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A Clue to Alaskan Treasure

By Ron Anderson

There was a T.V. sitcom many years ago with the theme song which said, “Time goes by and so do we. How we do it is a mystery.”

After spending forty-five of my seventy-six years in Alaska, I am amazed at how brief the wonderful time there seemed to fly by — like a mystery for sure. Village teaching, bush flying, commercial fishing and prospecting made time go by quickly. Prospecting was especially enjoyable. Actually the time I spent planning during the dark, cold days of winter what I might pursue when the long beautiful days of summer came was the most exciting part.

I was very fortunate to take many prospecting and mining classes over three decades under the direction of Leo Mark Anthony. What a great teacher! He often said he had enough prospecting projects to last him four-hundred years. I don’t have that many, but I have gathered a lot of leads. Knowing my active prospecting days are coming to an end, I want to share a clue for your Alaska treasure searching.

I am not very excited about the benefits of most federal programs and agencies. However, one outstanding exception was the Bureau of Mines. They were created to assist prospecting and mining industry in finding and developing the nation’s mineral resources. The people of the Bureau of Mines were the most helpful, well educated, hard-working organization I have had the good fortune of doing business with. They carried out their assigned goals effectively and always in a cost efficient manner. They paid for themselves many times over. As might be expected, our bloated, bureaucratic government discontinued the Bureau of Mines many decades ago.

One of the last projects they completed before closing down consisted of researching all mining claims staked in Alaska from earliest times up to a modern cut off date. These claim locations were then platted on quadrangle maps.

When I learned of these maps, I purchased both the completed sets of mylar and printed maps. Oh, the dreaming I did studying those old claim sites.

As luck would have it I only visited one of these remote locations. It was fifty-four miles of walking through muskeg and clouds of mosquitoes. I did find some gold there. How much was at bedrock, I couldn’t stay long enough to determine. I do know there were more very old claims staked in the early days just over the next ridge. I have often wondered what was in those gravels. I have dreamed of going back, but haven’t yet.

It was almost twenty years ago I purchased the sets of maps from the mineral research library in Anchorage. I don’t know of anyone else who has printed copies of these maps as they cost many hundreds of dollars. I feel they are probably still there to be researched in the library.

You might just find the treasure some grizzled pioneer found, staked, and never got to return and mine it. Good Prospecting to you.

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Author Ron Anderson

Editors note: You can read more about author/pilot/teacher/adventurer Ron Anderson by going to www.westernminerpublisher.com

Anderson has written many books on Alaska Called Adventures in the Northlandvaried subjects. His book, Alaska Called: Adventures in the Northland of his true life adventures of moving to Alaska in the 1950s and his adventures of he and his new wife being Alaska bush teachers in the Native villages is a must read for those interested in the Alaskan way of life.You can read more about this book and purchase by clicking HERE or on the cover image.

 

Alaska Boy of Huslia

Anderson's other Alaskan book Alaska Boy of Huslia is great for the the pre-teen youngsters about young Tim Bifelt’s adventures growing up in northern Alaska will introduce you to the life of an Athabascan Indian boy in the 1950’s. His home of Huslia is located on the banks of the beautiful Koyukuk River not far south of the Arctic Circle. One hundred twenty-five relatives and neighbors are living mostly off the land as did their ancestors. You will travel with Tim as he hunts, traps, lives the life of a responsible son and student. Times are changing and Tim is caught between the past and the future. He meets each new experience with uncommon courage and wisdom for his young age

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