National Geographic : 1949 Oct
© National Geographic Society 511 Ansco color by 0. C. Sweet Gold Lured Him to Fairbanks; Contentment Keeps Him There In years of prospecting, J. N. Nettleton saw many fellow sourdoughs strike it rich. Such luck always eluded him, although he hunted doggedly until in his late sixties. Now almost 80, he lives alone in a log cabin near Alaska's interior metropolis. Here he does his own laundry, chops a young man's quota of wood daily, and tills a garden in summer. "I'm here because I love Alaska," he told the author. "I'm never going to leave it." Dozens of such old-timers, many of whom remember the 1904 gold rush, live in and about Fairbanks. To reach remote diggings, today's younger prospectors use airplanes. "The old boys couldn't have found all the gold up here," said one, an ex-GI, as he set out to pan stream-bed gravel for yellow treasure.