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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fairbanks in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
 

Tanana Valley Gold

 
 
Tanana Valley Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 29, 2012
1. Tanana Valley Gold Marker
Inscription. The gold deposit found in 1902 north of present-day Fairbanks proved to be the richest in Alaska. Prospector Felix Pedro and trader E.T. Barnette played key roles in the discovery and initial rush. A second strike made the following summer catapulted a temporary trading post into the largest city in the territory.

A Prospector and Trader Meet
Felix Pedro, an Italian immigrant, claimed he made a rich gold strike in 1898 in the Tanana Valley foothills. While trying to find it again in 1901, he purchased supplies from E.T. Barnette’s temporary trading post on the Chena River. The post was nearly a hundred miles from the nearest trail or gold strike. Barnette had been left at the site by the riverboat captain he had hired to take him to the upper Tanana River.

A Premature Stampede
Pedro returned to Barnette’s post on July 28, 1902, to announce a new gold discovery. Barnette sent word of the strike to nearby gold camps, exaggerating its richness. Seven hundred people then stampeded to the Tanana Valley. These rushers found the nearby creeks already staked, few claims being worked and Barnette charging high prices for supplies. With no money and no jobs, the stampeders camped near Barnette’s trading post convened a miners’ meeting in January 1903. They considered hanging the promoters of the new camp. Before there
Tanana Valley Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 29, 2012
2. Tanana Valley Gold Marker
was any blood shed, Barnette agreed to lower his prices.

Striking it Really Big
In the fall of 1903, miners on Cleary, Fairbanks and Ester creeks in the Tanana foothills announced rich gold discoveries. Another rush occurred and 1,500 people were mining in the area by Christmas. The camp Barnette named Fairbanks grew into a city of saloons and two-story buildings. The amount of gold mined increased from $40,000 in 1903 to $9.6 million in 1909. The Tanana gold fields were Alaska’s richest, and within a few years Fairbanks became the territory’s largest city.
 
Erected by The Gold Rush Centennial.
 
Location. 64° 20.405′ N, 146° 51.905′ W. Marker is near Fairbanks, Alaska, in Fairbanks North Star Borough. Marker is on Richardson Highway (Alaska Route 2), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at a roadside pull-off overlooking the Tanana River, about 50 miles south of Fairbanks. Marker is in this post office area: Fairbanks AK 99701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Alaska's Gold Rush Era (here, next to this marker).
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Prospector Felix Pedro and trader E.T. Barnette played key roles in the Tanana
Tanana River, view southwest, near marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 29, 2012
3. Tanana River, view southwest, near marker
River Valley gold rush.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of Fairbanks, Alaska. The history of Fairbanks, the second-largest city in Alaska, can be traced to the founding of a trading post by E.T. Barnette on the south bank of the Chena River on August 26, 1901. (Submitted on September 27, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Felice Pedroni, discoverer of gold in Fairbanks, was born in Italy. He had been prospecting in the hills around the Tanana Valley in the interior of Alaska, during the Klondike Gold Rush in Yukon Territory, Canada. (Submitted on September 27, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Tanana River. (Submitted on September 27, 2012, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
 
Categories. ExplorationIndustry & CommerceNatural ResourcesSettlements & Settlers
 
Tanana River, view northeast (toward Fairbanks), near marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 29, 2012
4. Tanana River, view northeast (toward Fairbanks), near marker
Felix Pedro, Birch Tree Relief Carving image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2012
5. Felix Pedro, Birch Tree Relief Carving
Beautiful relief carving of Felix Pedro in a Birch Tree located on the patio deck at Historical Chena Pump House Restaurant in Fairbanks.
Felix Pedro image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2012
6. Felix Pedro
Felix Pedro stuck gold on July 22, 1902, in a creek 12 miles north of E. T. Barnette's Trading Post.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 657 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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