Posted on September 22, 2017

Nome, Alaska’s Anniversary

On this day, September 22, in 1898, the “Three Lucky Swedes”: Norwegian-American Jafet Lindeberg, and two Swedish-Americans, Erik Lindblom and John Brynteson, staked the discovery claim on Anvil Creek near Nome. People rushed to get in on the next big rush, many from other gold strikes in the north. Eight thousand people came from Dawson in the same week, and Nome became a boomtown. 

As with other gold rushes, many stampeders arrived to find all the good claims taken. Then, a group of claim jumpers took claims by force. It took a long time to get that straightened out. But there was one silver lining—in Nome, there was also gold dust in the beach sand, and people lined the beach to sluice there.

My characters Jeannie and Clint end up mining the beach in my book Quicksilver to Gold. I had a lot of fun researching and writing that book. You’ve probably seen this photo of me on the Nome beach. 

 

Lynn Lovegreen on Nome beach

 

 

Later, Nome evolved into a settled town. It is now famous for being the endpoint for the Iditarod sled dog race. But the TV show Bering Sea Gold and other pop culture stories keep the Gold Rush in people’s minds.

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