazardous.

    It is said that open spaces occur from time to time throughout the winter, which

    contain numbers of whales, but that owing to the sudden changes which take

    place their capture is not attempted."

            For winter dwellings the natives dig caves into the face of the

    cliffs. The entrances to these caves are covered with small wooden frameworks

    not unlike the woodsheds indigenous to New England. These are the "fortified

    places" to which Gerhard F. Müller referred in 1761.

            Ignaluk has a schoolhouse and a general store where the Eskimos

    trade their ivory carvings [ ?] and seal mocassions for sugar, flour, canned goods,

    and other staples to which the white man has introduced them.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0397                                                                                                                  


    Hooper, C.L. Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenus Cutter Thomas Corwin Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenus Cutter Thomas Corwin

    in the Arctic Ocean, 1881. in the Arctic Ocean, 1881. Washington, 1884.

    Müller, G.F. Voyages from Asia to America. Voyages from Asia to America. Translated by Thomas Jefferys.

    London, 1761.



    001      |      Vol_XII-0398                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    February, 1949 115 wds DON RIVER, ALASKA

            DON RIVER, western Seward Peninsula, Alaska, is a northern tribu–

    tary to the lagoon on the north side of Port Clarence. The name originated

    locally and was first reported by Gerdine, in 1901.

            The Don rises north of Brooks Mountain, in the York range, and

    flows eastward [ ?] for about [ ?] four miles, then turns southward to work

    its way for another sixteen miles out of the mountains, and across the lowland

    bordering Port Clarence. Soon after turning southward, the Don is joined by

    Anderson, and El k ington Creeks from the west and east respectively, and, about

    six miles above its mouth, by Tozer Creek from the east. Several other streams

    enter the D on, but they are unnamed.

            The lagoon into which the Don empties is extremely shoal so that

    the river is not approachable to any except the smallest vessles. This same

    is true of Thompson Creek, which enters this same lagoon at a point about half–

    way between California River (q.v.) and the Don.


    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1902.

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0399                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins EGEGIK, ALASKA

    21 April 48

            150 wds

            EGEGIK, ALASKA, is a fishing village, post office, and cannery

    on the south bank of the mouth of the Egegik River, in the northwestern

    part of the Alaska Peninsula. The village had a population of 125 in 1939.

    Although the cannery is open only from late June to the end of July,

    airplane service from Anchorage is available the year around. The Alaska

    Packers Association and the Pacific American Fisheries Inc maintain canneries

    and radio stations in Egegik. The winter trail which connects Kanatak,

    [ ?] Portage Bay, on the northeastern side of the Alaska Peninsula,with

    Naknek, Koggiung and other points [ ?] on Kvichak Bay, runs down

    the northern side of the mouth of the Egegik River, just across from the

    village of Egegik.


    & Suppl.

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0400                                                                                                                  

    21 April 48

            300 wds

            EGEGIK RIVER, ALASKA (Egegak; Igagik; Ugaguk, etc.), drains from

    the western end of Lake Becharof (q.v.), in the northern park of the Alaska

    Peninsula, and flows in a northwesterly direction for about 25 miles to empty

    into Bristol Bay. Tidewater is reported to run a considerable distance upstream.

    Egegik River is narrow and rough with rapids for a few miles after leaving

    Lake Becharof, after which it widens, then narrows again. The middle half

    of its course is dotted with islands. In 1938, $5,000 were spent clearing

    a channel through the rapids at the head of the river. The river is now

    navi a gable to small boats for its entire length, and to ocean-going vessels

    as far as Egegik (q.v.), the largest settlement on the river, [ ?] which is

    situated at the mouth where the river widens to about 2 miles. The King Salmon River

    (q.v.), largest tributary to the Egegik, enters from the north at a point approximately

    opposite the village of Egegik.

            The Alaska Packers Association maintains a cannery and wharf on

    the Egegik River. The 80-foot wharf has a 5-ton crane and supplies of fresh

    water. The cannery operates a machine shop which will take on small outside

    repair work, but the supplies of fuel on the wharf are for c [ ?] nnery use only.

    Libby, McNeill & Libby also. maintains a cannery and wharf on the river.

    This wharf is 180 feet long but is dry at low water and available only to

    small boats even at high tide. This wharf has a 5-ton crane and a marine


            The Egegik River, which has been variously reported for over a

    century, was listed by Lütke in 1828 as the Ougagouk, from the Eskimo

    name perhaps meaning swift .

    Sources: Baker; USCP & Suppl.; Colby; Sundborg; VSGB; Tewkesbury

    001      |      Vol_XII-0401                                                                                                                  

    October, 1948

            350 wds

            ELDORADO RIVER, southern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, enters Port

    Safety lagoon,on the north side of Norton Sound, about midway between Rocky

    Point and Cape Rodney.

            The headwaters of the Eldorado are separated only by an extremely

    [ ?] low divide from the Kruzgamepa, a tributary to Port Clarence. The

    Eldorado flo w s almost directly south, first through a wide gravel-filled

    basin, then through a narrow valley, whose floor merges with the coastal


            In the highland section of its course, the Eldorado is joined

    from the west by Boldrin, North, and Moonlight Creeks, and, from the

    east, by Grassman, Venetia, San Jose, Carl, and Mulligan Creeks. Pajara

    Creek enters the Eldorado soon after it reaches the plain, and Beaver

    Creek, the longest of these tributaries, joins the Eldorado a few miles

    above its mouth.

            The Flambeau River also enters Port Safety lagoon. The Flambeau

    rises west of the Eldorado, across a low divide separating it from the

    upper reaches of the Nome River, and flows southeastward through a wide

    valley to Port Safety. The Flambeau is joined by Iron, and Discovery

    Creeks from the west, and by several unnamed streams from both sides of

    its course.

            Fox Lake lies just to the west of the mouths of these two vi riv ers,

    and is joined to an arm of Port Safety by a narrow channel.

            Port Safety, itself, is a small anchorage for light draft vessels.

    The narrow entrance is about eight miles east of Cape Nome and is marked

    by four buoys during the season of navigation.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0402                                                                                                                  

            On the former site of the small town of Safety, at the entrance

    to the Port, there is now Port Safety Roadhouse. This roadhouse lies on

    the winter trail which skirts the southern shores of Seward Peninsula from

    Norton Bay westward.

            Beaver Creek, on that tribuatry to the Eldorado, is the only

    true settlement in the entire district. It had a population of 17 in 1939,

    and a landing strip 1,100 feet long.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0403                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins


            Text - 1,820 words

    Bibl. - 100 words

            ESCHSCHOLTZ BAY, east of Chamisso Island and Choris Peninsula, and

    north of Spafarief Bay, indents the northeastern shores of Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska. The entrance, between Chamisso Island and the mainland, through

    Spafarief Bay, is six or seven miles wide but shoal. East of Elephant Point,

    on the mainland, the bay is navigable only for small boats, and the shore at

    the head of the bay is difficult of access because of the long, muddy flats

    which are bare at low water as much as one-third of a mile offshore. It is

    possible that the bay is gradually filling up, and vessels proceeding eastward

    from Chamisso Anchorage should use caution.

            Beechey examined this bay very carefully in September, 1826, and

    reported as follows: "Having now the assistance of the barge, I embarked in

    her to examine narrowly the shores of Kotzebue Sound. Proceeding to survey the

    head of Escholtz Bay, shallow water obliged the boat to anchor off Elephant

    Point, where I left Mr. Collie with a party to examine again the cliffs in which

    the fossils and ice formation had been seen by Kotzebue, and proceeded to the

    head of the bay in a small boat. We landed upon a flat muddy beach, and were

    obliged to wade a quarter of a mile before we could reach a cliff for the pur–

    pose of having a view of the surrounding country. Having gained its summit we

    were graitified by the discovery of a large river coming from the southward, and

    passing between our station and a range of hills. At a few miles distance the

    river passed between rocky cliffs, whence the land on either side became hilly,

    and interrupted our further view of its course. The width of the river was

    about a mile and a half; but this space was broken into narrow and intricate

    channels by banks — some dry, and others partly so. The stream passed rapidly

    between them, and at an earlier period of the season a considerable body of water

    must be poured into the sound; though, from the comparative width of the

    002      |      Vol_XII-0404                                                                                                                  

    channels, the current in the latter is not much felt.

            "The shore around us was flat, broken by several lakes, in which

    there were a great many wildfowl. The cliff we had ascended was composed of a bluis h

    mud and clay, and was full of deep chasms lying in a direction parallel with the [ ?]

    front of the eminence. In appearance this hill was s i milar to that at Elephant Point,

    [ ?] which was said to contain fossils; but there were none seen here, though

    the earth, in parts, had a disagreeable smell, similar to that which was supposed

    to proceed from the decayed animal substances in the cliff near Elepphant Point."

            The 'large river' described by Beechey was the Buckland, one of the

    major streams on Seward Peninsula, which enters the extreme southeastern corner

    of Eschscholtz Bay. The only other named tributary, the Kauk River, a much

    shorter stream, enters the northeastern side of the Bay.

            It was in the vicinity of Elephant Point that Kotzebue, in August,

    1816, found what he called 'icebergs' on the shores of the bay. "On the 7th,"

    he writes, "at 8 o'clock in the morning, we [ ?] left the Rurick, with a fresh

    south-east wind, to explore the eastern part of the bay. We had already advanced

    so far at noon, that we could distinctly observe, that the land was united every–

    where: at the distance of a full mile from the shore, the water had decreased

    to five feet; and the hope of discovering a river also vanished. (In this

    Kotzebue was wrong, but the cliff which Beechey ascended ten years later,

    obstructed his view of the southeastern corner of the bay, and therefore of

    the mouth of the Buckland River.) Happily we found a convenie n t place for

    landing; the current having formed a small tongue of land, where there was

    [ ?] epth enough for us to approach with our long-boat, and I resolved to remain

    there for the night. There were two small huts, near ourlanding-place, which

    were raised several feet, supported by four pillars, and covered with morse-skin.

    These huts did not seem constructed so much for continual residence, as for

    magazines for their instruments, and hunting utensils. We here found very

    003      |      Vol_XII-0405                                                                                                                  
    ESCH [ ?] LHOLTZ B [ ?] Y, ALASKA

    elegantly-made arms. I took several arrows, and put in their stead knives, and

    a hatchet, on the handle of which, Rurick and the date of the year was carved.

    Probably the Americans visit this place, at the hunting time. They perhaps also

    keep rein-deer; as we saw many horns of these useful animals lying on the shore.

    The land rises a little from t h e coast, but reaches to a considerable height;

    and is only covered below with beautiful green, and above with moss...We had

    climbed much about during our stay, without discovering that we were on real

    ice-bergs. The doctor, who had extended his excursions, found part of the bank

    broken down, and saw, to his astonishment, that the interior of the mountain, con–

    sisted of pure ice. At this news, we [ ?] ll went, provided with shovels and crows,

    to examine this phenomenon more closely, and soon arrived at a place where

    the back rises almost perpendicularly out of the sea, to the height of a hundred

    feet; and then runs off, rising still higher. We saw masses of the purest ice,

    of the height of an hundred feet, which are under a cover of moss and grass; and

    could not have produced, but by some terrible revolution. The place which, by

    some accident, had fallen in, and is now exposed to the sun and air, melts away,

    and a good deal of water flows into the sea. An indisputable proof that what we saw

    was real ice, is the quantity of mammoths' teeth and bones, which were exposed to

    view by the melting, and among which I myself found a very fine tooth. We

    could not assign any reason, for a strong smell, like that of burnt horn, which

    we perceived in this place. The covering of these mountains, on which the most

    luxuriant grass grows to a certain height, is only half a foot thick, and con–

    sists of a mixture of clay, sand, and earth; below which the ice gradually melts

    away, the green cover sinks with it, and continues to grow; and thus it may be

    foreseen, that in a long series of years, the mountain will vanish, and a green

    valley be formed in its stead. By a good observation, we found the latitude of

    the tongue of land 66° 15′ 36″, north...I called the bay after our physician,

    Eschscholtz, as it was he that made the remarkable discovery there. It seemed

    to be uninhabited, and only visited at a certain time of the year, on account

    004      |      Vol_XII-0406                                                                                                                  

    of the hunting. I do not doubt, that there was a river between the high

    mountains, which the shoals, however, would not permit us to investigate."

            Kotzebue was correct in this assumption, as Beechey was to prove

    ten years later. Beechey also examined and named Elephant Point, of which he

    writes: "I found Mr.Collie had been successful in his search among the cliffs

    at Elephant Point, and had discovered several bones and grinders of elephants

    and other animals in a fossil state, of which a full description and drawings

    from the remains will be found in the Appendix. Associating these two dis–

    coveries, I bestowed the name of Elephant upon the point, to mark its vicinity

    to the place where the fossils were found; and upon the river that of Buck [ ?] and,

    in compliment to Dr. Buck [ ?] nd, the professor of geology at Oxford, to wh [ ?] m I am

    much indebted for the above mentioned description of the fossils, and for the

    arrangement of the ge o logical memoranda attached to this work.

            "The cliff in which these fossils appear to have been imbedded is

    part of the range in which the ice formation was seen in July. During our

    absence (a space of five weeks) we found that the edge of the cliff in one

    place had broken away four feet, and in another two feet and a half, and a

    further portion of it was on the eve of being precipitated upon the beach. In

    some places where the icy shi le el ds had adhered to the cliff nothing now remained,

    and frozen earth formed the front of the cliff. But cutting through those parts

    of the ice which were still attached, the mud in a frozen state presented itself

    as before, and confirmed our previous opinion of the nature of the cliff. With–

    out putting it to this test, appearances might well have led to the c l o nclusion

    come to by Kotzebue and M. Escholtz; more especially if it happened to be

    visi s t ed early in the summer, and in a season less favourable than that in which

    we viewed it. The earth, which is fast falling away from the cliffs — not

    in this place only, but in all parts of the bay — is carried away by the tide;

    and throughout the summer there must be a tendency to diminish the depth of

    005      |      Vol_XII-0407                                                                                                                  

    the water, wich at no very distant period will probably leave it navigable only

    by boats. It is now so shallow off the ice cliffs, that a bank dries at two

    miles' distance from the shore; and it is only at the shingly points which occur

    opposite the ravines that a convenient landing can be effected with small boats."

            In 1901, Mendenhall gave the definitive explanation of the formation

    of these ice cliffs. "Many wirters since Kotzebue have discussed the origin of

    these cliffs, but the explanation given by Mr. L.M. Turner, Messrs. E.W.Nelson

    and C.L. Hooper, and Prof. I.C. Russell seems to be entirely adequate. It is

    that [ ?] the numerous lakelets scattered about over the tundra are gradually buried

    by the advance of their mossy borders toward the center. After their burial they

    are frozen, as is the entire tundra, a few inches below its surface and are later

    revealed by later [ ?] al river cutting, as in the Kowak delta, or by the work of waves,

    as at Elephant Point, and appear as masses of comparatively clear ice in the

    general deposit of frozen mud, sands, and vegetable matter."

            Of the north side of the bay, Beechey wrote: "In our return to the

    ship to deposit the fossils, a calm obliged us to anchor on the north side of the

    bay, where we landed with difficulty, in consequence of the shallowness of the

    beach, and of several ridges of sa n d thrown up parallel with it, too near the sur–

    face for the boat to pass over, and with channels of water between them too

    deep to wade through without getting completely wet. The country abounded in

    l a kes, in which were many wild ducks, geese, teal, and widgeon; and was of the

    same swampy nature before described: it was covered with moss, and occasionally

    by low bushes of juniper, cranberry, whortleberry, and cloudberry. Near this

    spot, two days before, we saw a herd of eleven reindeer, and shot a musk rat."

            Eschscholtz Bay is about 27 miles long and 11 miles wide at the

    greatest. Aside from several shelter cabins and a reindeer station, at the

    mouth of the Kauk River, the only settlement in the vicnity is Baldwin, a few

    miles in [ ?] and and west from Elephant Point. There is a 1100-foot landing area

    near Baldwin, and the village is on the winter trail which leads from Deering

    006      |      Vol_XII-0408                                                                                                                  

    and Kiwalik northward to the Kobuk River and to Kotzebue (q.v.), on Baldwin


    007      |      Vol_XII-0409                                                                                                                  


    Beechey, F.W. Narrative of a Voya [ g ?] e to the Pacific and Beering's Strait...in Narrative of a Voya [ g ?] e to the Pacific and Beering's Strait...in

    the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. London, 1 0 831. 2v.

    Kotzebue, Otto von. Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Beering's Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Beering's

    Straits...in the years 1815-1818. Straits...in the years 1815-1818. Translated by H.E. Lloyd.

    London, 1821. 3v.

    Mendenhall, W.C. Reconnaissance from Frot Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound, Alaska. Reconnaissance from Frot Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound, Alaska.

    Washington, 1902. (U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper, Professional Paper,


    U.S. Coast Pilot. Alaska. Part II. Alaska. Part II.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0410                                                                                                                  

    July, 1948

            840 wds.

            ETOLIN STRAIT, western Alaska, separates Nunivak Island

    (q.v.) from the section of the mainland between the mouths of the Kuskokwim

    and the Yukon Rivers (q.v.). For several miles offshore from the main–

    land, mud flats and extremely shoal water obstruct navigation of the

    strait all the way from Cape Avinof, [ ?] its southeastern entrance point,

    to Cape Vancouver, Nelson Island. A few miles above Cape Avinof, Kinak

    Bay indents the lake-strewn mainland. The head of this bay is divided

    by a small peninsula point of land which separates the mouths of the two rivers, the

    Kuguklik and the Kinak, which flow into the bay from the northeast.

    The first of these rivers rises in an unnamed lake east of the bay

    and about 18 miles inland. The native settlement of Kipnuk is on this

    river a few miles up from its mouth. Some maps show the Kinak River

    rising in Dall Lake about 20 miles northeast of Kinak Bay which lake also

    drains into Kinia River. The Kinia flows in a generally southwesterly

    direction to empty into Etolin Strait about 18 miles north of Kinak

    Bay. In December, 1878, Edward William Nelson [ ?] v isited the two towns

    on the Kinia, Chichinak and Sfaganuk, and reported their names [ ?] with

    variants of their present form. A few miles north of the Kinia the southern

    channel to Baird Inlet empties into the strait. This and the more

    northerly channel to the inlet cut Nelson Island off from the mainland.

    Agiukchuk, the only settlement on this southern channel was also

    visited by Nelson in 1878.

            Baird Inlet, which, except for two narrow channels each

    about 22 miles long, is cut off from Etolin Strait and Bering Sea by Nelson

    Island. Baird Inlet is a large body of water about 36 miles long from each to west

    and about 18 miles from north to south at the widest points. The

    It lies somewhat south of midway of the stretch of coast separating

    002      |      Vol_XII-0411                                                                                                                  

    the mouth s of the Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers. The country on all sides

    of the inlet is low, marshy, lake-studded tundra. Many of these lakes

    empty one into the other or drain into small rivers and stream, a

    great number of which find their way into the inlet. Petrof named this

    body of water in 1880 after Professor Spencer F. Baird, the Secretary

    of the Smithsonian Institution. Very little is known about this part

    of Alaska and most of the lakes and rivers, with the exception of Dall

    Lake, about 10 miles south of the head of the inlet, are unnamed and


            Nelson Island fits closely into the mouth of Baird Inlet.

    It lies northeast across Etolin Strait northeast of from the north end of Nunivak

    Island. Nelson Island is about 43 miles from north to south and about

    33 miles from east to west at the widest points. Mud flats obstruct the

    southern channel to Baird Inlet and appear again just south of the

    northern channel entrance . The northern, eastern, and southern sections

    of the island are low, the southern being dotted with tiny lakes, but the

    mid-western section is hilly, particularly along the peninsula which juts

    out from this western side toward Nunivak Island. Cape Vancouver, the

    westernmost tip of this peninsula, rises boldly 1,000 feet above the

    water. The shoal water which extends northward from the mouth of the

    Kuskokwim River persists along the southern side of this peninsula

    past the settlement of Kaliukluk, on the south side of the cape. Deep

    water lies directly off the c C ape Vancouver and continues along the north side

    of the bite on which Tanunak, a native village of about 65 people, is

    situated. From Tanunak northeastward along the shore of the island the

    mudflats reappear and persist to the mouth of the northern channel to

    Baird Inlet. Kashigaluk, in the center of the island, with a 1939

    population of 10, and Kaioliuk, on the north shore a few miles east

    003      |      Vol_XII-0412                                                                                                                  

    of Tanunak are the only other settlements on the island.

            Etolin Strait was discovered by Adolph Karlovich Etolin in

    1821, twenty years before he was made governor of the Russian American

    Colonies. He called it Cook Strait after Captain James Cook, but

    Krusenstern proposed that it be called Etolin Strait, by which name it

    is generally indicated on current maps.

            The mainland east of the strait is part of the 30,000–

    square-mile stretch of marsh and tundra between the mouths of the

    Kukokwim and the Yukon which is the major breeding ground for the

    water fowl not only of Alaska but also for all of western Canada and

    the United States. So many ducks and geese nest and rear their young

    in this area that the natives collect their eggs by the boatload in

    the spring and drive geese by the thousands of geese and half-grown birds into net corrals in July.

    Annabel reported in 1948 that not only was their no adequate enforcement

    of the laws to protect these fowl from destruction at human hands, but

    also that coyotes had found their way into this part of Alaska within the

    last few years and that they were adding considerably to the slaughter.

    Since this is the major source of game fowl for the United States and

    Canada both , it would seem most necessary that protective measures be

    taken with all possible speed.


    Sources: uscp;Baker; Annabel. Hunting and Fishing in Alaska; Tewkesbury

    Colby; Sundborg

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0413                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    February, 1949 100 wds FAIRWAY ROCK, ALASKA

            FAIRWAY ROCK (65°37′ N.Lat., 168° 44′ W.Long.) Bering Strait,

    Alaska, lies nine or ten miles southeast of Little Diomede Island. Fairway

    is a 200-foot steep-sided, square-headed granite rock with deep water on all

    sides and no outlying dangers.

            According to W.T. Lopp, a late nineteenth century missionary to

    the Cape Prince of Wales Eskimos, and namesake of Lopp Lagoon, the top of

    Fairway Rock is several acres in area and is absolutely flat. Since its

    characteristics are similar and its altitude only slightl y less than that of York

    Plateau, it is probably of the same period of erosion.

    Sources: Brooks, A.H. Reconnaissance in the Cape Nome and Norton Bay Regions, Alaska, Reconnaissance in the Cape Nome and Norton Bay Regions, Alaska,

    in 1900. in 1900. Washington, [ ?] 1901.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0414                                                                                                                  

    September, 1948 ALASKA

    Revised October, 1948

            2180 wds - Text

    50 wds - Bibl.

            GOLOVNIN BAY (Golofnin), a northern arm of Norton Sound, western

    Alaska, was discovered in 1821 by Kromchenko and named after his ship, which

    in turn had been named for Captain Vasili Mikhailovich Golofnin, of the

    Russian Navy.

            Golovnin Bay cuts into the south side of Seward Peninsula

    west of Norton Bay. The 12-mile wide entrance to this bay extends from

    Cape Darby on the east to Rocky Point on the west. From these two points,

    the bay extends northward for about twelve miles to its head, where a

    two-mile entrance leads into Golovnin Sound. This sound extends about 9

    miles in a northwesterly direction to the many-channeled mouth of the Fish

    River. About 8 miles above Cape Darby tiny Carolyn Island stands about

    one-quarter of a mile off the eastern shore of the bay.

            The foothills of the Darby Mountains extend along the peninsula

    which forms the eastern side of the bay, but nowhere approach the shores

    very closely except in the vicinity of Cape Darby itself. Inland from the

    sand spit which ju ts out from the eastern shore of the bay at the entrance

    to Golovnin Sound, the land is low and swampy, and, across the entire head

    of the sound, extends a swamp which reaches several miles inland, completely

    enclosing the tortuous channels of the mouths of the Fish and Klokerblok


            This swampland and tundra continues halfway down the western

    side of the bay and reappears on the point of land , and on the tidal island ,

    which extend [ ?] from the west side of the bay towards the sand-spit opposite ,

    at the entrance to Golovnin Sound. For the five miles southward to Rocky

    Point the western side of Golovnin Bay is high and bold, although fringed

    with a low, sandy beach.

            There is good anchorage with protection from all

    winds in the vicinity of the southern sandspit in the entrance to Golovnin

    002      |      Vol_XII-0415                                                                                                                  

    Sound, but an extensive shoal cuts across this entrance from the western

    side of the bay to within three-quarters of a mile of the eastern shore.

    The channel runs around the eastern end of this shoal and so into Golovnin

    Sound, which is extremely shallow thoughout and open only to small steamers.

    McKee describes this sound as "a large and shallow body of water with

    treacherous mud-flats, surrounded by great barren hills and the all-pervading

    tundra." There is a mission and reindeer station a few miles above Cape

    Darby on the eastern shore of the bay, but the only true settlement in this

    area is Golovnin, (see below).

            The Kachauik River enters Golovnin Sound a few miles above Golovnin,

    and the Fish River, major tributary to the sound, and one of the largest

    streams in southern Seward Peninsula, enters at the head.

            The Fish rises in the Bendeleben Mountains about midway between

    Death Valley and Mount Bendeleben. After about 7 miles, it works its way

    southward out of the mountains, then, flowing [ ?] in a southwesterly direction,

    crosses a twelve-mile stretch of low, marshy tundra, called the Fish River

    Flats, then passes thro u gh a mountain chain of 1,000-foot peaks, and finally

    veers southward to follow a meandering course down fifteen miles (airline)

    of tundra to the head of Golovnin Sound. White Mountain, the main Fish

    River settlement, (see below), lies about midway of this section of the river.

            The mountains of the upper Fish River rise to 3,500 feet, and the

    valleys through which the main river and its tributaries flow are U-shaped

    and glaciated. There is some timber along the streams in the Fish River

    Flats area, but otherwise the country is barren of trees. From the west,

    in the Flats section of its course, the Fish receives the waters of Boston

    Creek, with its two tributaries Baker and Oregon Creeks, and of Pargon River.

    It is also joined from the east by Mosquito Creek, Rathlatulik River,

    Etchepak River, and Cache Creek.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0416                                                                                                                  

            Pargon River rises in the vicinity of Chauik Mountain, is

    joined by Duncan Creek from the south after leavin g the mountains, and enters

    the Fish a few miles above its junction with Cache Creek.

            Almost immediately after leaving the mountains below the Flats,

    the Fish is joined from the west by its main tributary, the N iukluk River

    (q.v.), and, a few miles farther south, by Fox River.

            The Fox rises in the divide separating the Fish River system from

    the Solomon (q.v.), the next major river to the west, and flows first

    northeastward and then eastward to the Fish. It is j oined by Horton, Slate,

    Suiro, and Dewey Creeks at fairly regular intervals along its 17-mile course.

            A few miles below the mouth of the Fox, a group of low hills

    diverts the Fish River, the main channel curving around to the west of these

    hills, and Steamboat Slough flowing to the east of them. Both these streams

    converge, together with Klokerblok River, immediately to the south of this

    group of hills, to feed the branched, delta-like mouth of the Fish River.

            The [ ?] Klokerblok originates in the mountains to the west

    of the Fish and just north of the Bluff Region (q.v.), at the junction of

    O'Brien and Kentucky Creeks. Along the early,mountainous,nine-mile section

    of its course, it is joined by Skookum River, with its tributaries, Boil,

    Goldbottom, Sourdough, Eureka, and Dewey, and by Basin, Thompson, and

    Colorado Creeks. It then continues for another nine miles across the

    coastal tundra to the Fish River, being joined by several unnamed streams

    on the way.


            The only habitations along the first half of the Fish River are

    Omilak, on an early tributary to Mosquito Creek, Telephone Shelter Cabin,

    and Boston Shelter Cabin, but White Mountain, at the confluence of the Fish

    and the Klokerblok Rivers, is one of the major settlements for the entire

    Fish River area. [ ?]

            Around 1900, White Mountain was merely a group of log cabins

    004      |      Vol_XII-0417                                                                                                                  

    and a storehouse point for the Wild Goose Mining and Trading Company, which

    Chales D. Lane was then operating with remarkable success on Ophir Creek,

    in the Council District north of White Mountain.

            Leaving behind the disappointments, hardships, and confusion of

    the Nome beach, Lanier Mc K ee made the trip, complete with a library of law

    books, from Nome to Council City in July, 1900, stopping at Golovnin and

    White Mountain on the way. At Golovnin (which he called Chenik), he and

    his three companions built a narrow, shallow-draft boat of the type necessary

    for the journey, and christened it the Mush-on . The Arctic Bird [ ?] , a light–

    draft stern-wheeler, then making regular runs between Golovnin and White

    Mountain, towed them the first twenty-five miles of their trip. McKee

    writes: "The Mush-on was the last of the string in tow, which consisted of

    a small barge or lighter, containing Wild Goose Company machinery, and the

    boats of several others, who were also going up the rivers ... After running

    upon and backing off various mud-flats, at midnight the Arctic Bird rested at

    the delta of the Fish River ... It was, of course, daylight, — a weird,

    grayish effect, — and fairly, but not disagreeably, cold. Then we entered

    and pushed slowly up the swift and shallow stream, the mosquitos, for the

    first time in our wanderings to date, making themselves manifest and felt ...

    For the first time there was a semblance of "God's country." The beautifully

    clear stream, — flanked on each side by scrub willows and an occasional small

    spruce-tree, — whose tempting water one could dip up and drink ad libitum ,

    seemed in places filled with fish, darting swiftly about above the gravel

    bed. Hills that appeared more like mountains loomed up in the distance,

    gray in the early light. There was the inevitable tundra, of course,

    but it seemed less all-pervading — it had finally met with some competition ...

    Many times the Arctic Bird would run upon a riffle (where the water runs very

    shallow over the gravel), to be temporarily baffled and obliged to back off

    005      |      Vol_XII-0418                                                                                                                  

    and seek another course. The stream averaged hardly two feet in depth ...

    By noon we were disembarked and camped at White Mountain, a few feet from

    the river ... this was the best camping-spot yet. The scene was pretty;

    it seemed a healthful place; and water, plentiful and good, was very near

    at [ ?] hand."

            As this shows, even in those days, lighterage companies were

    making regular trips between Golovnin and White Mountain, which was then,

    and still is, head of light-draft navigation on the Fish River. Today

    small craft still bring supplies into the district, but a great deal of

    freight is carried by air. [ ?]

            White Mountain, with a 1939 population of about 200, now has a

    1,500-foot runway for land planes, a post-office, and telephone connection

    with Nome. Of the three general stores, two are r un by whites, and the other,

    a cooperative, by a Native named Abraham Lincoln. The town also has one

    of the few Alaska Native Service Boarding Schools yet established in the

    entire Territory.

            Golovnin, on the east side of the bay, was formerly called Chenik, or Dexter's,

    after the pioneer who settled there in the [ ?] late 1880's. The Indians

    called this settlement Chenik (Cheenik), and Mckee described it, in 1900,

    as a scattered settlement on a high hill containing a small Swedish Evangelical

    Church Mission, which was caring for 50 or 60 natives. The summer of 1900

    brought an epidemic of measles and pneumoni [ ?] which killed whole families,

    and which turned the mission into a hospital for most of the natives of

    the region.

            Golovnin is now a fishing and mining town of 116 or more people

    with a school, post-office, roadhouse, licensed fur dealer, and a Mission

    Convent Church. There are two general stores in the village, two herring

    salteries, and two lighterage companies carrying freight up and down the

    Fish River between White Mountain and Golovnin. In addition to several

    006      |      Vol_XII-0419                                                                                                                  

    reindeer corrals, there is a cold storage plant for reindeer meat. The

    town is connected by telephone with Nome, St. Michael, and Council, and

    there is a 2,000-foot landing field for wheeled planes, as well as a

    9,900-foot sheltered anchorage for seaplanes on each side of the spit upon

    which the town is located.


            Golovnin Bay was an important starting point for a series of

    expedition s which [ ?] culminated in the discovery of gold near Council,

    on the Niukluk, and its subsequent discover y near Nome. The first explorers

    of the interior of Seward Peninsula were the members of the Western

    Union Telegraph Company Expedition of 1865-66, who, under the leadership

    of Baron Otto von Bendeleben, were seeking a route from G olovnin Bay to

    Port Clar ne en ce on Bering Sea for the proposed telegraph line from the United

    States to Europe by what way of Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. This party

            27 [ ?]

    007      |      Vol_XII-0420                                                                                                                  

    ascended Golovnin Bay and the Fish River, turned up the Niukluk, crossed

    the divide, and went down the Kruzgamepa. Then came the news that the

    second Atlantic cable had been successfully laid in the summer of 1866,

    and the Western Union explorers were hastily recalled. It is said

    that they left behind them valuable machinery, piles of telephone poles,

    and many fragile wire bridges. They left behind also the gold which Bendeleben

    and several of his men had noticed along the Niukluk River. In 1881, John

    Dexter, one of the employees of the Alaska Gold and Silver Mining, Milling

    and Trading Company (later the Russian American Milling Co.) which

    mined galena on Bering Sea and also worked a few gold placers on the

    Fish River, left the company and opened a trading station at the present

    site of Golovnin, then called Chenik or Dexter's. The galena-gold mining company

    closed down, but Dexter stayed in the area and continued to prospect for

    gold. Daniel B. Libby, who had been with Bendeleben in 1865-66, was

    so forcibly reminded by the Klondike Strike of 1897 of the gold on the

    Niukluk, that, despite his age and relative ill-health, he found a backer

    and sailed from San Francisco for Golovnin Bay, arriving in August, 1897.

    The silver-lead Omalik Mine was already in operation, and a Norwegian

    named Johannsen , had panned gold on the Niukluk in 1894 , but had abandoned

    it for the Yukon, so that Libby had some indication of the value of the

    country. Tom Guarick, an Eskimo , whom Dexter had taught to pan, offered to

    guide the Libby party to Ophir Creek, where he had reclaimed an ounce of

    gold while on a hunting trip. Libby accepted this offer, and h [ ?] s party,

    having made the trip and spent a winter prospecting the entire area,

    in the spring of 1898 staked their claims and recorded the Eldorado

    Mining District, in the vicinity of Ophir Creek. In so doing they founded

    Council City which was to prove to be the first producing camp on Seward

    Peninsula. It was from Golovnin Bay that Eric O. Lindblom, Jafet

            28 [ ?]

    008      |      Vol_XII-0421                                                                                                                  

    Lindeberg, and John Brynteson set out on September 11, 1898 for their

    history-making prospecting expedition to the future Nome District during which

    they staked Discovery claim on Anvil Creek. When news of this strike

    reached Golovnin Bay , it started the Nome Gold Rush which affected first

    Golovnin, and particularly John Dexter, then Council, St. Michael and the

    Bristol Bay area, then Yukon, and finally the west coast of the United States, and thus

    initiat ed ing the economic development of the entire Seward Peninsula.

            7 [ ?]

            Sources: Colby, Tewkesbury; USCP; VSGB;

    Tompkins, Stuart Ramsay. Alaska, Promyschlennik, and Sourdough. Alaska, Promyschlennik, and Sourdough.

    Norman, Okla., Univ. of Oklahoma

    press, 1945.

            French, L.H. Seward's Land of Gold. Seward's Land of Gold. N. Y., Montross, Clarke & Emmons (n.d.)

            French, L.H. Nome Nuggets. Nome Nuggets. N.Y.,Montross, 1901.

            Greely, A.W. Handbook of Alaska. Handbook of Alaska. 3d ed. N.Y., Scribner, 1925.

            Mckee, Lanier. Land of Nome. Land of Nome. N.Y., Grafton (c1902)

    001      |      Vol_XII-0422                                                                                                                  

    March, 1949

            Text- 820 wds.

    Bibl- 25 wds.

            GOODHOPE BAY, in the southeastern part of Kotzebue Sound,

    an arm of the Polar Sea, indents the northern [ ?] hore of Seward Peninsula,

    Alaska. Kotzebue named this bay in August of 1816. "I gave up for the

    present," he wrote, "the farther examination of this arm, as it would cost

    me too much time on account of the shoals, and put it off till next year,

    when I might continue it by means of very small baydares from Oonalashka. I

    called this bay, the Bay of Good Hope, as I might really hope to make a

    very remarkable discovery here. The coasts on the northern part of the arm

    rise to a considerabl e height, but gradually become lower the farther one

    penetrates to the N., where there are many small lakes and rivers. The

    southern coast of the arm is low, and continues so as far as the eye can

    reach. It is only in the vicinity of the Devil's mountain, which is fifteen

    miles from here, that it becomes mountainous. The land is every where green,

    but has not a single bush on it."

            As Kotzebue was to discover, this bay is quite shallow. (See

    Devil Mountain article.) It does, however, receive three good-sized tribu–

    taries: the Nugnugaluktuk, Lane, and Pish Rivers. The first of these was

    recorded by Witherspoon, in 1903. Lane is a prospector's name given to the

    stream known to the Eskimos as the Kugachuk . The Pish, likewise, is known

    to the natives as the Kutuk . However, neither of these original names

    appears on recent maps.

            The Nugnugaluktuk [ ?] rises in a lake twenty or so miles

    inland and flows through a divide south of 880-foot Devil Mountain, and

    then continues almost directly eastward to the bay. Lane and Pish Rivers

    rise in a low divide east of the Serpentine River system and flow northeast–

    ward for about twenty miles to the bay.

            The arbitrary line separating the Port Clarence mining district

    002      |      Vol_XII-0423                                                                                                                  

    from the Fairhaven precinct passes between the Pish and the Goodhope

    Rivers. Goodhope River is the next more easterly affluent to Goodhope Bay.

            The Goodhope system drains an area of 500 square miles. The

    main river rises among the lava flows a few miles northwest of Imuruk

    Lake (q.v.), proceeds westward for about twenty-five miles, then turns

    northward and northeastward for another twenty-five miles, and debouches into

    Goodhope Bay. The river may be said to o riginate at the junction of Right

    Fork and Cottonwood Creek. Cottonwood, with its tributaries, Trail, Divide,

    and Noyes Creeks, are the most important early tributaries, while Esperanza,

    placer, and Humbolt Creeks are the main streams in the western portion of

    the Goodhope basin. The gravel in the beds of these streams is so coarse

    and loose that almost all the low water flow sinks into it and out of sight.

    Above placer Creek, the basin includes an area of interbedded limestone and

    schist, covered with lava, into which the river has cut a fairly deep and

    narrow valley. Below placer Creek the river valley broadens considerably and

    merges with the coastal flats.

            R ight Fork has carved a narrow canyon in the lava and receives

    part of its water supply from lava springs, which may in turn receive some

    water from Imuruk Lake. Because of these springs, Right Fork is more plenti–

    fully supplied with water during the summer than some of the other streams

    in this system.

            About 1908, some gold was found in these early tributaries to the

    Goodhope, but mining did not flourish in this region, probably because of the

    lack of a reliable water supply during the summer months, which is the only time

    [ ?] when [ ?] placer mining can be carried on [ ?] in this part of Alaska.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0424                                                                                                                  

    Traveling eastward around Goodhope Bay, the next tributary is Cripple

    River, which receives the waters of Oregon, Mystery, Hoodlu m , Polar Bear,

    Excelsior, Long, and Eagle [ ?] (or Pot) Creeks. The Cripple is only

    about ten miles long and takes a generally northwesterly direction from the

    same lava flows as those in which the Goodhope rises.

            Still traveling eastward, Francis, Clifford, Rex, Sullivan,

    and Fox Creek, all relatively short streams, flow into the Bay.

            Although considerable numbers of natives live in this region,

    there are no named communities. The nearest settlement is Deering, east

    of Sullivan Creek and Point Deceit, at the mouth of the Inmachuk River (q.v.).

    The Eskimos here earn their living [ ?] by hunting, fishing, and trapping,

    activities which are not hindered by the underlying permafrost in the soil,

    as [ ?] are the mining endeavors of the white man.

    004      |      Vol_XII-0425                                                                                                                  


    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Henshaw, F.F. Surface Water Supply of Seward Peninsula, Alaska Surface Water Supply of Seward Peninsula, Alaska . Washington,

    1913. (U.S. Geological Survey. Water Supply Paper Water Supply Paper 314)

    Kotzebue, Otto von. Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's Voyage of Discovery, into the South Sea and Beering's

    Straits ... in the years 1815-1818 Straits ... in the years 1815-1818 ./ London, 1821. 3v.

    Translated by H.E. Lloyd.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0426                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins GOODNEWS BAY AREA

    6 July 48

            1824 wds.

            GOODNEWS BAY, a small, southeastern arm of Bering Sea

    south of Kuskokwim Bay, lies just north of 59° N. Lat. and across

    161° 40′ W. Long. Two shingle spits, North Spit and South Spit,

    reduce the entrance to less than a mile, but there is a deep channel

    which leads through the entrance and for a distance of about one mile

    inside. This channel affords good anchorage for ocean-going vessels,

    but beyond it, for the remaining 8 or 9 miles to Goodnews, at the head

    of the bay, the water is shoal and is swept by tidal currents reaching

    a maximum of 2 1/2 knots, and, with southerly or easterly winds, by

    dangerous rip tides. The tidal range is about 9 feet. Under Beluka

    Hill on the north side of the bay 6 feet of water will be found at low

    tide, and other deeper anchorages have been reported just inside the

    entrance, but most parts of this bay have not been surveyed recently

    so that strangers to the region should attempt it only in daylight,

    on a rising tide, and with constant use of the lead.

            The largest tributary to Goodnews Bay is Goodnews River

    which rises in Goodnews Lake and takes a meandering course southwest–

    ward for about 45 miles to the head of the bay. The Ahklun Range

    borders the river basin more closely on the northwest than on the

    southeast although tributaries to the Goodnews rise in the heights

    and mountain lakes on both sides of its course. Middle Fork and

    South Fork, the two largest tributaries to the Goodnews, enter from

    the east near its mouth. From north to south the main western tribu–

    taries are Canyon, Bear, Slate, Olympic, Cascade, Wattamuse, Granite,

    and Barnum Creeks. Of these, Barnum, which is joined by Camp Creek,

    is the largest. In addition to these tributaries, many small streams

    002      |      Vol_XII-0427                                                                                                                  

    unnamed streams drain from nearby lakes and mountains into the Goodnews


            Beluka Mountain and Lump Mountain border the northern shore

    of Goodnews Bay near its head, and several other peaks in the Ahklun Range

    rise above the narrow strip of lowland which edges the southern shore of

    the bay. These include: Red Mountain, just south of the village of

    Platinum, at the base of South Spit; Thorsen Mountain, a few miles south of

    Red Mountains; and Susie Mountains a few miles to the east. Crater Hill,

    Pyramid Peak, and Dome Mountain lie northeastward from Susie Mountain.

    Salmon River follows the valley between Red and Susie Mountains southwest–

    ward to Kuskokwim Bay at a point about midway between Chagvan and Goodnews

    Bays. The Salmon is joined by Clara Creek and Platinum Creek from the west

    and by Medicine Creek from the east. Smalls River rises in a high mountain

    valley between Susie Mountain and Crater Hill and flows northwestward into

    Goodnews Bay. Tundra Creek joins Smalls River a few miles from its mouth,

    and the town of Platinum is on the west side of the mouth.

            Between these peaks in the Ahklun Range and along the whole

    extent of the Goodnews River Basin the country is treeless tundra which,

    during the summer, is covered with moss and many kinds of wild flowers.

    Although the soil is too acid and the climate too rainy for any kind of

    crop, the vicinity supports large herds of reindeer and a variety of

    other wildlife including fox, ducks, geese, mink, and muskrat.

            In 1926, Walter Smith, an Eskimo, confided to another Eskimo,

    Henry Whuya, that he had found 'white gold' in Fox Gulch at the south

    end of Red Mountain. Whuya told Charles Thorsen, an old resident and

    [ ?] [ ?] miner, about this discovery. Thorsen collected some

    samples from the same spot and sent them to Fairbanks for analysis. The

    'white gold' was platinum. For many years gold had been known to exist

    and had been mined in a small way north of Goodnews Bay, but Smith's find

    003      |      Vol_XII-0428                                                                                                                  

    was the first indication that there was platinum south of the bay.

    Thorsen continued his prospecting in the area and discovered platinum

    in Clara Creek in 1928. That same year Edward St. Clair made a similar

    find on Squirrel Creek. In October, 1936, while three Alaska miners

    were hand-drilling on the beach near the head of Goodnews Bay they

    hit a heavy layer of platinum gravel on bedrock at about 38 feet. This

    gravel was said to be worth about $3.00 per cubic yard. The miners

    S taked a claim and then went Outside to buy machinery and tools with

    which to work it. News of their find leaked out, reached newspaper

    headlines, and started another rush to Alaska. Goodnews River was

    staked for miles upstream, new prospectors arrived daily by boat and

    plane, and tent cities sprang up around Platinum and the old native

    village of Mumtrak, near the head of the bay. Platinum, which had

    previously been the site of a few native huts and a trading post,

    grew to an estimated 50 in 1938 and to about 600 in 1947, by which

    time the town had a general store, a third class post office, a road–

    house, a radio sales and repair shop, a fur dealer, a liquor store,

    and a bowling alley supported by the Goodnews Bay Mining Company.

    Although the town lacked such basic facilities as a hospital or a

    school, it did have a pet-shop and kennel specializing in springer

    spaniels. The present landing field is 2,120 feet long by 100 feet

    wide, and there is a second order CAA weather bureau station in the


    004      |      Vol_XII-0429                                                                                                                  

    The known platinum deposits south of Red Mountain are

    important not only because they represent the first placers in Alaska

    workable primarily for platinum, but also because they are much richer

    than any others so far developed in the United States or its possessions,

    despite the fact that the bedrock source of these placers has not

    yet been discovered. An analysis of the 1945 platin um, production

    figures: Alaska, 26,505 ounces; California, 43 ounces; Oregon, 3

    ounces, making a total of 26,551 ounces, shows how slight is the

    extra-Alaska contribution to the United States platinum industry.

    The following table gives the history of placer platinum production

    in Troy ounces:

    005      |      Vol_XII-0430                                                                                                                  

    1927 - 17 ½ 1939 - 32,460
    1931 - 506 1940 - 33,800
    1932 - 720 1941 - 26,221
    1933 - 793 1942 - 23,213
    1934 - 3,101 1943 - 27,162
    1935 - 8,685 1944 - 33,625
    1936 - 8,825 1945 - 26,551
    1937 - 9,823 1946 - 22, 882 949
    1938 - 40,932

            Since 1938 the United States has been the fourth largest

    producer of platinum in the world, being preceded by Canada, the

    U.S.S.R., and the Union of South Africa, in that order, and being

    followed by Colombia, which up to that year had held fourth place.

    with the suspension of the OPA price of $35.00 per Troy ounce

    on April 29, 1946, the price rose to between $95.00 and $100.00

    within the year.

            Platinum, once the supreme luxury metal, was put to hard,

    practical use during the war in bomb sights, radar equipment,

    magneto contacts, spark plug electrodes, and grids in high frequency

    transmission valves. It was used as a catalyst in the manufacture

    of nitric acid and for spinerettes and brushings in the manufacture

    of rayon. Beginning in 1945 the percentage of sales for chemical,

    electrical, dental, and medical purposes dropped markedly, and in

    1946 the jewelry manufacturers took 61% of all the platinum produced,

    reinstating the metal to its pre-war, primarily decorative status.

            In the early days of platinum mining in the Goodnews Bay

    area, a great many individual operators worked separate claims.

    Since no one profited under this system, a movement toward consolida–

    tion began, so that T t he Goodnews Bay Mining Company now holds a controlling

    interest in the area. Incorporated in 1935, this company held, by

    1947, more than 150 claims covering 2500 acres of the vicinity around

    006      |      Vol_XII-0431                                                                                                                  

            6 Platinum. The company maintains an 8 cubic foot dredge with a crew

    of approximately 63, a gold-platinum placer with two 4 1/4 yard drag

    lines, and a washing plant employing approximately 10 men. Mining

    can be carried on in this area with a dragline excavator for about

    5 1/2 months of the year. A December, 1947, report tells of the

    Goodnews Bay Mining Company personnel flying out and the mine closing

    down. The main plant at Platinum Creek is electrified. It has

    power for the cleanup plant, the repair shop and the well-equipped

    machine shop. There are bunkhouses for single workmen and about

    11 small houses for married personnel. There is also a good gravel

    road connecting the camp with Platinum.

            The amount of platinum recovered from this area is so great

    that in 1938 the Goodnews Bay Mining Company entered into a sales

    contract with one of the largest refiners and sellers of platinum in

    the United States not only to refine their product but also to feed

    it to the market gradually so as to hold up the price. The Goodnews

    Bay Mining Company produces about $25,000 to $30,000 worth of platinum

    and gold a month. Total 1939 production for the entire Goodnews

    Bay area was $300,000 in platinum and $100,000 in gold. Analysis

    of the rocks in the vicinity shows the presence of chromium, nickel,

    and copper, but not in sufficient quantity to pay for their recovery.

            Efforts are still being made to discover the bedrock source

    of the platinum in the Goodnews Bay area. Red and Susie Mountains are both composed of

    ultrabasic rocks of the kind with which platinum is usually associated. Since the

    northwestern side of Red Mountain was once covered by the Goodnews Glacier, a condition

    which would tend to dissipate rather than concentrate any metallic elements which might

    be present there, and since most of the placers have been found on the eastern side of

    the mountain, it is felt that the lode deposits must lie along those eastern slopes.

    However, according to Mertie's report of 1939, they had not yet been found.

    007      |      Vol_XII-0432                                                                                                                  


            The only other towns in the Goodnews Bay area are Goodnews,

    and Mumtrak near the head of the bay, Goodnews Bay, shown on some

    maps at the base of North Spit, and Barnum, 8 or 9 miles up the

    Goodnews River.

            Mumtrak had a population of about 161 in 1936 and a

    Federal school. Barnum had a population of 27 in 1939, and Goodnews

    Bay, with a population of about 48, is the post office for the area

    north of the bay. These four towns are on or are connected with the long

    winter trail which runs westward from two points on Shelikof Strait,

    joining towns on Iliamna Lake, Kvichak and Nushagak Bays with villages

    to the west. A branch of this trail connects Mumtrak with Platinum.

    At Goodnews Bay the trail turns northward and follows the coast of

    Kuskokwim Bay to [ ?] Eek and Bethel.

            In 1826 Sarichef gave this bay the Russian equivalent

    of 'Goodnews,' Port Dobriek Vestei, and Lutke recorded it as Bonnes

    Nouvelles Baie, adding "it might better be called the bay of false

    reports ." His criticism may have been based on the difficulties

    of navigating the bay, but no one, since Johnnie Kilbuck first told

    of finding 'white gold'near Red Mountain has thought of Goodnews

    Bay as "the bay of false reports."

    [ Davis, Hubertw, & Grewspoon, Gerturde M. Platinium aelied [necials?]

    1946.) Wash. GPO, 1947.

    Sources: USCP & Suppl


    US. Bus. of Mines. Minerals Yearbook, 1946 Wash. G.P.O. 1948

    Mertie, J. B., Jr. "Platinum deposits of the Goodnews Bay District Alaska

    Wash. GPO 1939 (U.D. Geol. Swu. Bulletin 910-B.)


    001      |      Vol_XII-0433                                                                                                                  

    November, 1948

            1,000 wds - Text

    50 wds - Bibl.

            GRANTLEY HARBOR, western Seward Peninsula, Alaska, is an almost

    land-locked arm of Port Clarence ,which itself leads by way of Tuksuk Channel into Imuruk Basin (q.v.). . It can be entered by vessels drawing

    less than twelve feet and provides an excellent, well-protected anchor–

    age for such small vessels.

            Directly across from Teller, the northern sand spit at the en–

    trance to Grantley Harbor is marked by a light, and buoys mark the channel

    during the season of navigation. The small-boat landing in the Harbor

    consists of floats which are raised or lowered on tracks. There are

    no docks in the Harbor, and this float-landing is difficult during [ ?]


    002      |      Vol_XII-0434                                                                                                                  

            Captain Frederick William Beechey, having already sailed around

    Port Clarence, entered Grantley Harbor on September 1, 1827. He was

    the first white man to [ ?] do so, and [ ?] describes the place as

    follows: "On examination with the boats, we found, as we expected, an

    inner harbour [ Grantley Harbour ] , ten miles in length by two and a

    quarter in width, with almost an uniform depth of two and a half and

    three fathoms water. The channel into it from the outer harbour is

    extremely naorrow, the entrance being contracted by two sandy spits;

    but the water is deep, and in one part there is not less than twelve

    fathoms. At the upper end of the harbour a second strait, about three

    hundred yards in width, was formed between steep cliffs; but this

    channel [ Tuksuk Channel ] was also contracted by sandy points. The

    current ran strong through the channel, and brought down a great body

    of water, nearly fresh...The boats had not time to pursue this strait;

    but in all probability it communicates with a large inland lake [ Imuruk

    Basin ] , as described by the natives of Kotzebue Sound. At the entrance

    of the strait, called Tokshook by the natives, there is an Esquimaux

    village, and upon the northern and eastern shores of the harbour there are

    two others: the population of the whole amounted to about four hundred

    persons. They closely resembled the natives we had seen before [ in the

    Kotzebue District to the north ] , except that they were better provided with

    clothing, and their implements were neater and more ingeniously made.

    Among their peltry we noticed several gray fox and land-otter skins, but

    they would not part with them for less than a hatchet apiece. In addition

    to the usual weapons of bows and arrows, these people had short iron spears

    003      |      Vol_XII-0435                                                                                                                  

    neatly inlaid with brass, upon all which implements they set great value,

    and kept them wrapped in skins. Among the inhabitants of the village on the

    northern shore, named Choonowuck, there were several girls with massive

    bracelets. One had a curb chain for a necklace, and another a bell

    suspended in front, in the manner described the preceding year at Choris


            "These two ports, [Port Clarence and Grantley Harbor] situated so near Beering's Strait, may at some future

    time be of great importance to navigation, as they will be found particularly

    useful by vessels which may not wish to pass the strait in bad weather.

    To the outer harbour, which for convenience and security surpasses any

    other near Beering's Strait with which we are acquainted. I attached the

    name of Port Clarence, in honour of his most gracious Majesty, then Duke

    of Clarence. To the inner, which is well adapted to the purposes of repair,

    and is sufficiently deep to receive a frigate, provided she lands her

    guns, which can be done conveniently upon the sandy point at the entrance,

    I gave the name of Grantley Harbour, in compliment to Lord Grantley.

            "On the northern side of Grantley Harbour, Mr. Collie found a bad

    of purple primulas, anemones, and of dodecatheons, in full [ ?] fresh

    blossom, amidst a covering of snow that had fallen the preceding night."

    004      |      Vol_XII-0436                                                                                                                  
    Grantley Harbor, Alaska


            During the nineteenth century, Grantley Harbor, along with Port

    Clarence, was an important rendezvous for the many whaling vessels which

    sailed these waters. Whaling fleets are a thing of the past, and the

    locality is now visited only by trading schooners and an occasional


            The Harbor was surveyed by Beechey, in September, 1827, and

    named Grantley, "in compliment to Lord Grantley."

            Several small streams rising in the plateau on which Mukacharni

    Mountain stands flow southward into Grantley Harbor. From west to

    east these are: Bay, Sunset, Igloo, Dewey, McKinley, and Offield Creeks.

    From the time of the first strike in this area, in 1900, the

    gravels of these streams have been known to be auriferous, but the output

    has been small.

            A few streams rising in the foothills of the Kigluaik Mountain s , to

    the southeast, also flow into Grantley Harbor. From west to east these

    are: Coyote, and Dese Creeks. Very little prospecting has been done

    along these streams because of their proximity to the Bluestone (q.v.)

    005      |      Vol_XII-0437                                                                                                                  

            -5- which gave, promise early in the century, of being a valuable gold stream.

            One of the major difficulties in gold mining in this area has

    been the problem of a reliable water supply. Early in the mining season,

    the [ ?] streams are too small to support dredging or sluicing activities.

    Then, with the spring rains, they [ ?] are transformed into torrents,

    which destroy any dams previously contructed for their control. It

    was originally intended to build a system of ditches to divert these

    flood waters and put them to use, but then it was discovered that,

    although the gold in the vicinity was coarse and characterized by

    large nuggets, the deposits were not sufficiently rich to warrant the

    expense of a ditch system. The mining activity in this area is now



            USCP. Alaska. Pt.II. 1947



            USC & G S Chart 9385

            Collier, Arthur J. (and others) Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Gold Placers of Parts of Seward

    Peninsula, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port Peninsula, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port

    Clarence, and Goodhope Precincts Clarence, and Goodhope Precincts . Washington, D.C., 1908.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin. Bulletin. No.328)

            Brooks, Alfred H. (and others) Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and Reconnaissances in the Cape Nome and

    Norton Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900 Norton Bay Regions, Alaska, in 1900 . Washington, D.C., 1901.

            Beechey, Capt. F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Strait ... in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28 Strait ... in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28 . London, 1831. Vol.II

    Unpaginated      |      Vol_XII-0438                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins


            80 wds

            GROSVENOR, LAKE, ALASKA, in the northern part of the Alaska

    Peninsula, is about 17 miles long by only about 2 miles wide. It lies

    northeastward of the Bay of Islands, an arm of Naknek Lake (q.v.), and is

    surrounded on almost all sides by the foothills of the Alaska Range from

    which several small tributaries drain into it. Lake Grosvenor may be

    reached by easy portage from the Bay is Islands, or by ascent of the

    Savonoski River which connected with an eastern outlet of the lake.

    Sources: VS GB

    in USCP and suppl.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0439                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins


            1008 wds

            Hazen Bay, western Alaska, opens into Bering Sea north of

    Etolin Strait (q.v.). The bay was named by Edward William Nelson

    in 1878 for General William Babcock Hazen, Chief Signal Corps

    Officers, U.S.A.

            The entrance to Hazen Bay is about 7 miles wide, and just

    within this entrance the bay widens considerably. Several rivers

    drain from the many lakes which dot this section of the Yukon delta

    and flow into Hazen Bay. The Manopiknak River, shown on some maps

    as an outlet of the Yukon River (q.v.), enters the southeastern

    corner of the bay, and the Azun (Azoon) River enters farther up

    its head. The mouths of these rivers are wide, shoal and completely

    clogged with mud flats at low tide. The land which borders the northern

    side of fo the bay is a marsh edged on the west by more mud flats and

    cut by several small streams. Some maps show the settlements

    Ukak and Anakak on the shores of Hazen Bay.

            About 10 miles above

    Hazen Bay the Manakinak River enters Bering Sea. The Kashunuk

    River, thought to be another outlet of the Yukon, empties into

    an unnamed bay a few miles north of the Manakinak. Kashunuk a

    native settlement of 89 peoples in 1939 is in this vicinity.

            Because so little is known about this stretch of the Yukon

    Delta, the coast northward from the Kashunuk is represented by a

    dotted line. Most of the information concerning this part of Alaska

    was obtained by Nelson in 1878 , and very little surveying has been

    done in this area since that time.

            The entrance to Hooper Bay, about 22 miles up the coast

    froms the Kashunuk River, is a narrow channel formed by two small

    spits of land. Nelson named this bay after Captain Calvin Leighton

    Hooper. Some maps show the Askinuk River flowing into Hooper Bay.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0440                                                                                                                  

            Hooper Bay on the north shore of this bay is the largest town in this area. It had a reported population

    of 299, in 1939, which was estimated to have increased to 325 by 1947.

    Hooper Bay has a post office, and an Alaska Native Service school contained

    in the new community house which has, [ ?] in addition to class–

    rooms, a shop, clinic, laundry, showers, and teachers' quarters.

    Mail service runs regularly from Mountain Village on the Yukon

    except during the months of May and October.

            Askinuk which is the only other settlement on Hooper Bay,

    The promentory between Hooper and Igiak Bays is known as Point Dall.

            Igiak Bay, a few miles north of Hooper Bay, is approximately

    triangular in shape with its broadest side facing the sea. Two narrow

    spits of land reach toward each other from the north and south to

    leave a very narrow entrance into Igiak Bay. Dall Point is on the move southerly of these spits. The Kakechik River

    flows into the bay from the mainland. The tiny native settlement of

    Igiak on the south shore of the bay was reported both by Petrof and

    by Nelson.

            Cape Romanzof, the most westerly point on the Yukon Delta,

    is also the most northerly point of the land mass north of Igiak Bay.

    By a strange coincidence, three men, Shishmaref, Kromchenko, and

    Etolin, working independently named this Cape Romanzof in 1821. The name

    has been variously written as Romantsof, [ ?] Roumiantsoff, etc.

    This cape is made up of sheer, perpendicular shafts of rock rising

    1,200 to 1,500 feet above the water. The Askinuk Mountains

    end at Cape Romanzof, the highest peak of the chain, which attains 2,363 feet,

    being about 5 miles in from the point of the cape. The land trends

    eastward for about 15 miles from Cape Romanzof in continuous ledges,

    nowhere lower than 1,230 feet, to the mouth of the Kun River which

    enters the head of Scammon Bay.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0441                                                                                                                  

            Scammon Bay is shoal and marked with sand bars laid bare

    at low tide. The only settlements are Kutmiut, at the mouth of the

    Kun, and Scammon Bay (population 88, in 1939) on the north side of the

    bay. Scammon Bay is connected by trail with Kwikluak and Kotik at the mouth

    of the Yukon and with other points up the Yukon and along the shores

    of Norton S t ound.

            South Sand Island and North Sand Island lie outside the

    entrance to Scammon Bay. Several small native settlements and their

    associated streams lie on the shores of Bering Sea between the mouth

    of the Kun and Black River, about 36 miles up the coast: Melatolik, a

    village on a creek with the same name; Bimiut, an Eskimo camp and village

    a few miles farther north; and Kwikak, an Eskimo village about 7 miles

    south of the mouth of the Black River.

            Black River is shown on some maps as following an extremely

    torturous, generally southwesterly 45-mile course, from one of the many small lakes

    which sprinkle the mainland in this vicinity, for about 45 miles past the

    village of Ulakakarvik, through Lake Nunawakanuk, to the village of

    Black (population 15 in 1939), at its mouth. This may be the same

    village which as appears on some maps as Kipniak.

            The entire stretch of coastline north of Scammon Bay is shoal

    and for several miles offshore. The mainland for hundreds of miles

    inland is a mass of marshes and lakes, most of which are connected by

    streams and creeks of varying size. This enormous expanse of tundra is

    the most important breeding ground for the waterfowl not only for

    Alaska but also for all of western Canada and the United States.

    Hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese come to this area every year to

    lay their eggs and raise their young. The existing wildlife conserva–

    tions laws are not yet enforced with sufficient strictness to stop the

    004      |      Vol_XII-0442                                                                                                                  

    natives from gathering these eggs by the boatloads every spring

    nor from clearing whole areas of nesting and half-grown birds by

    driving them into net corrals in July. Added to this human threat

    is the arrival, within the last few years, of the first coyotes to this

    region. Annabel points out in his recent book that unless something is

    done very soon to protect these birds from both these hazards they

    will be in danger of ultimate extinction.


            VSGB; USCP; Baker; Colby; Annabel. Hunting and Fishing in Alaska ; N.Y.

    Knopf, 1948

    001      |      Vol_XII-0443                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    21 April 48 HOMER, ALASKA

            450 wds

            HOMER, ALASKA (59° 37′ N.Lat.; 151° 27′ W.Long.), a town and

    post office on Coal Point, Kachemak Bay, Cook Inlet, 75 miles from Seward,

    was established in November, 1895. It lies at the end of Homer Spit, a

    narrow neck of land reaching southeastward into the bay. The increase in

    population from 35 in 1930, to 325 in 1939, is one proof of the wealth of

    resources in the vicinity and the progressive attitude of the people.

            Not only is the region rich in gold, copper and coal, but an

    estimated 35,000 acres of relatively treeless "Homer Country" is easily

    cultivated, deep, fertile soil. By 1937, 150 farmers, mostly from the

    Middle West, had arrived in Homer. In 1938 the Alaska Cooperative Association

    was incorporated to establish a 200-family settlement program. This, the

    first cooperative movement ever started in Alaska, was the work of residents

    of Cordova, a large town on the mainland 210 miles to the south. Neither the

    climate nor the promise of the soil disappointed the settlers. The mildness

    of the climate is well shown by the January, 1936, official weather report

    which recorded five inches of rain and temperatures above 40° for eleven

    days in succession. The region has 35 inches of rainfall a year and a

    relatively long growing season. Wheat, oats, barley, and all the hardy

    vegetables mature successfully. Cattle and sheep stay on pasture at least

    six months of the year. In about 1945 demands from military establishments

    on Kodiak Island caused a shift of emphasis from the raising of cattle to

    truck crops suitable for immediate consumption. Most farmers are specializing

    on potatoes, although lettuce, celery, cabbage, and berries are also in demand.

    002      |      Vol_XII-0444                                                                                                                  

    cabbage, and berries are also in demand . All available homesteading

    land for five miles beyond the town is now taken; although more land is still

    available in the outlying areas. In contrast with Matanuska Valley (q.v.) the

    development of the Homer area has gone forward entirely without

    government aid.

            Homer has a dock able to accom m odate large ships , and a road leads

    from the dock to the town. Boats run regularly to Seattle, Anchorage,

    and Seldovia. There is a fine CAA airport for land planes. A 1 1/2–

    mile artificial lake beside the municipal airport for landing amphibian

    and pontoon planes was nearing completion in October, 1947. There is

    a radiotelephone station connected with Anchorage. An extension of the

    Anchorage-Seward road is being built to Homer. This road will solve the

    accute distribution problems of the Homer farmer , for Wwater transportation

    is difficult, sometimes impossible , along the westernshore of Kenai

    Peninsula. The new Anchorage-Seward-Homer road supplies the final

    basic need for the development of Homer into a thriving community.

    Homesteading land is still available along this road. The Cooperative

    bought the cannery buildings at Kasilof, a town sixty miles to the north,

    and moved them to Homer. The town has three schools (including a High

    School), four churches, three restaurants, one theater, two mimeographed

    weekly newspapers, two general stores, two cold storage plants, a

    bakery, salmon packer, gift shop, insurance agent, and machine shop.

    The newest school, completed in 1940, and the newest of the two hotels,

    completed in 1947, the Alaska Cement Corporation announced plans

    to build a $1,125,000 cement plant at Homer Spit capable of producing

    600 barrels of cement a day. The plant will use native clay, gypsum,

    limestone and coal. It is expected that proposed military construction

    003      |      Vol_XII-0445                                                                                                                  

    will use the entire output of this company for two years.

            Fishing, canning and fur-farming are other successful

    projects in the region. Homer was once one of the most important

    trapping areas in all Alaska. A decade of intensive settlement,

    however, has greatly reduced the number of mink, beaver, otter, and foxes.

    The mart ien has been exterminated. In place of the hunter and trapper,

    therefore, has come the fur-farmer.

            Coal mining has always been important in the Homer area.

    Early gold seekers around Cook Inlet found coal lying loose on the

    beach. In 1890, five years before the town was established, a coal

    mine operated in McNeill's Canyon, about ten miles up Kachemak Bay.

    It is expected that present coal developments will soon be able to

    supply all the towns on Cook Inlet.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0446                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    May, 1949 POINT HOPE, ALASKA

            780 wds

            [ ?] HOPE, POINT (68° 21′ N.Lat., 166° 36′ W.Long.),

    one of the important promontories on the arctic coast of Alaska, is the

    extreme westerly tip of a low, narrow finger of land projecting some sixteen

    miles into the Polar Sea. Point Hope is about thirty miles south of Cape


            Beechey named this point in August, 1826, in honor of Sir

    William Johnstone Hope. It has been called Hoffnung (Hope) by German

    cartographers and Golovnin , or Golofnin , by Russian voyagers, and the

    Eskimo name, variously recorded as Tikira Tikira , Tikera Tikera , etc., is said to mean

    "forefinger." The name Golovnin, or Golofnin, is now generally used to identify

    the bay and sound on the north side of Norton Sound, Bering Sea.

            The surface of the land mass terminating in the Point is

    broken by a number of lagoons, and its shores fall away in a steep shingle

    beach. Most of these lagoons are not named on recent maps, but the largest,

    known as Marryatt Inlet, has its entrance on the north side of the promon–

    tory several miles northeastward from the Point itself. Vessels with a

    draft up to ten feet can enter Marryatt Inlet, and some schooners have,

    for several years, been using it as a wintering place. Pilots unfamiliar

    with this anchorage should sound out the channel before entering. It should

    also be remembered that during the first part of the season, when the ice

    is breaking up in the inlet, there is a strong out-going current which carries

    the ice along at a dangerous velocity. Point Hope proper is marked by a

    fixed white light maintained from August 1 to November 1 each year.

            Very few climatological observations have been taken in this

    area, but one set recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey between August, 1894,

    and July, 1896, reads as follows:

    002      |      Vol_XII-0447                                                                                                                  

    Maximum Minimum
    January + 23 -34
    February + 6 -41
    March + 38 -39
    April + 35 -32
    May + 55 -12
    June + 58 + 21
    July + 56 + 26
    August + 62 + 36
    September + 60 + 29
    October + 39 -1
    November + 34 -21
    December + 28 -36

            Mean total precipitation for the same period was 7.57″,

    with some fall recorded for 64 days out of the entire year. Precipitation

    was greatest during the summer months, relatively light from November through

    March, with a sharp increase in April. The maximum number of rainy days

    occurred in September.

            The first frost occurred on September 13 of 1894, and the first

    killing frost on October 16. The bay opened on July 17 and August 1, in 1895

    and 1896 respectively, and closed on November 19, in 1894.

    002a      |      Vol_XII-0448                                                                                                                  

            Writing in 1898, Lieut. E.P. Bertholf gave a good description

    of summer at Point Hope. "In July it was difficult to imagine I was 125

    miles north of the arctic circle, for the open sea showed nota sign of

    ever having had ice on its surface, the land was covered with many varieties

    of short-stemmed and brilliantly colored flowers, and the temperature, which

    had been as low as -45 during the winter, was such that one could wander about

    in shirt sleeves and not feel uncomfortable. And yet in spite of the fact

    that we could walk around lightly clad and gather quantities of flowers,

    with no ice or snow to be seen, if one were to dig below the surface of the

    ground in the neighborhood of Point Hope from above the Kookpuk River to

    about half way to Cape Thompson, solid glacial ice would be found at a depth

    varying from 2, to 7 or 8 feet. How far down this ice extends is not known,

    but under Mr. Nelson's storehouse an ice house has been chopped out to a

    depth of 15 feet, and the ice is still clear and solid."

    002b      |      Vol_XII-0449                                                                                                                  

            The settlement at Point Hope had a 1939 population of 257, a

    Federal school, and U.S. commissioner, and Episcopal mission, a post office,

    and a store. Planes equipped either with wheels or floats may land at Point

    Hope, and the settlement lies on the winter trail which runs southward to

    Kotzebue and Seward Peninsula, and northward to Point Barrow.

            Point Hope is advantageously situated for trading purposes.

    It is near the important sealing, whaling, and fishing grounds, while its

    proximity to the mouth of the Kukpuk River (q.v.) offers an easy route into

    the interior. Great numbers of Point Hope Eskimos travel the 150 or more

    miles down the coast to Kotzebue in order to trade with other natives from

    Cape Prince of Wales and from the far-distant interior regions of the Kobuk

    and Noatak Rivers.

    003      |      Vol_XII-0450                                                                                                                  

            POINT HOPE, ALASKA

            Tigara (q.v.) is a small Eskimo village a little eastward from the

    Point on the sand spit which forms the north side of Marryatt Inlet.


            Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

            Brooks, A.H. Geography and Geology of Alaska Geography and Geology of Alaska . Washington, 1906. (U.S.

    Geological Survey. Professional Paper Professional Paper No.45)



            Bertholf, E.P. Report of Second Lieut. E.P. Bertholf, R.C.S. Report of Second Lieut. E.P. Bertholf, R.C.S. July 15, 1898.

    (U.S. Treasury Department. Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue

    Cutter Bear and the Overland Expedition for the Relief of the Cutter Bear and the Overland Expedition for the Relief of the

    Whalers in the Arctic Ocean, from November 27, 1897, to September Whalers in the Arctic Ocean, from November 27, 1897, to September

    13, 1898 13, 1898 . Washington, 1899. pp.18-27)

    001      |      Vol_XII-0451                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins

    April, 1949 HOTHAM INLET, ALASKA

            Text-600 words

            Bibl-50 words

            HOTHAM INLET, east of Kotzebue Sound, an arm of the Polar Sea,

    separates the upper half of Baldwin Peninsula (q.v.) from the mainland

    of northwestern Alaska. This inlet was named by Capt. F.W. Beechey, in

    1826, "in compliment to the Hon. Sir Henry Hotham, K.C.B., one of the lords

    of the Admiralty."

            Capt. C.L. Hooper in his report of the second cruise of the

    Corwin Corwin , which took place in 1881, gives a good description of this Inlet.

    "Hotham Inlet...is between 30 and 40 miles in length and from 5 to 10

    miles in width; and although connected directly with the salt water is

    entirely fresh on account of the number of rivers which discharge int o it.

    To the southeast of Hotham Inlet and connected by a narrow channel is

    Selawik Lake, about 15 miles in width and 20 long, but very shallow. The

    entrance to the inlet was sounded out by one of the Corwin's boats last

    year, in the hope of finding a ship channel, but not more than one fathom

    was found at the entrance, although much deeper inside. The land near the

    inlet is low, but it is surrounded by a range of hills from 1,000 to 3,000

    feet high, from 10 to 30 miles distant. Those to the northward were called

    by Cook, Mulgrave Hills. To the eastward, in very clear weather, may be

    seen two conical hills called Deviation Peaks."

            The general trend of this inlet is southeast. The entrance is

    not only shoal but is also obstructed by wide mud flats and innumerable

    sand bars some of which are bare at low water. The channel within the

    Inlet is of considerably greater depth, having been reported as early as 1884

    as v arying from 18 to 43 feet for a distance of 20 or more miles. Because

    of the width of the mud flats which fringe both the mainland and the

    peninsula, no landing can be made at most places o n the Inlet.

            Stoney describes the condition of the entrance and the channels

    002      |      Vol_XII-0452                                                                                                                  

    during his visit in 1884: "Sounding out and temporarily buoying a channel

    over the bar, a mud and sand-bank about one thousand yards wide with eight

    feet depth on it at low water, we crossed over. At high water, and when the

    wind is from the southward and westward, two fathoms can be carried over.

    Winds from northward and eastward give the least depth. After crossing, a

    depth of three fathoms was carried in the channel for twenty miles, increas–

    ing in places to seven fathoms."

            Most of the mainland coastline of the Inlet is formed by the

    many-channelled delta of the Kobuk River (q.v.). Recent maps show no per–

    manent settlements on [ ?] this side of the Inlet, although there is a

    c abin at the mouth of Riley Channel, one of the more northerly mouths of

    the Kobuk.

            By way of Selawik Lake, Hotham Inlet receives the waters of

    the Selawik River, from the east, while the Noatak River enters the north side

    of the entrance at a point approximately opposite Kotzebue, on Baldwin


            There are no named promontories on the mainland side, whereas

    Pipe S p it, the northeastern tip of Baldwin Peninsula, Nimiuk Point,

    several miles to the south, and Attiunik Point, the southern entrance point

    to Selawik Lake, mark the peninsula side.

            The most important settlement in this entire region i s the large and

    the thriving town of Kotzebue (q.v.), on the northwestern tip of Baldwin


    003      |      Vol_XII-0453                                                                                                                  


    Baker, Marcus. Geographic Dictionary of Alaska Geographic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Beechy, Capt. F.W. Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Beering's

    Strait ... 1825, 26, 27, 28. Strait ... 1825, 26, 27, 28. London, 1831. 2v.

    Hooper, Capt. C.L. Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Thomas Report of the Cruise of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Thomas

    Corwin, in the Arctic Ocean, 1881 Corwin, in the Arctic Ocean, 1881 . Washington, 1884.

    Stoney, Lieut. G.M. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Naval Explorations in Alaska. Annapolis, Md., 1900.

    U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. United States Coast Pilot. Alaska United States Coast Pilot. Alaska .

    Part II. Part II. 5th (1947) ed. Washington, 1947.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0454                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins ✓HYDABURG, ALASKA

    20 April 48

            300 wds

            HYDABURG, ALASKA (55° 13′ N. LAT.; 132° 50′ W. LONG.), a

    native fishing village , had a population of 340 348 in 1939 1940 making it one of

    the largest Indian villages of south [ ?] eastern Alaska. It is located

    one-half mile inland on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island just

    across the Sukkwan narrows from the northernmost tip of Sukkwan Island. The

    town itself is on the low coastal strip which runs around most of

    Prince of Wales Island, but is backed by elevations of from 2,000 to

    3,000 feet. Insert (see Below)

    Hydaburg was founded on November 11, 1911 by a group of Haida Indians,

    from the little Indian village of Klinquan, lead by Mr. and Mrs. Charles

    W. Hawkesworth and several government representatives. The town was

    intended as, and has always remained, a strictly native settlement run

    on a cooperative basis. No white man is allowed to set up any business

    in Hydaburg. The site was chosen because of its fine harbor, nearness

    to the fishing grounds, and prospects of excellent hunting and trapping

    in the interior. From its outset Hydaburg, so named by Mrs. Hawkesworth,

    has been a prosperous community.
    In 1939 the Hydaburg Cooperative

    Association received

    a loan of $145,000 under the Indian Reorganization Act. Using an all–

    native crew, the Association built, equipped , and began the operation

    of a modern cannery. From April 1 to September 30 there is a weekly

    mail boat. There is a point to point r e adiotelephone and radio–

    telegraph station connecting with Ketchikan.

            In 1947 the Department of the Interior expanded the land

    reserves of Hydaburg by 101,000 acres. It also set up facilities for

    clearing land titles in all southeastern Alaska. All income from

    these land reserves will be credited to native villages, such as

    Hydaburg, for their free use. This grant of land to Hydaburg clears removes

    all native claims to the Tongass national Forest, (q.v.)

    since the natives of Hydaburg

    agreed to exchange it for the new land reserves.

            Hydaburg was founded on November 11, 1911 by a group of Haida Indians,

    from the little Indian village of Klinquan, lead by Mr. and Mrs. Charles

    W. Hawkesworth and several government representatives. The town was

    intended as, and has always remained, a strictly native settlement run

    on a cooperative basis. No white man is allowed to set up any business

    in Hydaburg. The site was chosen because of its fine harbor, nearness

    to the fishing grounds, and prospects of excellent hunting and trapping

    in the interior. From its outset Hydaburg, so named by Mrs. Hawkesworth,

    has been a prosperous community.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0455                                                                                                                  
    Lee Collins ✓HYDER, ALASKA

    20 April 48

            300 wds

            HYDER, ALASKA, is a town and post office at the head

    of Portland Canal, about 150 miles northeast of Ketchikan, just

    across the international boundary line from Stewart, British

    Columbia. It was named in 1910 in honor of a Canadian scientist,

    and is the American center of the Portland Canal mining district.

    The population, mostly Indian, was 254 in 1938.

            There is a 400-foot wharf which bends inshore somewhat

    for the last 215 feet. Depths off the wharf run from 22 to 30 feet.

    There is no fresh water on the wharf and strong current eddies make

    landing difficult. At the northern end of the wharf is a seaplane

    float. There is communication by small craft to Ketchikan. In

    1947 the Stewart telephone system was being rehabilitated to include

    a line to Hyder. The Hyder Radio & Telephone Co. operates station KDF

    A-1 emission, 425 kc.(705m.), 500 kc. (600 m.). Airplane transport

    of winter fuel oil was being planned in October, 1946. A road along

    the shore of Portland Canal connects Hyder with Stewart.

            Deposits of the natural gold-silver alloy electrum,

    valued at $14,000 to the ton, have been discovered by tunnel l ing

    under the glaciers which lie northwest of Hyder. These glaciers

    and their surrounding mountains are extremely beautiful and little

    explored. Tungsten has also been found in the vicinity. The

    Riverside Tungsten mine northwest of Hyder operates a mill in the

    town. The Premiere Mine, largest in the vicinity, renewed operations

    in June, 1947, after an eight-month shutdown. The Salmon Gold Mine,

    Portland Canal m ining area, reported in 1946 what appeared to be a

    large new vein of electrum assayed at 0.61 ounces of gold and 5

    ounces of silver per ton.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0456                                                                                                                  

    20 April 48

            850 wds

            ILIAMNA LAKE, Iliamna District, Alaska, just north of the Alaska

    Peninsula, is the largest lake in Alaska. Lying about midway between 59° and

    60° N.Lat., the lake extends northeast-southwest between 154° and 156° W.Long.

    It is about 70 miles long by 15 to 25 miles wide and is famous for the size and

    number of its rainbow trout. In recent years trout measuring up to 3 4 ″ have

    been caught here, but these giants do not approach in size the mythical blackfish,

    Iliamna, said to haunt the lake and to bite holes in the canoes of bad natives.

    In 1802, the Russians named this Lake Shelekhov, but it is now universally

    known as Iliamna Lake.

            For about one-half their length the north and south shores of the

    western end of the lake are fairly even, but the eastern half is indented by

    several small bays. Kakhonak Bay, with its five finger-like extensions, reaches

    into the south shore of the lake like a great hand which, in general outline,

    it resembles. The bay is about 7 miles long and about 5 miles wide at the

    greatest points. It is formed by a narrow-necked peninsula which stretches

    westward into the lake, partially cutting Kakhonak Bay off from the lake

    proper. The waters north of this peninsula are dotted with small islands.

    Kakhonak is a small settlement and post office on the shore just south of this

    bay. There is a reindeer station on the tip of one of the finger-like extensions

    at the head of Kakhonak Bay.

            Pile Bay, an extension of the eastern end of Iliamna Lake, is

    about 9 miles long by 2 to 3 miles wide. It is almost cut off from the main

    body of the lake by the largest of the many islands which are scattered here.

            Iliamna Lake is the source of the Kvichak River (q.v.) which drains

    from its southwestern end. The lake receives the Pile and Iliamna Rivers

    which rise in the glacier-covered mountains to the northeast, and many unnamed

    tributaries from the highlands which surround the lake on all sides except

    002      |      Vol_XII-0457                                                                                                                  

    the southwest. These mountains are all part [ ?] of the Aleutian Range and rise

    from heights of 2000 feet close by the lake to giant peaks, such as Iliamna

    Volcano, 10, 085 feet high, which lies only a little over 30 miles northeastward

    from the head of Pile Bay. The Newhalen River drains from Lake Clark (q.v.)

    and enters Lake Iliamna midway along the north shore. Kakhonak River enters

    at the head of Kakhonak Bay. On all sides except the northeast the territory

    around the lake is dotted with lakes. Gibralter, Kakhonak, Moose, and Meadow

    Lakes lie southeast of the lake, while to the west and [ ?] outhwest, where the

    land is low and marshy, intricate systems of tiny, unnamed lakes send tributaries

    into Iliamna Lake.

            Depths of many hundred feet are reported in the east end of Iliamna

    Lake. The lake is usually frozen over from late December to late May. In

    this vicinity some snow falls in September, but the ground at low altitudes

    is usually not completely covered for a few months thereafter. Most of the snow

    leaves the low ground during April, but it remains until June in the pass between

    Old Iliamna and Iliamna Bay, Cook Inlet.

            Old Iliamna, the largest settlement in the area, lies a few miles

    above the mouth of Iliamna River which enters the eastern tip of Pile Bay.

    It has a United States commissioner, three stores, a Government school, and

    a U.S. w eather Bureau Station with one observer, which was established in 1939. All parts

    of Iliamna Lake and the Kvichak River may be reached in gasoline launches available

    at Old Iliamna. The population of the village was estimated as 100, in 1939,

    In addition to gas and furs, the busy trading post in the settlement handles

    about 400 tons of goods a year.

            Old Iliamna is only 10 miles from Iliamna Bay, Cook Inlet, on the

    northeastern coast of the Alaska Peninsula, with which it is connected by a good

    trail. This trail crosses a 900-foot summit a few miles west of Iliamna Bay.

    At Old Iliamna the trail continues in two directions, southward to cabins in the

    mountains southeast of the lake, and westward to Ped ro Bay, a small settlement

    003      |      Vol_XII-0458                                                                                                                  

    a few miles from Old Iliam [ ?] , and to cabins along the north shore of the lake.

    There is a second trail leading westward from the head of Cottonwood Bay,

    just south of Iliamna Bay, which crosses three summits of 1700, 1500, and 1975

    feet, to join the trail previously described connecting cabins southeast of the

    lake with Old Iliamna. Horses and wagons can be used on these trails from

    June to November and dogs and sleds for the remaining months of the year. old

    Iliamna may also be reached by portage from the head of Kamishak Bay, at a point

    south of Cottonwood Bay, to Kakhonak Bay, but this route is seldom used except

    by natives because of the difficulty of landing supplies on the shores of this

    part of Kamishak Bay.

            Seversens is a small settlement on the north shore of Iliamnan Lkake

    which is connected by a winter trail to a village at the south end of Lake

    Clark, about 13 miles north, and to the village of Iliamna. Iliamna is a post

    office and native settlement on the north shore of Iliamna Lake only a few

    miles from Seversens. Newhalen, a few miles farther east, at the mouth of the

    Newhalen River, had a population of 55 in 1940. Recent maps show no towns

    on the remainder of the northwestern shore of Iliamna Lake. Igiugig, a village

    and post office on the lake at the head of the Kvichak River, had an estimated

    population of 100 in 1938. From mid-May to late September small boats and

    launches can navigate the Kvichak up to Igiugig, and, of course, beyond to

    other points along Iliamna Lake. Flights to all these points are conducted

    by planes equipped with floats.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0459                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins I MURUK BASIN, ALASKA

    November, 1948

            470 wds

            IMURUK BASIN (Imaourouk, Imurook, Imagazuk), western Seward Pen–

    insula, Alaska, is a shallow body of water connected by Tuksuk Channel

    with Grantley Harbor, which in turn leads westward into Port Clarence,

    and so to Bering Sea. Beechey reported the Eskimo name as Imau-rook , in

    1827, but it has also been called Cowvinik and Salt Lake.

            Several small streams flow into the south side of the Basin,

    the longest and most westerly of these being Canyo w n Creek, followed by

    White, Fall, Pond, Glacier, Snow, and Cobblestone Creeks. Several of

    these streams enter Windy Cove r , which indents the southern shore of

    the Basin.

            Cobblestone Creek enters the Basin only a few miles below

    the mouth of the Kaviruk, a wide stream which enters the head of Imuruk

    Basin from the north. About the middle of the nineteenth century a

    Franklin Search party recorded this stream as the Cov-vee-arak. Cov-vee-arak. The

    name has also appeared as Covearak Covearak , Kaurveren Kaurveren , Ka-oovern Ka-oovern , and Kvuveren Kvuveren .

    Some sources identify this river as with Mary's River Mary's River , but most modern

    maps have dropped this name entirely.

            Having bent northward for about five miles to meet the Kaviruk,

    the head of Imuruk Basin then veers southeastward, and, after about

    five more miles, splits up into several channels which finally develop into

    two well-defined forks.

            The southern fork, called the Kruzgamepa (q.v.), rises in the

    vicinity of Mount Osborn, well within the Kigluaik Mountains to the

    south. It flows southward until it leaves the Kigluaiks, then takes a

    northeasterly course around the east end of the range, after which it

    twists westward to its junction with the Kaviruk and Imuruk Bay.

            The northern fork, the Kuzitrin ( Koosetrien Koosetrien ) (q.v.), has its

    source in a broad, flat drainage basin northeast of Imuruk Basin. It

    002      |      Vol_XII-0460                                                                                                                  

    flows in a generally southwesterly direction for about sixty miles and de–

    bounches very near to the mouth of the Kruzgamepa.

            A fairly large unnamed stream flows into the northeast side of

    Imuruk Basin, but the main northern tributary, the Agiapuk River (q.v.),

    enters about midway of that side.

            Imuruk Basin is navigable to light-draft vessels. It early in this century , formed one

    link in the chain of water s ways , starting with Port Clarence and Grantley

    Harbor, and continuing up the Kuzitrin, by which supplies were brought

    into the Kougarok District early in this century. With the completion of

    the Seward Peninsula Railroad, now called The Pupmobile, down the

    Kruzgamepa and northward to Shelton, on the Kuzitrin, most freight ship–

    ments were brought to the mining camps of the interior by rail from

    Nome, rather than by water. However, a few supply ships still visit

    Imuruk Basin.

            Except for two sections, the northwestern and south-central,

    the Basin is surrounded by low, marshy grassland, usually called 'tundra.'

    This marshland is particularly extensive around [ ?] and

    eastward from the eastern end of the Basin, so that the streams entering

    this end follow a [ ?] sluggish, meandering course for their

    final few miles. In the main, however, the rivers of this area keep

    to a remarkably straight course, except for the Kruzpamepa and the

    Agiapuk, both of which are fed from several different watersheds with

    axes running in different directions. For this reason, these two rivers

    undergo major changes in direction.

            The lowlands and hills of this part of Alaska are timberless,

    although small willow and alder grow along the banks of the streams.

            Although Imuruk Basin was once the center of the gold mining

    excitement along the Bluestone River, a tributary to Tuksuk Channel,

    003      |      Vol_XII-0461                                                                                                                  

    because of its extreme shallowness, there was never a settlement on

    its shores. Supplies could be landed only with difficulty anywhere

    in the Basin, and, since no remarkable gold strikes have ever been

    made on the streams entering it, no settlement has grown up there.


            USCP. Alaska. Pt.II.1947


            U.S. C. & G.S. Chart No.9380

            Collier, Arthur J. (and others) Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsu- Gold Placers of Parts of Seward Peninsu-

    la, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port Clarence, la, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port Clarence,

    and Goodhope Precintcts and Goodhope Precintcts . Washington, D.C., 1908. (U.S. Geological

    Survey. Bulletin, Bulletin, No.328)

            Dall, William H. Alaska and Its Resourc Alaska and Its Resourc es. Boston, 1870.

    001      |      Vol_XII-0462                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins IMURUK LAKE, ALASKA

    March, 1949

            Text-420 wds

    Bibl-25 wds

            IMURUK LAKE, northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, is about 75

    miles northeast of Imuruk Basin, near 65° 33′ N.Lat., 163° 10′ W.Long.

    The Eskimo name, which has also appeared as Emuruk and Imourok was first

    reported by Mendenhall, in 1901.

            This lake, whic h has an area of about 31 square miles and which drains

    a basin of about 102 square miles, is the largest body of fresh water in

    Seward Peninsula. It occupies a lava plateau with an elevation of 960 feet.

            Imuruk Lake supplies water to the Noxapaga (q.v.), an important

    stream in the Kougaro k system, and to the Kugruk, on e of the main streams

    in the Fairhaven mining district. Forty-mile Fairhaven Ditch, one of the

    early efforts to bring a reliable water supply to the Inmachuk system, ran

    from Imuruk Lake to the upper Pinnell River and from there to Arizona Creek.

    This was one of the upper Pinnell River and from there to Arizona Creek.

    This was one of the most extensive ditch-building enterprizes in all of

    Seward Peninsula.

            The thin coat of lava over the plain gravels o f this region has

    interested geologists since the area was first officially surveyed by Collier,

    Mendenhall, and Moffit during the first decade of this century. The Imuruk

    Lake region shows the effects of an older lava flow than is represented

    in the upper Kuzitrin valley to the south and southwest. Geologists estimate

    that the volcanic activity around Kotzebue Sound extended over a considerable

    portion of the Pleistocene Age, ending only in comparatively recent geologic

    times. The Pleistocene Age, ending only in comparatively recent geologic

    times. The extruded lava occupied depressions and flowed down the river

    valleys in broad streams of molten rock. "At times," Moffit writes, "the

    cooling of the advancing front wall dammed back the flow and forced it over

    the low, rounded divides between the watercourses in the next valley beyond,

    or formed a lake which finally overflowed the obstr u ction and resumed its

    original course, only to repeat the process a little farther on. In this

    002      |      Vol_XII-0463                                                                                                                  

    way islands of bare ground were left between the great finger-likepro–

    trusions along the edge of the sheet. At the same time a shifting of the

    watercourses was br ou ght about, for when not of sufficient volume to fill it

    the lava occupied the lowest part of the valley and the waters sought a new

    channel parallel to the old one, along the edge of the hardened flow. A

    number of lakes and ponds also owe their existence to the d amming of streams

    by lava, among which may be mentioned Lake Imuruk, the largest body of fresh

    water on the peninsula."

    003      |      Vol_XII-0464                                                                                                                  


    [ ?]

    Baker, Marchs. Geo[g?]raphic Dictionary of Alaska Geo[g?]raphic Dictionary of Alaska . 2d ed. Washington, 1906.

    Brooks, A.H. Mineral Resources of Alaska, 1907. Mineral Resources of Alaska, 1907. Washington, 1908.

    (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 345)

    Moffit, F.H. Fairhaven Gold Placers, Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Fairhaven Gold Placers, Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Washington,

    1905. (U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin Bulletin 247)

    001      |      Vol_XII-0465                                                                                                                  
    Text- [ ?] 1,380

    Bibl-50 wds

    Ruby Collins


            INMACHUK RIVER, northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, rises on the

    western side of the divide separating it from Trail Creek, a tributary to

    the Goodhope River immediately to the west. It then flows generally north [ ?]

    eastward for about 30 miles to Kotzebue Sound, at Deering.

            Hannum Creek, from the northwest, and Pinnell River, from the

    south, chief tributaries to the Inmachuk, each drain larger areas than does

    the main river above these junctions. Below the Pinnell, several smaller

    tributaries, Arizona, Fink, Washington, West, Cue, and Mystic Creeks,

    enter the Inmachuk.

            The Hannum valley is deep and narrow. Its principal tributaries

    are Cunningham, Milroy, and Collins Creeks. The Pinnell rises in a broad

    swamp formed by the lava flow, but about seven or eight miles below its head,

    the river has cut a deep narrow. Canyon through the laval-covered gravels,

    and drops about 300 feet in half a mile. Mag n et, June, Perry, Old Glory

    Creek, and Snow Gulch are the chief affluents to the Pinnell. These streams

    rise in the vicinity of the 1800-foot peak called Asses Ears, so named by

    Kotzebue in August, 1816, because of the appearance of its double summit.

            The Inmachuk Valley is characterized by a lava rim which follows

    the left side of the Pinnell for several miles and then crosses to the right

    side and continues down the Inmachuk to the coastal plain. Below the

    Pinnell canyon this rim is generally 300 to 400 feet above the level of the


            The Inmachuk, below the Pinnell, and the basins of Hannum and

    Old Glory Creeks contain gold placers which were first discd. worked in 1900. [ ?] Describ-

    ing the mineralization of Hannum Creek region, Moffit writes: "Besides the

    gold, the heavy concentrates from the sluice boxes show a large number of

    001a      |      Vol_XII-0466                                                                                                                  
    Ruby Collins


            Writing in 1904 Moffit says: "The first prospecting in the Kotzebue

    gold field was done in the latter part of the season of 1900 by William T. Fee

    ("Missouri Bill"), who discovered gold on Old Glory Creek in the fall of that

    year. Mr. Fee seems to have prospected all the streams heading up toward the

    east side of the Asses Ears, but did no staking, owing to the failure of his

    supplies and the consequent necessity of returning to Nome as quickly as possi–

    ble. Old Glory was staked on September 21 of the same year by William H. Davis

    and Jessie Pinnell. Three days later, on September 24, gold was discovered

    on Hannum Creek, a tributary of Inmachuk River, by Z.E. Foster and Fred Sand–

    strum, who staked the creek on that day.

            "No work done on the gravels in the fall of 1900, owing to the

    shortness of provisions and the lateness of the season. Snow was already

    falling, and the prospectors returned to Nome, the nearest recording place to

    this then unknown region, to register their claims and prepare for active work

    during the following season. Their reports on the region caused considerable

    excitement among the miners wintering in Nome, and some time in the early months

    of 1901 M.V. Perry crossed the country on the snow with a dog team and staked

    the creek now known by his name, Perry Creek.

            " With the opening of spring a considerable rush of prospectors to the

    new field took place, and a large number of claims were staked on nearly all

    the neighboring creeks, both to the west and to the east. The first locations

    on the Inmachuk proper were made by Messrs. Applegate and Perry on Discovery,

    at 'Hot Springs'... 2 1/2 miles above the mouth of the Hannum. Very little

    work aside from the location of claims was done in the Inmachuk Valley during

    1901, for in the latter part of the season the news of very rich finds on

    Candle Creek drew many men away and notably retarded the development of the

    [ ?] properties. This condition continued during the season of 1902,

    001b      |      Vol_XII-0467                                                                                                                  

    but the summer of 1903 witnessed a revival of interest in the Inmachuk and

    its tributaries, and a still further increase in the development in 1904 is certain.

            "C andle Creek was staked about July 23, 1901, by Messrs. Enos Thomas,

    Alexander Patterson, Robert Schneider, and Blankenship, and up to the present

    time has produced a much greater amount of gold than any of the other streams

    of this field. Although Mr. Blankenship was probably the first miner to

    drive stakes on Candle Creek, Messrs. Thomas, Patterson, and Schneider were the

    first to enter the region and made the original discovery of gold on Jump Creek,

    a small tributary which comes in from the west and joins Candle Creek about

    1 1/2 miles above Kiwalik River. These four men staked claims on the most

    promising portions of the main stream and one claim each on the lower ends of

    the t ributaries, thus acquiring right to a consider a ble amount of ground, part

    of which has proved to be of much value.

            "News of the strike spread quicly and was followed by a stampede

    of miners in the late fall, so that the entire creek was soon taken up and

    scores of men with rockers busied themselves in cleaning out the richer and

    more readily worked portions of the gravels. As high as an ounce of gold per

    day was paid to shovelers on some claims...

            "The total production of the Kotzebue gold field for the three years

    during which mining operations have been carried on is probably not far from

    $415,000. Of this amount Candle Creek alone has turned out over three-fourths."

            Describing the mineraliza t ion of Hannum Creek region, Moffit writes:

    "Besides the gold, the heavy concentrates from the sluice boxes show a large

    number of

    002      |      Vol_XII-0468                                                                                                                  

    rounded and polished pebbles of hematite or ' iron stones, ' some pyrite, and

    a small quantity of galena, which is probably derived from the limestone area

    west of Cunningham Creek, and will be referred to again. B lack sand is not

    found with the gold, since magnetite occurs in very small quantity; the magnet

    discovers only occasionally small pieces in the tailings from the sluice boxes.

    ' Gray sand ' or finely ground pyrite appears constantly in the pan. and larger

    pieces up to 2 or more inches in diamet i