Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/657

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
641
THE GOLD SANDS OF CAFE NOME.

extending beyond Synrock on the west and, with interruptions, to Nome River on the east. The full extent of the auriferous sands remains unknown, however, and report claims for them reappearances throughout the entire coast as far as Cape Prince of Wales. The season's work gave easy and lucrative employment to perhaps fifteen hundred, mostly needy, prospectors, who realized on an average certainly not less than fifteen dollars per day, and many as much as sixty, seventy, and eighty dollars. It is claimed, and I have little reason to doubt the truthfulness of the statement, that from a single rocker, although operated by two men, one hundred and fifty dollars had been taken out in the course of nine hours' work. It is also asserted that two men realized a fortune of thirteen

PSM V56 D0657 Erecting a steam pump.png
Erecting a Steam Pump (Nome).

thousand dollars as the result of their combined season's work, and two others are said to have rocked out forty-five hundred dollars in the period of a month. Women have, to an extent, shared with men the pleasures of "rocking gold from the sea," and their application in the toils of the sea plow, with booted forms, rolled up sleeves, and sunbonnets, was certainly an interesting variation on the borders of the Arctic Circle from the scenes one has grown accustomed to at Atlantic City or Newport.

The placer deposits of the Nome district are in the form of shallow, largely or mostly unfrozen gravels, which occupy varying heights, partly in disrupted or overhanging benches, of the valleys and gulches which trench the slate and limestone mountains. Perhaps the most favored ones are those of Anvil and