Fairbanks Gold Rush

The Fairbanks Gold Rush was a gold rush that took place in Fairbanks, Alaska in the early 1900s.[1] Fairbanks was a city largely built on Gold Rush fervor at the beginning of the 20th century. Discovery and exploration continue to thrive in and around modern-day Fairbanks.[2]


Felix Pedro

Felix Pedro spent years searching for gold. He tried to find gold in the creeks and valleys of the Tanana Valley where Fairbanks would begin before he found the "American Klondike". A trader named E.T. Barnette and his wife, Isabelle, were aboard the riverboat Lavelle Young in August 1901, trying to establish a trading post at Tanacross on the Tanana River. Low water conditions stopped the journey before Barnette could reach his destination. Co-owner of the Lavelle Young, Captain Charles Adams, turned into the Chena River, a tributary of the Tanana, instead. Shallow water stopped the Lavelle Young, and Adams refused to go further, so the Barnettes set up shop there.[1]

Barnette opened a trading post on the Chena River after Pedro had told him he had made some good "prospects." On July 22, 1902, Pedro discovered gold north of Fairbanks in Interior Alaska which triggered the beginning of the Fairbanks Gold Rush,[3] which set off a stampede that transformed the town.[4] Barnette dispatched Jujiro Wada, a Japanese immigrant from Ehime on Shikoku Island, to Dawson City to spread the word that gold had been found in order for Barnette to create a market for his goods.[1] After Wada spread the word about the gold being discovered, many miners who had not already left for the Nome Gold Rush traveled to Fairbanks. The prospectors soon found jobs working for Barnette—prospecting for him by panning and sluicing for gold in Fairbanks.[3]

On July 22, 1910, approximately eight years after he had discovered gold north of Fairbanks, Felix Pedro died at St. Joseph's Hospital in Fairbanks of an apparent heart attack.[1][5]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Gold Rush History of Fairbanks". fairbanks-alaska.com. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  2. Sonya Senkowsky. "Fairbanks: Gold Rush history, weather extremes are part of the culture". Alaska.com. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  3. 1 2 "Fairbanks Hotels, Alaska Vacations & Group Tours : Fairbanks Alaska CVB". explorefairbanks.com. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  4. Schwartzman, M.T. (March 2002). "Tourist gold mines: Fairbanks, Juneau – tales of Alaska, gold and history". Travel America. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
  5. "Italians in the Gold Rush and beyond: Felice Pedroni". 2001. Retrieved 2008-11-16.

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External links

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