The Lost and Sunken Treasure of Alaska By Noel Richards

In 1932, another group of Eskimos found the ship near Barrow, but it drifted away before they could salvage it. The Baychimo was last seen in 1956 in the Beaufort Sea. The rich cargo of furs, probably intact and frozen today, on this ghost ship has yet to be salvaged and is still afloat somewhere in the Arctic. Anaktuvuk Pass is located in the Endicott Mountains through which the Hickel Highway now cuts. It is one of the few passes in these mountains that was used by prehistoric hunters during the glacial times more than 25,000 years ago. More than thirty settlements of these early men have been identified, but there are many more yet to be found and none have been properly investigated by archaeologists to date. The largest known deposit of Nephrite Jade in the Western Hemisphere is located about 30 miles W of Kobuk Village along the Kobuk River at a place called Jade Hills. In 1981, a summer dredge operation of a treasure hunter produced twenty-seven pounds of gold nuggets from a single season's workings in the upper reaches of the Koyukuk River. The largest nugget weighed over eight troy ounces. The legendary gold rush of 1898 took place along Anvil Creek, 4 miles N of Nome. A tent-city stretching for 15 miles along Nome Beach sprang up and two years later, the entire peninsula was being worked. In 1899, the beaches yielded $10 million in gold. Today, the beaches are still worked by gold seekers. The number of ruins in this area are uncountable and is a paradise for relic and coin cache hunters. In 1902, a lone prospector discovered a rich gold-in-quartz lode, supposedly in the timbered slopes N of the present Yakutat airport on the Gulf of Alaska, and built a cabin in the St. Elias Mountains nearby. Later assay reports showed the ore to run $1370 to the ton. Stories said that the ledge was located at the top of the Alaskan panhandle on the S slopes of St. Elias, near the border of Alaska, Yukon Territory and British Columbia. The Alaskan Lost Cabin Mine has yet to be found.˙USAKC10117A 18840 1640 424 873ZA5 853117A. In 1884, three prospectors traveling across the St. Elias Mountains near the Yukon River came to a small lake where they found the bar literally covered with gold nuggets. The first one they picked up weighed ten pounds; another fifty pounds. They built a cabin and remained at the lake for weeks, picking up gold nuggets by the handful and storing them in a nearby cave. They estimated their accumulated hoard at 1/2 ton or more. A band of hostile Tlinghet Indians struck, killing one of the miners and burned the cabin. The other two managed to escape and, after enduring unbelievable hardship, reached the States. One of the men became paralyzed and the other headed back to the site the following summer but was never heard from again. It is believed that he was killed by the Indians in his attempt to recover the

gold, a steamboat carrying $75,000 in gold from the Yukon mines was broken into by a night watchman and the gold stolen. The boxes were thrown overboard in the area of the Yukon River, about 95 miles W of Fort Yukon and 2 miles from an old miners cabin still known as Victor's Place. The location was marked by floats from a fishing net. Victor suddenly claimed to have found a gold mine along the Hodzana River but was tight-lipped as to the exact whereabouts. Victor was found dead in his cabin just three years later, in 1913. It was surmised by prospectors in the area that Victor was a partner with the steamboat guard, and many believe the balance of the gold was never recovered and remains cached somewhere near his old cabin. In the 1880s, Arthur Harpur found a rich placer gold deposit near the mouth of the N Fork of the Forty Mile River, about 10 miles NNE of Chicken. The samples assayed an incredible $20,000 to the ton. When he returned the following summer to develop his find, spring ice had obliterated the site and he was never able to relocate the deposit. A guard, on a steamboat carrying $40,000 in gold dust and nuggets, stole the sacks from the ship's strongroom in the 1890s and buried the gold ashore while the boat was tied up at the Fairbanks wharf. He was found out, tried and sent to prison where he died without ever recovering the treasure. American Creek, about 10 miles from Eagle and near the present-day campground, has produced a large quantity of gold to recent-day visitors. SITE: Eagle, a/k/a Belle Isle, is located in the heart of the Yukon gold region. Established in 1876 as a fur trading post, it became a boomtown during the gold rush of the 1890s. A number of deserted mining cabins and mine shafts surround the entire area. In 1918, the Princess Sophia sank during a blinding snowstorm taking 343 passengers, their personal possessions and $2 million in cash to the bottom of the sea. The sinking took place at Vanderbilt Reef, 40 miles from Juneau. Many wealthy miners, businessmen and nobles were among the dead, all of whom were known to be carrying vast amounts of gold and jewelry. The wreck is located alongside Vanderbilt Reef in Lynn Canal under nine fathoms of water and is now marked by a lighted buoy.

A few years ago, two divers recovered some of the ship's relics including the Sophia's steering wheel, but no major salvage attempt has been made to recover the millions in treasure aboard the rusting hull.˙USAKK200091 17901 6550 6521243ZA4 17291. SITE: A few miles S of Kodiak is the ruins of a Russian settlement on Three Saints Bay, founded in 1784. In the 1860s, a group of one hundred prospectors boarded a ship in Victoria believing a prospector's tale of a barren island to the north that was rich in gold. One of the men, a tenderfoot named Silas Lukey, took samples of everything that looked to be of value. One of his samples was a soft whitish-colored metal-like rock that could be cut with a knife. His fellow partners laughed at him and told him it was nothing but low-grade lead. Fifteen years later found Lukey working in a galena-silver mine in Colorado and again came across his keepsake sample from Alaska. Out of curiosity, he took the rock to the mine assayer where he learned it was similar to the ore he was working, except that his was ten times richer. He sold all of his possessions and boarded a boat to return to the barren island. Lukey went directly to Queen Charlotte Island and spent three years searching for the silver lode. Discouraged and unsuccessful, he told an old Indian his story. The Indian said that he knew where such ore was plentiful and that the next summer they would go together and become rich, but that winter the Indian died and a few months later, Lukey, too, passed on. Prospectors from Juneau made a search of various islands and believed that Lukey had searched the wrong island and they concentrated their efforts on Prince of Wales Island a little to the north. While nothing was found while searching for Lukey's mine, a belt of silver was discovered about twenty years later, but none of the ore came even close to being as rich as that which Lukey had assayed: Today, Skagway is a mere remnant of its gold rush boom days. It was a den of brothels, taverns and gambling halls located at the extreme N tip of Lynn Canal and was the jumping-off place for nearly every prospector and fortune hunter during the gold rush period when the town had a population of 20,000. Less than seven hundred people reside there today and remnants of many abandoned cabins, buildings and mining operations can be found in the area: Wrangell, near the mouth of the Stilkine River, was founded by Russian traders in 1834. It became a boom town during the gold rushes of 1870 and 1897-1900. The ruins of hundreds of buildings, cabins and mining operations can be found in the area. Hundreds of small gold mining operations can be seen along the road between Fox and Manley Hot Springs. Gold can be found in every stream along this route to the diligent seeker. Forrest Hayden and two companion prospectors found a fabulously rich gold strike on one of the small creeks that empty into the Kuskokwim River, 70 miles N of Kantishna in 1912. Hayden left his two partners at the site and went to town for supplies. He then returned to the site but was never seen again. In 1914, one of his partners appeared in what is now Palmer with two sacks filled with coarse placer gold. Even today in this area has never been thoroughly prospected and the location is an excellent one in which to find gold. Two men robbed a riverboat steamer of $13,000 in gold dust and nuggets contained in an iron box around 1890. Aboard the boat as passengers, they stole the chest from a locked room at night, tied a rope around the chest at one end and a life preserver on the other. Making careful notes of landmarks, they pushed the chest overboard in the Tanana River joins it. They disembarked at the nest stop and returned to the site but could not find the chest. Somehow the life preserver became dislodged from the rope and the chest was lost in the river. The men were later captured but the chest of gold could not be found.. GT: Kantishna, about 30 miles N of Mt. McKinley on Hwy. 3 and Moose Creek. Was a booming gold camp that had 2,000 residents in 1910. GT: Iditarod, on the Iditarod River between the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. Reached a peak population of 2,000 people during the gold rush and was widely known as a gambler's paradise. Over $18 1/2 million in gold was removed from area mines from 1910 until the mines were ordered closed because of WWII in 1942. A young prospector remembered only as "Frank" accumulated a great number of fruit jars full of gold dust and nuggets during the gold rush in the Klondike around 1897. He took a dozen jars back home with him on a trip to Welsh Hill, Pennsylvania, but when he returned to the Klondike, he mysteriously died. His intentions were to pick up his remaining fruit jars filled with gold and sell his claim near Dawson. His fruit jars of gold still await today's treasure hunter.

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