Timeline of the Alaskan Gold Rush

1849 Russian Mining engineer discovers gold and coal on Kenai Peninsula.
1861 Buck Choquette discovers gold at Telegraph Creek near Wrangell.
1870 Gold found at Sumdum Bay, SE Alaska.
1871 Gold discovered at lndian River near Sitka.
1873 Jack McQuestern, Arthur Harper and Alfred Mayo begin prospecting along the Yukon River.

lndians agree to allow prospectors to use Chilkoot Pass.

Joe Juneau and Richard Harris make major gold strike on Gold Creek near Juneau.


Congress passes the Organic Act of 1884, providing a civil government for Alaska.


Howard Franklin strikes Gold on Fortymile River ln Interior Alaska.


Alexander King discovers gold on Kenai Peninsula.


Gold discovered near Hope, Rampart and Circle.


George Washington Carmack, Tagish Charlie and Skookum Jim make a discovery on Bonanza Creek, setting off the great Klondike Gold Rush.


S.S.Excelsior and S.S. Portland arrive at San Francisco and Seattle loaded with Klondike Gold, the stampede begins.

U.S. Army establishes Fort St.Michael, first of six Gold Rush posts.


Sixty five people die ln Chilkoot Pass avalanche.

U.S. soldiers arrive in Skagway to maintain order.

Construction begins on White Pass & Yukon Railway, completed July 29, 1900.

Notorious Soapy Smith shot and killed in Skagway.

The "Three Luck Swedes" discover gold on Seward Peninsula.


Mining begins on the beaches of Nome.

Construction begins on Valdez-Eagle Military Trail, later to become the Trans-Alaska Military Road.


Congress authorizes construction of telegraph lines and submarine cables to connect Alaska's military posts with each other and with the rest of the U.S.

Alexander McKenzie and Judge Arthur H. Noyes arrive ln Nome and start a fraudulent scheme to seize rich mining claims.

"Son of the Wolf", Jack London's first book on the Klondike, is published.


Felix Pedro discovers gold on Pedro Creek. Leads to the founding of Fairbanks.

1903 Boundary Tribunal settles boundary dispute between Alaska and British Columbia


Robert Service writes his first two poems, "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee".

Nome Kennell Club organizes to promote sled dog racing.

Gold discovered in Chadalar District.

1908 Alaska Road Commission surveys route from Seward to Nome, later called the Iditarod Trail.
1909 Iditarod discovery made.


The "Sourdoughs," four Kantishna miners, make first ascent of Mt. McKinley's North Peak.

Stampede to Ruby.

1911 Kennicott copper mines begin production.


Congress passes Organic Act of 1912, giving Alaska Territorial Status and a Legislature.


Gold found at Marshall.

Sidney Laurence completes his first monumental painting of Mt.McKinley.

1914 Gold discovered at Livengood, near Fairbanks.

Back to index of stories.
Used with permission.
Gold Rush Centennial Task Force, State of Alaska.

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Alaska's Gold was developed through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission by the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development.  1999.  All rights reserved.   Alaska Gold Themes written by Cristine Crooks, Alaska Consultants in Education.  Alaska's Gold Themes website developed by WEBDesign.