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‘From the Gold Land’

Transcibed 1/31/2021

Noon, J. “From the Gold Land.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 17, 1896. Accessed November 12, 2020.



It is in the Cook Inlet Country and Its Exact Location is on Resurrection Bay – John Noon, an Old-Time Prospector, Who Has Beaten Up That Far-Away Country Since Last May, Makes the Find – A Ledge 300 Feet in Width – it Will Be Worked as Soon as Possible.

The steamer City of Topeka, which arrived in port yesterday morning, brought down information of another new and hitherto unexplored gold district that is quoted aa being exceptionally rich in the yellow metal. The district is westward of Prince William’s sound, a short distance below the westernmost passage, about 25 miles distant. It is back of a small estuary, a part of Resurrection bay and is described as follows:

Immediately back of the head of the bay and appearing as a divide separating the sea coast from the Turn-Again arm gold fields, in the opposite side of which the Kenai river finds its source, is a range of mountains which until this season it is thought never before has been disturbed by the prospector’s pick. John Noon, an old-time prospector, was one of the many attracted toward Cooks inlet last spring, but instead of following the horde into Tum-Again arm and Its tributaries, he quietly put his outfit into a canoe and made his way down the coast from Prince William's sound till he came to the snug little harbor found in Resurrection bay. Here but one family is located, that of a hunter named Love, who with his Indian wife and brood of half-breed children, have lived on the bay for years and years. In the vicinity of the thousand islands in that locality is a favorite feeding ground of the sea otter, and Love has followed his avocation of hunter and trapper undisturbed by others of his own race and almost entirely cut off from civilization.

To inquiries put to him by Mr. Noon he said as far as he knew no one had ever prospected the range of mountains back of the coast. One thing particularly noticeable of that section was the fact that the season was fully 30 to 60 days ahead of that on Turn-Again arm. Noon started out into the hills the 15th of May and scarcely any work could be done on the opposite side of the divide before the middle or last of June. Upon leaving the head of Resurrection bay this intrepid prospector climbed the range until he was at an attitude of about 2,000 feet, which in that country is the timber line. The mountains are quite rough, sometimes precipitous, but prospecting there is a paradise compared with other sections of Alaska. At or near the timber line there is no undergrowth or shrubbery to impede one's progress and completely hide the face of the mountains, nor are there any swamps or tundras at a lower altitude. Those magnificent pests, mosquitoes and gnats, the bane of the miners existence on Turn-Again arm and in the Yukon, are conspicuous by their absence and when out In the hills one need not wear a sheet steel mask as a protection to his face. Along the foothills and at the base of the mountains the formation seems to have at some time or other been in a violent state of upheaval, there being much volcanic and basalt rock encountered everywhere. As one ascends the range, however, the characteristics change very materially and the formation becomes more uniform and compact, solid walls of slate, granite and porphyry taking the place of the shattered strata of basalt.

Fifteen miles back from the beach and just at the timber line Mr. Noon found a gigantic ledge of quartz running from 400 to 500 feet in width. Free gold was visible with the naked eye and from the necessarily crude manner in which an assay was made enough of a result was obtained to warrant the location of a number of claims. The ledge is cut here and there with small seams of slate, but there is every indication that with depth they will pinch out and give a solid vein of massive proportions. In addition to gold the ledge carries pyrites of copper and some silver. George Rice is interested in the claims and Mr. Noon will return to his new discoveries next spring and do considerable development work on them.

In August Mr. Noon crossed the divide and did considerable prospecting near the head of the Kenai river, finding several promising looking ledges, the value of which, however, is yet to be determined. He also visited the Six-Mile Creek diggings, likewise the hydraulic proposition of the Boston syndicate located at Anchor Point and other places. Lynx creek, a tributary of Six-Mile crek[sic], was discovered a few days before the cold weather began. The locator, a man named Powers, and his partner washed out nine ounces in five days with but two men shoveling. A freeze-up then occurred and work had to be abandoned for the winter.

The Boston syndicate has spent a great deal of money this season in getting their placers in shape to work on a large scale, and Mr. Noon is of the opinion they have a proposition which will pay them enormous returns on the capital invested. On a claim adjoining on which they will work next season four men late this fall took out $125 in nine days. If ground will pay that well worked with ground sluices it is hard to conceive what the day’s clean-up would amount to when hydraulicked. On Beluga river the same company has 12,000 acres of ground and have approximately 50,000 inches of water from the river. Early in the spring they will begin work on a 12-mile ditch and as soon as completed will put giants to work washing out the vast masses of gold-bearing gravel.