National Geographic : 1900 Jan
THE CAPE NOME GOLD DISTRIC Prior to the discovery of gold there were a few natives, all Eskimo, scattered along the coast from near Cape Nome northward, and a small village on Sledge Island during the seal-fishing season. At Port Clar ence, which has been the headquarters of the United States reindeer industry in Alaska, is a mission with good schools. The great movement of the white population toward Nome began early in the summer of 1899 and continued until the middle of October, building up a city of over 5,000 people on a previously barren beach. Nearly every boat which descended the Yukon from Dawson and other points on the river was loaded to its fullest capacity with pas sengers, while many came from the southeastern districts of Alaska and the Pacific coast of the United States. The rapidity in growth of the city of Nome has probably never been precedented, especially in so remote a region. A thousand or more unsuccessful prospectors descending from the Koyukuk district and an equal number from the Kotzebue Sound and Kowak River district arrived at St Michael in a financially stranded condition ; but hearing of the diggings of Nome a majority soon found their way thither, and in a few days' work on the beach had rocked out sufficient gold to place themselves in mod erately comfortable circumstances and pay their transportation back to the United States. The principal trading companies operating at Nome are the N. A. T. & T. Company, the A. C. Company, and the A. E. or Alaska Explora tion Company, all with fairly well-stocked warehouses and plants and abundant supplies for next spring. Of newspapers there are at the present time the Nome News, The Nome Gold Digger,and The Nome Herald. The Nugget, with printing press and equipments from Dawson, went down in a gale on Norton Sound in September, while a similar outfit bound for Nome from the United States went down on the Laurado at St Lawrence Island a few weeks later. A company is now being organized with a view to constructing a deep-water pier for a tempo rary harbor, to be extended far out into the ocean, whereby deep-sea vessels may be unloaded. Until more definite arrangements can be perfected the United States Post-Office is endeavoring to send the mails to Nome semi-monthly during the present winter by way of White Pass, Yukon River, and the Unilaklik and St Michael route. On account of ice in Bering Sea, Nome cannot be reached by ocean vessels earlier than some time in June, though the Nome coast is free from ice later in the fall and earlier in the summer than the coast about St Michael.