Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Social Sciences


Patrick E Martin


Placer miners in Alaska’s interior were part of the last great gold rush in North America. As word of gold in the Fairbanks Mining District traveled down the Yukon River, a wave of miners from the Klondike placer fields in Dawson, along with a assortment of speculators and inexperienced green horns from the Lower 48 converged on the confluence of the Tanana and Chena rivers hoping to strike it rich. The steamers coming from Dawson were integral; they carried miners with experience working the frozen subarctic placer deposits of the Klondike. These miners encountered new environmental challenges that required the development of new technologies and mining methods to efficiently harvest gold. These methods and machines were brought into Fairbanks and further perfected to account for the local conditions. This thesis describes the local mining technologies and methods employed in the Fairbanks district and the landscape patterns created during the placer mining boom years of 1903-1909, decline years of 1910-1923 and recovery of 1923-1930.