National Geographic : 1901 Nov
GEOGRAPHIC NOTES EXPLORATIONS IN ALASKA T HE U. S. Geological Survey had four important parties at work in Alaska during the past season. As a result, large sections of territory pre viously unmapped and but little known have been well explored geologically and topographically. The first party, under command of Mr. W. J. Peters, assisted by Mr. F. C. Schrader, left Seattle early in February. They went by trail from Skagway to White Hdrse, and then pushed on with dog teams , 200 miles to Bergman, a trading post on the Koyukuk River. The year previous a cache of canoes and provisions had been made at this point in anticipation of the trips which the party under Mr. Peters and another under Mr. Mendenhall were to make. The party then advanced about 100 miles, to the summit of the divide be tween the Yukon and the Arctic Ocean, to select the best route to the ocean. Here they made a portage of several miles across to the waters of Colville River, which they followed to the Arctic Ocean. After leaving Bergman they were in ter ritory that had previously not been pene trated and was entirely unknown. Mr. Peters reports that rollingtundra extends from the mountains to the ocean. The original plan for the party was on reach ing the Arctic Ocean to turn east, and then return to Bergman over land, but the season was so late that Mr. Peters decided to proceed westward. The party obtained some small canoes from the natives and pushed along the shore to Point Barrow. Here they obtained a whaling boat, which they hoped would enable them to reach Cape Nome. When 350 miles down the coast they fortunately fell in with a collier, which shortened the remainder of the journey to Cape Nome. The second party, under Mr. T. G. Gerdine, assisted by Mr. A. J. Collier, sailed from Seattle June i with twelve pack animals and reached Nome in the middle of June. They found the season there very backward, so that it was sev eral days before they were able to begin active work. The last week in June they proceeded in small boats to Teller, about one hundred miles to the north west, the pack train following them along the beach. The mapping of Sew ard Peninsula, including the whole of the Nome mining district, begun last year, was brought to a successful termi nation. The third party, under Mr. W. C. Mendenhall, assisted by Mr. D. L. Rea burn, starting from Fort Yukon, made a survey of the Yukon River as far as the Dall River and up the Dall River to the portage across to Old Man River, and down this river to Bergman. Here they also made use of the cache placed there the year before. From here they pro ceeded up the Allashook River, and then down the Kowak to Kotzebue Sound. The territory that they passed through after leaving Bergman was unknown. The party has not yet returned to Wash ington, so that further information about their work cannot be had. The fourth party, under Mr. A. H. Brooks, worked in southeastern Alaska. For two months Mr. Brooks' labors were on Prince of Wales Island and the main land to the northeast, investigating the mineral resources of the country. He re ports much development of the country in progress. Another month was passed in making a reconnaissance of the region to the north extending from Juneau to Skagway.