MP-1979.111.185 | Sluicing, Blake's Claim & party, Buster Creek, Nome, Alaska, 1900

Sluicing, Blake's Claim & party, Buster Creek, Nome, Alaska, 1900
Edwin Tappan Adney
1900, 20th century
Silver salts on film - Gelatin silver process
16 x 21 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  event (534) , History (944) , Industry (942) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

This photograph shows the sluicing process quite clearly. The miners have built a dam to create a pond. Water from the pond will be let into the sluice-box, which is just below the centre of the photo, and then shut off from time to time to recover the gold. In the Yukon, the actual mining of gold-bearing dirt was done in the winter. Because there is permafrost in the Klondike, fires were built on the ground, and the melted dirt was put in a pile. As a shaft was burned down into the ground, the freezing air kept the shaft from collapsing, so no timber was needed. The sluicing was done in the spring when the creeks thawed.

  • What

    This photo gives an overview of the way that water was used in placer mining.

  • Where

    The miners are sluicing for gold at Buster Creek, Alaska.

  • When

    The sluicing technique was developed in California about half a century before this picture was taken in 1900.

  • Who

    This is another picture of H. L. Blake and his partners working their claim.